Miami Marlins at St. Louis Cardinals series primer
JUL 04, 2014 11:00a ET
Miami missed out on its first three-game sweep since early May when closer Steve Cishek blew a save against the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday. The Marlins stand six games behind the Atlanta Braves in the National League East. St. Louis returns home after splitting a 10-game trip, five back of the Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central.
The Marlins were swept in St. Louis last season and are 34-47 overall. The Cardinals lead the all-time series 96-64.
Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will open the set for the Marlins. He has given up five runs or more in three of his past four starts. In a no decision against the Oakland Athletics, he allowed five runs over seven innings with three strikeouts and three walks. Righty Lance Lynn lasted just two frames in his previous start after battling a blister on his middle finger.
Left-hander Andrew Heaney seeks his first big-league win in his fourth start. Costly homers have been his downfall so far as he has surrendered one in each of his first three outings. He gave up four two-out runs in the sixth in a loss to the A's. Though righty Shelby Miller experienced no back pain against the Los Angeles Dodgers, he did permit six runs (second most this season) on seven hits in five innings.
Miami has won nine straight games righty Henderson Alvarez has started. Since May 22, he has allowed just six earned runs over eight outings. He took the no decision in his last start when the bullpen blew his lead. Southpaw Marco Gonzales makes his third major-league start. Of the nine runs given up, eight have come when facing the lineup the second time. Batters have a .563 average in the second plate appearance compared to .063 the first time.
Here's a look at the upcoming Marlins-Cardinals series...
SCHEDULE AND PROBABLE PITCHERS
July 4 (FOX Sports Florida -- pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.)
RHP Nathan Eovaldi (5-3, 3.71 ERA) vs. RHP Lance Lynn (8-6, 3.38 ERA)
July 5 (FOX Sports Florida -- pregame coverage begins at 1:30 p.m.)
LHP Andrew Heaney (0-3, 5.29 ERA) vs. RHP Shelby Miller (7-7, 4.10 ERA)
July 6 (FOX Sports Florida -- pregame coverage begins at 1:30 p.m.)
RHP Henderson Alvarez (5-3, 2.33 ERA) vs. LHP Marco Gonzales (0-1, 9.64 ERA)
3B Casey McGehee (Marlins): McGehee extended his hit streak to 10 on Thursday and is batting .333 with three doubles and six RBI during that span. His 101 hits are tied with Milwaukee Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy for second in the NL. McGehee has an RBI in two straight and a walk in six of seven.
3B Matt Carpenter (Cardinals): Carpenter has multi-hit games in three of the past four, going 9 for 15 (.600) with a run and an RBI. His average has jumped from .275 to .290. He has a modest nine-game hitting streak.
2B Derek Dietrich (Marlins): Dietrich has just one hit in his past 19 at-bats. Manager Mike Redmond elected to go with right-handed bat Donovan Solano against a righty starter on Thursday. Dietrich has not driven in a run in six games and has reached just twice during that stretch.
2B Mark Ellis (Cardinals): Ellis is hitting .200 over his past 10 games with five runs and two RBI -- both which came June 22. He has struck out 12 times and walked once. In four of those games, he has fanned twice.
27: Consecutive games reaching base for Casey McGehee, the longest active streak in the NL
3.09: ERA for righty Nathan Eovaldi in two starts against the Cardinals
49: Homers for St. Louis, last in the NL
0: Career starts for righty Shelby Miller against the Marlins
"Tough way for the series to end ... That was a tough one for us to battle back and pick up Brad Hand after struggling, trying to get through the sixth. Gave up a few of those runs. The offense battled back and had some big at bats, (Jeff Baker) a big hit. That's a tough one to swallow. That's one you got to win." -- Manager Mike Redmond on his club giving up the lead in the ninth and missing out on the sweep
"You can't walk the leadoff batter, especially on four pitches. I didn't even give him a chance. I just made things more difficult than they needed to be. The end result showed there." -- Closer Steve Cishek on his blown save Thursday night
"We fought back. It's good that we fought back and got the lead there. I mean, Cishek's done a hell of a job all year. He's been pitching his (butt) off. Just one of those days." -- Left-hander Brad Hand, who started Thursday's game, on Cishek's blown save
July 7-9 -- Marlins at Diamondbacks