Brad Penny came away with a win last weekend in his first major league start in nearly three years and first for the Miami Marlins in a decade.
The 36-year-old right-hander will try to claim another victory in Thursday night’s opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who will have a red-hot Chase Anderson on the mound.
After being called up from Triple-A New Orleans on Saturday, Penny gave up two runs and four hits in five innings and worked around four walks in a 4-3 win in Cincinnati. It was the 14-year veteran’s first MLB start since Sept. 25, 2011, when he was with Detroit, and first for the Marlins (59-61) since July 28, 2004.
"It’s been a long time," Penny said. "I’m lucky to get another opportunity to pitch at this level."
Penny (1-0, 1.80 ERA) will next face one of three teams that he’s earned double-digit wins against in his career. The 120-game winner is 10-3 with a 2.03 ERA in 19 career starts versus the Diamondbacks (52-68), the most recent on June 26, 2011.
Anderson (7-4, 3.06) will try to win a third straight decision when he faces Miami for the second time in six starts. The rookie right-hander yielded one run in six innings and matched a career high with eight strikeouts in a 9-1 home victory over Marlins on July 7, beginning a stretch in which he’s gone 2-0 with a 1.74 ERA.
He gave up one run and four hits in six innings Friday in a 5-3 victory against Colorado.
"He’s kind of been on a roll. He’s had five or six games where’s he thrown the ball very good, made good pitches when he’s had to," manager Kirk Gibson said.
Gibson’s club had dropped seven of its first 10 games this month, including a 3-2 loss in the opener of Wednesday’s doubleheader in Cleveland, before winning 1-0 in 12 innings in the finale. Tuffy Gosewisch had the tiebreaking RBI single and doubled in the victory.
Miami had won four of five and six of 10 at home before a 5-2 defeat to St. Louis on Wednesday. The Marlins committed two errors and Giancarlo Stanton went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
Stanton, the NL’s home run leader with 31, hit five in his previous six games, including two in a 6-5 win in Monday’s series opener. He remains tied for second on the team’s career list with 148.
Stanton went 0 for 11 with six strikeouts in a three-game series in Arizona from July 7-9, and Anderson fanned him three times in the opener. The Diamondbacks won two of those matchups and have claimed 14 of the last 20.
Didi Gregorius went 3 for 7 with a pair of triples in that series and is batting .355 in nine career games against the Marlins, but is 3 for 23 (.130) in his last eight overall contests.
Miami’s Christian Yelich was 5 for 13 in the series in Arizona and is 8 for 19 (.421) in his last five games. He was 0 for 3 with a strikeout against Anderson while Casey McGehee, Garrett Jones and Marcell Ozuna each had two hits off the Diamondbacks starter.
McGehee has two hits in four straight games and is 12 for 28 (.429) in his last seven.
Arizona has won eight of 10 in Miami and took two of three in last season’s lone visit May 17-19.