Miami Marlins: First place Fish open road trip in San Diego

miami marlins

Henderson Alvarez has thrown three shutouts in his last eight starts.

Marlins begin 11-game road trip against Padres

The Miami Marlins completed an 8-1 homestand on Wednesday with a sweep of the New York Mets. Over Miami’s last four games (all wins), the Fish have notched three walk-off victories. On Wednesday, Marcell Ozuna’s sacrifice fly scored Giancarlo Stanton in the bottom of the ninth to give the Marlins a 1-0 win.

After the outstanding homestand, the Marlins now head west to play 11 road games in 11 days. The trip will pit the Marlins against the three National League teams in California and will begin on Thursday in San Diego.

The Marlins will play just their second four-game series of the season in San Diego as they take on the Padres. While Miami was sweeping the Mets, the Padres dropped two of three to the Kansas City Royals.

As Miami did last season, San Diego ranks last in baseball in virtually every offensive category. The Padres have a good rotation and a very good bullpen, but getting to the pen has been difficult.

For the Marlins on the other hand, the bullpen has been one of the lone weaknesses. Fueled by outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins rank in the top 10 in virtually every major offensive category. Stanton leads the National League in home runs, and RBIs while ranking third in slugging and fifth in runs scored. Starting pitcher Jose Fernandez has also put together a Cy Young caliber season. Fernandez will take the mound against the Padres on Friday.

As one of baseball’s early surprises, the 19-15 Miami Marlins are tied with the Washington Nationals for first place in the National League East. With a record of 15-20, San Diego is in fourth place in the National League West. The Padres trail the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies by 6.5 games.

The Marlins and Padres will open the four-game set with night games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday before concluding it with a day game on Sunday. San Diego was able to sweep the Fish when the teams met at Petco Park last May.

Season Series
Miami leads 2-1. The Marlins got the better of San Diego when the teams met in South Florida back in early April. After taking the first two games of a three-game set, Miami looked destined for a sweep, but a pinch-hit three-run home run by Alexi Amarista in the seventh inning propelled San Diego to a 4-2 victory. Tom Koehler and Jose Fernandez each picked up wins in the series for Miami.

Marlins Musings

Fish in First
Thanks to a 1-0 victory on Wednesday and an Atlanta loss to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Miami Marlins are tied for first place in the National League East. During the 2013 season in which Miami lost 100 games, the Marlins never spent a day even tied for first place in the division. With a 19-15 record, this is the latest that the Marlins have been in first place since early June of 2012. Miami will go for win number 20 on Thursday. The Marlins didn’t win their 20th game a season ago until June 14th.

Alvarez Goes All Nine Again
In their recent series against the New York Mets, Miami held the Mets scoreless over their final 23 innings. On Tuesday night, it was Henderson Alvarez who was responsible for keeping New York off the scoreboard by throwing his second complete game, shutout of the season. It took Alvarez 111 pitches to finish the contest as the Miami right-hander allowed six hits without surrendering a walk. Alvarez also collected seven strikeouts. Only Texas’ Martin Perez has as many shutouts on the season as Alvarez and dating back to his no-hitter on the final day of last season, Alvarez has tossed three shutouts in his last eight starts.

Pitching Match-ups
Thursday – Jacob Turner (MIA) 0-0, 9.90 ERA vs. Ian Kennedy (SD) 2-4, 3.43 ERA
Friday – Jose Fernandez (MIA) 4-1, 1.74 ERA vs. Tyson Ross (SD) 3-3, 3.30 ERA
Saturday – Nathan Eovaldi (MIA) 2-1, 2.78 ERA vs. Eric Stults (SD) 1-3, 5.40 ERA
Sunday – Henderson Alvarez (MIA) 2-2, 2.62 ERA vs. Robbie Erlin (SD) 1-4, 4.95 ERA

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