Seattle Mariners at Miami Marlins series primer

Marcell Ozuna leads the Marlins with a .339 batting average, earning a hit in 13 of 15 games.

Steve Mitchell

Unfamiliar foes will square off in a three-game weekend set at Marlins Park.

The Mariners and Marlins have played each other just nine times, with the club from the Pacific Northwest owning a 5-4 advantage. The teams last met in 2011 at Safeco Field where the Mariners won two of three. The Marlins — oddly enough — were the home team, playing 3,300 miles from home because of a venue conflict.

Seattle (7-8) visits its first National League ballpark of the season and will have to play without the designated hitter. That means Corey Hart will either start at first or in the outfield so his potent bat (four homers) remains in the lineup.

The Mariners’ biggest offseason addition, All-Star second baseman Robinson Cano, recorded his first home run on Thursday. Another important piece, Logan Morrison, is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right hamstring. He still made the trip to see his former team.

Miami (6-10) closes its six-game homestand hoping to rebound from its third consecutive series loss. The Marlins have dropped nine of 10. Giancarlo Stanton leads all major-league batters with 21 RBI, but the bullpen continues to struggle with a 4.26 ERA.

Neither 2010 American League Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez nor 2013 NL Cy Young finalist Jose Fernandez will start over the weekend.

Here’s a look at the upcoming Mariners-Marlins series:

SCHEDULE AND PROBABLE PITCHERS

 

WHO’S HOT

Miami Marlins news

LHP Roenis Elias (Mariners): Elias became the third pitcher in club history with at least five innings pitched and two runs or fewer allowed in each of his first three major-league starts. His 2.16 ERA is third lowest by a Seattle pitcher over his first three starts over the past decade.

CF Marcell Ozuna (Marlins): Ozuna leads the team with a .339 average. He has hits in 13 of 15 games. The 23-year-old has four multi-hit games, including the past two days. Manager Mike Redmond has liked slotting him in the order’s second spot.

WHO’S NOT

3B Kyle Seager (Mariners): It looked as though Seager was working out of his slump with three hits over his past three games but he failed to get one on Thursday in four at-bats. He has gone hitless eight times in 14 games and has the lowest average (.143) among Seattle’s starters.

LHP Mike Dunn (Marlins): Dunn has surrendered go-ahead homers in his previous two outings. He has given up at least one run in four of his seven appearances out of the bullpen for a 0-2 record and 9.53 ERA. He allowed just five dingers over 67 2/3 innings last season.

STORYLINES

2005: The last and only other time the Mariners have visited South Florida.

3.10: ERA for Seattle’s pitching staff, which ranks sixth best in the majors.

2: Number of former Marlins on Seattle’s club — Morrison and John Buck.

11: Straight games with a hit for Christian Yelich, a career high.

PROMOTIONS

April 18 — Fireworks Friday

Miami Marlins on FOX Sports Florida

April 19 — Saturday Spectacular (postgame party and DJ at the Clevelander and East Plaza); All You Can Eat Special.

April 20 — Adeiny Hechavarria Kids Sunglasses; Family Sunday (Snapshot Sunday and Radio Disney pregame, Diamond Dash postgame); Pepsi 4-for-$54 Pack.

QUOTE BOARD

"We’re in a funk out there for whatever reason and we just have to keep throwing these guys out there and get ’em going. We got another pinch-hit home run. Stuff like that just can’t happen late in the game. We’ve given up a lot of big hits late in the game. Those are crushers. We’ve got to find a way to make an adjustment and give (Steve) Cishek a chance to get in this game." — Manager Mike Redmond on the bullpen’s recent struggles

"He came up to me, ‘You know what? That runner is not going to come in. Don’t worry about it. We’ll get through it.’ But it didn’t happen the way we wanted it to. Hopefully Friday when we come back, we play hard and get a win." — What Jose Fernandez said Jarrod Saltalamacchia told him following the catcher’s error on Wednesday; the Nationals would go on to score three on Jayson Werth’s homer

"Execute the pitch. It was a terrible pitch and he hit it. It’s all about execution." — Mike Dunn on Zach Walter’s pinch-hit, go-ahead homer on Wednesday

LOOKING AHEAD

April 21-23 — Marlins at Braves

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