Miami Marlins at Milwaukee Brewers series primer

Miami Marlins left fielder Christian Yelich (21) is riding a 10-game hit streak during which he is batting .341 with nine runs, three RBI and four walks.

Robert Mayer/Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Marlins (69-72) begin their 10-game trip in Milwaukee to face the Brewers (74-69) four times with National League wild-card implications on the line.

Miami finds itself 4.5 back with a slim chance at the postseason. Milwaukee, which led the NL Central for 150 days this season, fell a half game behind the Pittsburgh Pirates for the second wild-card spot. Center fielder Carlos Gomez may return from a sprained left wrist that has kept him out a week.

While the Marlins snapped a skid of four straight series losses by taking two of three from the Atlanta Braves, the St. Louis Cardinals handed the Brewers defeats in three of four. They have dropped 11 of 12 overall, plummeting to third in their division.

Veteran Brad Penny looks to rebound from his previous outing against the New York Mets in which he allowed four runs on seven hits in just three innings. The Brewers haven’t treated him too kindly in his career, drawing a 5.07 ERA in eight starts. Righty Yovani Gallardo was pushed back a day to go against the Marlins rather than the Cardinals as he is 5-0 with a 1.12 ERA in seven starts against Miami. In his last three games, Gallardo has not gone past the fifth in two of them, dropping both decisions.

Righty Tom Koehler struck out a career-high 10 batters against the Mets last Wednesday, but he received the no decision because of a two-run homer following a leadoff walk. He went seven innings for the second time in his last three starts. On May 23, Koehler lost to the Brewers when he gave up seven runs on nine hits in five frames. After spending a month on the disabled list with a rib-cage strain, right-hander Matt Garza allowed six runs on eight hits in just three innings. He has pitched just twice since Aug. 3.

Few pitchers have been hotter than righty Jarred Cosart over his past five starts. On Friday against the Braves, he went 7 2/3 innings, giving up three runs (two in the eighth) on five hits. He has gone at least seven in his past three outings. Cosart has posted a 1.27 ERA in his past five. Righty Wily Peralta didn’t pitch poorly against the Cardinals, but he did surrender two runs before recording two outs on Friday. He has lost three in a row and four of his last five. Peralta took a tough defeat May 24 in Miami when he gave up just one run over six innings.

Tough times continue for righty Nathan Eovaldi, who pitched into the seventh for the second straight game against the Braves. He allowed pitcher Alex Wood to produce the go-ahead two-run single for his first career RBI. Though Eovaldi got a no decision, he still has won just once since June 23. Righty Mike Fiers, who joined the rotation with Garza on the DL, is a local boy out of Deerfield Beach High and Nova Southeastern University. He has thrown six straight quality starts, winning and pitching into the seventh in five of them.

Here’s a look at the upcoming Marlins-Brewers series…

So you think you can pitch

SCHEDULE AND PROBABLE PITCHERS

WHO’S HOT

LF Christian Yelich (Marlins): Yelich is riding a 10-game hit streak during which he is batting .341 with nine runs, three RBI and four walks. He has multi-hit games in three of his past five, including Sunday’s finale against the Braves.

C Jonathan Lucroy (Brewers): Lucroy would be an outside candidate for NL MVP with his impressive line of a .299 average, 13 homers and 62 RBI. In his past 10 games, he is hitting .297 with three runs and two RBI. Lucroy has multi-hit games in two of four. Milwaukee’s lineup, however, has been quiet of late with just 28 runs in 12 games.

WHO’S NOT

RF Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins): After belting a homer in three straight games against the Mets, Stanton went 2 for 14 with a run, two RBI, no walks and five strikeouts against the Braves. He went hitless in his last 11 at-bats of the weekend following a two-run double.

1B Mark Reynolds (Brewers): Reynolds is batting just .105 with no runs and no RBI over his past 10 games with six strikeouts and two walks. He has no multi-hit games during this span. Reynolds last drove in a run Aug. 24 and homered Aug. 14.

STORYLINES

.404: Average for Yelich since Aug. 11, third highest in the NL

0: Hits in 11 at-bats for Stanton against Fiers and Peralta

Showing growth

3: Days spent in third in the NL Central for the Brewers

17: Combined hits for Aramis Ramirez and Mark Reynolds against Penny

QUOTE BOARD

"Those shutdown innings are so important momentum-wise, especially this time of the year when guys are on edge and every pitch is big and every inning is important and every hit. All those things, and the momentum to keep it on our side is key and huge. For us to get that run was big but then to come out and put up that zero was probably even more important." — Manager Mike Redmond on stranding two runners in scoring position with no outs in the sixth Sunday

"The good thing is we won a series, and that just makes the next one that much more important. Hopefully we can win the series in Milwaukee and continue the trend and keep making the next one more important than the last. Believe it or not we’re still hanging around. We’ll see where this goes." — Third baseman Casey McGehee on taking two of three against Atlanta

"I’ve always been comfortable as a starter, and that’s where I feel like I’m going to do for my career is be a starter. Gotten comfortable a little bit. Earlier had a few good starts in a row. Just build off this one and keep going." — Left-hander Brad Hand on his six scoreless innings on Sunday

LOOKING AHEAD

September 12-14 — Marlins at Phillies

You can follow Christina De Nicola on Twitter @CDeNicola13 or email her at cdenicola13@gmail.com.