(Updated: UPDATES Miami’s games back in third sentence)
The Miami Marlins will try to stop an ill-timed five-game losing streak when they host the Philadelphia Phillies on Saturday in the third of a four-game series. The Marlins were on the verge of ending their slide before giving up two runs in the top of the ninth inning and falling 2-1 on Friday night.
Brad Ziegler had excelled in the closer’s role before coughing it up for Miami, which stands six games out of a wild card position in the National League. Slugger Giancarlo Stanton has finally cooled off for the Marlins, going 0-for-11 with three strikeouts over his last three games to remain stuck on 51 home runs. He has a home run, a double and a single in six at-bats against Aaron Nola, who gets the start for the Phillies on Saturday. Philadelphia rookie standout Rhys Hoskins has also looked a bit more human with five straight homerless games after he went deep in his previous five contests.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, CSN Philadelphia, FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Phillies RH Aaron Nola (10-9, 3.46 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Dan Straily (8-8, 3.80)
Nola rebounded from a pair of rocky outings to dominate Atlanta over seven innings on Monday. He limited the Braves to a run and five hits with zero walks and six strikeouts to reach double digits in victories for the first time in his career. One of Nola’s recent missteps was against Miami on Aug. 22, when he was pounded for seven runs in 6 1/3 frames, leaving the 24-year-old with a with a 4.30 ERA in five career meetings with the Marlins.
Straily has tossed consecutive quality starts for the first time since the first week of July after limiting San Diego to two runs in six innings his last time out. He has 15 strikeouts in 12 innings over his last two outings while allowing just eight hits. The Marshall University product struck out 10 opposite Nola two turns ago and has 27 strikeouts in 17 2/3 innings against the Phillies in 2017.
1. Ziegler spun 13 scoreless innings in August before blowing the save and allowing both runs on the first day of September.
2. Marlins LF Marcell Ozuna is 1-for-16 with six strikeouts over a four-game swoon.
3. Hoskins has reached base safely in 16 straight games.
PREDICTION: Marlins 4, Phillies 3