Miami Marlins: Marlins welcome in first place Brewers

Central-leading Milwaukee pays only visit to South Florida

The Miami Marlins will wrap up a six-game homestand over the weekend against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Marlins have yet to lose a series at home, but Milwaukee will certainly be a test for the Fish as the teams battle it out for three games.

The Brewers and Marlins are certainly two of the bigger surprises in the National League. The teams will square off just seven times this season and will not meet again until the second week of September in Milwaukee.

Miami is coming off of a series in which it took two of three games from the Philadelphia Phillies at Marlins Park. Milwaukee dropped three of four to the Braves in Atlanta and enter the series having lost five of six overall.

While the Milwaukee lineup certainly has plenty of talent with stars like Carlos Gomez and Ryan Braun, the starting pitching has been very good as well. Wily Peralta currently ranks seventh in the National League with a 2.18 ERA while Kyle Lohse ranks third in the league with six wins in his second season as a Brewer.

The Miami rotation has also pitched very well despite losing Jose Fernandez for the season. Tom Koehler, Henderson Alvarez and Nathan Eovaldi are all in the midst of stellar seasons. Giancarlo Stanton has anchored the lineup with a .309 average, 12 home runs and a 45 RBIs — the most in baseball.

With a 28-20 record, the Brewers enter the three-game series in South Florida in first place in the National League Central. Milwaukee’s lead in the division is just a game and a half over the St. Louis Cardinals.

At 25-23, the Marlins are currently in second place in the National League East. Miami trails the Atlanta Braves by two games in the division and holds just a half game lead over the third place Washington Nationals.

The three-game set for the teams will begin with a night game on Friday. Saturday’s contest will be a mid-afternoon start before the series concludes with a 1:10 P.M. eastern time start on Sunday. The Brewers took five of the six meetings from the Fish a season ago.

Marlins Musings

Fish Walk-Off Again
The Miami Marlins’ bullpen has continued to struggle as the Fish let a 3-0 eighth inning lead slip away on Thursday afternoon. Fortunately for Miami, the team remained resilient. With the game even at three in the bottom of the ninth, outfielder Christian Yelich singled to center to score Marcell Ozuna, giving Miami a 4-3 victory. On the season, the Marlins now have five walk-off victories. The Marlins also have five other victories where they took the lead for good in their final at-bat.

Ozuna Supplying the Power
Over the final two games of the series against the Philadelphia Phillies, Miami outfielder Marcell Ozuna broke out of a 1-for-12 hitting slump in a major way. In Wednesday’s 14-5 victory, Ozuna set a new career-high with five RBIs which included a grand slam in the seventh inning. Ozuna joined Giancarlo Stanton as the only Marlins to hit grand slams this season. Ozuna followed that performance up with another solid effort on Thursday. Ozuna homered again in the seventh inning — this time, a two-run shot. Ozuna would also go on to score the game-winning run on a single by Christian Yelich in the ninth inning.

Pitching Match-ups
Friday – Marco Estrada (MIL) 3-2, 3.64 ERA vs. Tom Koehler (MIA) 4-3, 2.25 ERA
Saturday – Wily Peralta (MIL) 4-3, 2.18 ERA vs. Jacob Turner (MIA) 0-2, 6.59 ERA
Sunday – Yovani Gallardo (MIL) 2-3, 3.51 ERA vs. Randy Wolf (MIA) 0-0, 1.80 ERA

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