This past weekend didn’t go exactly as planned for the Miami Marlins to start a three-city, nine-game trip.
Miami (64-65) fell below .500 after dropping consecutive contests to the Colorado Rockies, who hold the National League’s worst record.
It continues with a three-game set against the Los Angeles Angels (77-52), owners of Major League Baseball’s best record after taking a series from their American League West rival Oakland Athletics.
The Marlins visit Anaheim for just the second time and first since 2005. They are 3-6 overall and 1-2 in the City of Angels.
Righty Jarred Cosart opens the set with his fourth start in a Marlins uniform. Since being scratched from an outing, he has allowed just one run on nine hits over 13 innings with five strikeouts and three walks. Southpaw Wade LeBlanc, a one-time Marlin, will get the nod in injured Garrett Richards’ place. In two relief outings this season — one with the Angels and the other with the New York Yankees — he gave up six runs on eight hits over 7 1/3.
After a pair of solid starts against the Cincinnati Reds to begin August, righty Nathan Eovaldi has struggled and lost his previous two. He has surrendered nine runs (six earned) on 17 hits in 11 innings. Eovaldi has won just once since June 28. Right-hander Matt Shoemaker had a no-hitter against the Boston Red Sox for 7 2/3 innings with nine strikeouts and a walk. He has won four of his last five starts.
All-Star Henderson Alvarez experienced shortness of breath in the mile high altitude at Coors Field but still recorded his 10th win. Over six innings, he permitted 10 hits and four runs off two homers. His 2.57 ERA ranks fifth in the National League. The Marlins have won 14 of his last 16 starts. Lefty Hector Santiago has a 2.53 ERA since coming off the disabled list June 10 with a 3-1 record in 11 starts. He went five innings against the Oakland A’s, giving up two runs on seven hits. He also got hit on the hand by a liner.
Here’s a look at the upcoming Marlins-Angels series …
SCHEDULE AND PROBABLE PITCHERS
CF Marcell Ozuna (Marlins): Ozuna’s bat is on a current hot streak. He hit .428 (6 for 14) with four runs, a homer and five RBI in the Colorado series. Until Sunday, he had four straight multi-hit games. Manager Mike Redmond moved him up to the fifth spot in the order.
SS Erick Aybar (Angels): Aybar has a nine-game hitting streak during which he is batting .429 (15 for 35) with six runs and five RBI. He has driven in at least one run in three straight games.
PH Reed Johnson (Marlins): Johnson doesn’t have a hit in 17 plate appearances this month and 18 overall dating to late July. His average has dropped 22 points during this stretch from .244 to .222. He has just two hits since June 29 when he started against the Oakland Athletics. The day prior, he went 3 for 6 with a double and two RBI.
INF Gordon Beckham (Angels): Since being acquired from the Chicago White Sox, Beckham is hitless in seven at-bats over two games. Dating back to his time in Chicago, he doesn’t have a hit in 13 straight at-bats. Beckham left six men on base Sunday.
12: Homers in the seventh inning or later for Ozuna, tops in the majors. He also has the most RBI (34).
14: Hitless at-bats for Albert Pujols and Mike Trout against Alvarez
77: Wins for the Angels this season, best in the majors
5.40: ERA for Angels closer Huston Street in 12 appearances against the Marlins, third-highest against an opponent. He is 0-2 with six saves.
"There’s a big yellow thing up there in the sky that’s pointing straight into right field. It’s tough right field here, high sky. You can tell by the way that those guys were reacting to some of those balls that they didn’t have a great beat on." — Manager Mike Redmond on the sun affecting the right fielders on Sunday
"There’s some balls we hit hard. You look at that last inning — two rockets to start the inning and who knows what happens, especially here. You never know what’s going to happen." — Third baseman Casey McGehee on the offense running into bad luck (and good defense) in Colorado
"I’ve been struggling in the first inning lately. It’s never good when you give the guys a 3-0 lead in the first inning. Putting the team in that situation is hard to come back from. Just a few balls up. Pitched behind in the count." — Left-hander Brad Hand on Sunday’s start