Preview: Marlins return home for a short series vs. Braves
TV: FOX Sports Florida
TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 6:30 p.m.
MIAMI — The Miami Marlins were one strike from their fifth straight win on Sunday.
Instead, closer Kyle Barraclough walked Tampa Bay rookie shortstop Willy Adames, who was recalled from Triple-A Durham just hours earlier and hitting just .209 after an 0-for-3 performance.
The next batter, Rays pinch-hitter Daniel Robertson, lined a 94 mph fastball to left field, resulting in the first walk-off grand slam in franchise history and sending the Marlins to a crushing 6-4 loss.
“It’s been fastball command,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Barraclough’s issues of late, which also included a shaky save on Saturday.
Somehow, after a brutal loss, the Marlins will try to gather themselves for their short trip home to Miami, where they will host the Atlanta Braves for a brief two-game series.
Miami is in fourth place in the National League East, trailing the division-leading Philadelphia Phillies by 13 1/3 games.
Atlanta, which has lost nine of 13 games, including a rain-delayed 6-2 defeat at the Washington Nationals on Sunday, is second in the NL East, one game behind the Phillies.
Newcomb was outstanding in May (5-0, 1.54) and solid in June (2-1, 2.67) but has struggled badly in three July starts (0-3, 9.75). He allowed just seven homers in his first 16 starts but has given up four long balls in the three July games.
“He has been falling behind in the count,” a scout said of Newcomb. “That has negated his changeup and curve to a large extent.”
On a positive note for Newcomb, this will be a night game. He is 2-3 with a 4.79 ERA in day games this season and 6-2 with a 2.48 ERA in the p.m.
Urena has also been better at night (2-4, 3.45 ERA) as opposed to day games (0-5, 6.31 ERA).
In 12 career games against the Braves, including nine starts, Urena is 2-5 with a 5.47 ERA. This season, he is 0-2 with a 5.25 ERA in two starts.
Newcomb, who broke into the majors last year, is 2-1 with a 2.74 ERA in four starts against the Marlins. This year, he is 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA in two starts against Miami.
Despite Sunday’s awful loss, the Marlins have won seven of their past 10 games, and they will get center fielder Cameron Maybin back into their lineup.
Maybin, who homered Saturday, was ejected after he struck out looking in the fourth inning on Sunday. He is 5-for-11 in his past four games with two homers.
The Braves, meanwhile, will likely be without second baseman Ozzie Albies because of tightness in his right hamstring. Albies, a 21-year-old rookie and a first-time All-Star, has hit .385 since June 17. The switch-hitter has hit 30 doubles and 20 homers so far this season.
“I think not pushing him … that’s one of those things where if he (blows out his hamstring) that could be a two-month thing,” Braves manager Brian Snitker told ajc.com. “We will go day to day, let him get some treatment. We will see where we are in a day or two.”