Reds-Marlins Preview

An approaching hurricane is forcing a little rescheduling for

the remainder of this series between the Florida Marlins and

Cincinnati Reds.

No amount of rain, however, can wash away all of the Marlins’

recent troubles.

In anticipation of Hurricane Irene, Florida and Cincinnati have

scheduled a doubleheader for Wednesday in an attempt to complete

their series before stormy weather.

The series was originally scheduled to conclude Thursday, but

with Irene predicted to be off the east coast of Florida that day,

the game was pushed up a day.

“We had a talk about it, and from all indications the weather is

going to be severe on Thursday,” manager Jack McKeon told the

Marlins’ official website.

The condensed series means Florida (57-71) gets to spend even

less time at home, but depending how Wednesday goes, the team could

be ready to get out of town.

The Marlins gave up four runs in the ninth inning in Tuesday’s

8-6 loss, falling to 3-14 at home since the All-Star break. It was

the sixth straight defeat overall for Florida, which has dropped 16

of 18.

“Personal goals aren’t going to mean anything right now when the

team is scuffling like this,” said Tuesday’s starter Ricky Nolasco,

who become the club’s career strikeout leader with 765.

Cincinnati’s Dave Sappelt tied the game at 6-all with a two-run

double and Yonder Alonso hit a tiebreaking double. Alonso, who

attended high school and college in Miami, also homered and

finished with four RBIs as the Reds won for the eighth time in 12

games.

“That’s a huge boost for the whole team,” Alonso said. “It’s

definitely very satisfying for us to do that.”

Cincinnati can get back to .500 for the first time since July 6

with a sweep against Javier Vazquez (7-11, 4.67 ERA) and Chris

Volstad (5-10, 5.66).

Vazquez allowed three runs and five hits – all in the first two

innings – before settling down Thursday against San Diego. The

right-hander, who departed after six innings, retired his last 14

batters in a 3-1 loss, dropping to 0-2 with a 2.77 ERA in four

starts this month.

In his lone start of the season against the Reds (63-65) on

April 29, Vazquez gave up four runs and four hits – two homers – in

six innings of a 7-6 win.

Volstad allowed four runs and six hits while striking out seven

in five innings in Friday’s 4-3 loss to the Padres. The

right-hander has yielded four runs in each of his four outings

since the break.

Volstad, 1-1 with a 4.26 ERA in two career starts against the

Reds, will be facing Dusty Baker’s club for the first time this

year.

Baker will give the ball to Homer Bailey (7-5, 4.48) in the

first game and Bronson Arroyo (7-10, 5.28) in the nightcap.

Bailey didn’t receive a decision in Friday’s 11-8 win over

Pittsburgh after allowing three runs, six hits, three walks, and

needing 96 pitches to go five innings.

The right-hander is 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in three career starts

against the Marlins and will be facing them for the first time this

year.

Arroyo gave up three runs and seven hits in six innings in

Thursday’s 3-1 loss to Washington. The right-hander has a 3.81 ERA

in four starts this month after recording a 7.36 ERA in his

previous six outings.

Although he is showing improvement, Arroyo still hasn’t earned a

win in his last 10 starts.

He is 0-3 with a 4.59 ERA in 10 games – seven starts – against

the Marlins and has a 7.02 ERA in three starts in Miami. In his

lone outing of the year versus Florida on May 1, Arroyo allowed

five runs and seven hits in seven innings of a 9-5 loss.

Florida’s Greg Dobbs is 3 for 23 (.136) in the last six games

but could have a big day Wednesday. He is 3 for 4 lifetime against

Bailey and 4 for 6 when facing Arroyo.