Preview: Marlins look for series victory in finale against Braves
TV: FOX Sports Florida
TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 1 p.m.
Miami will start left-hander Wie-Yin Chen (1-2, 7.56) against Teheran (4-1, 3.49) in the series finale on Sunday. The teams split the first two games of the series, with Miami winning Friday and Atlanta evening the series with an 8-1 victory on Saturday.
The key may be Teheran’s ability to embrace his home park.
A year ago, the Atlanta ace was 11-13 overall but only 3-10 with a 5.86 ERA at SunTrust Park. This year, he is 1-0 with a 4.29 ERA in four starts at home and 3-1 with a 2.89 ERA in five starts on the road.
Chen will make his fifth start of the season since coming off the disabled list on April 28 with a left elbow strain. After two starts that saw Chen allow 13 earned runs in seven innings, he bounced back with 4 1/3 scoreless innings against Los Angeles on May 15. But he threw a lot of pitches early, was removed after throwing 83, and did not qualify for the win.
“We’ve kind of watched Chen over the last few years,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “It seems like when he hits that wall, he hits it. It took a lot of pitches to get there.”
Chen, who was signed as a free agent in January 2016, has made five career starts against the Braves, none since 2016 during his first campaign with the Marlins. He is 0-1 with a 3.92 ERA in 20 2/3 innings against Atlanta.
Teheran will make his 18th career start against the Marlins. He is 6-5 with a 3.49 EA in 105 2/3 innings against Miami, with 89 strikeouts and 29 walks. Teheran has not faced the Marlins this year. He was 1-1 with a 3.75 ERA in two starts against them in 2017.
Teheran has won his last four decisions. In his last start on May 14, he pitched six innings in a 6-5 win over the Chicago Cubs. Teheran allowed four runs, including two home runs, in that start. This time, he’ll be working with five days rest; only once this season has he allowed more than two runs with that much time between starts.
Atlanta manager Brian Snitker started Dansby Swanson at shortstop on Saturday; the second-year player had been on the 10-day disabled list with left wrist inflammation since May 4. Swanson missed 13 games but deemed himself ready after getting two hits in a rehab start for Double-A Rome on Thursday.
“I just wanted to get the soreness out because I haven’t played for a couple of weeks,” Swanson said. “It’s not the soreness in my wrist, just my body in general. But I feel good.”
Swanson was 0-for-2 with two walks and scored a run in his return on Saturday.
Swanson’s return forced Snitker to move Johan Camargo, who had been playing shortstop in Swanson’s absence, to third base. It sets up an interesting situation regarding who will play third base: Camargo, Ryan Flaherty or Jose Bautista.
A likely platoon situation could surface at third unless the Braves decide to abandon the Bautista experiment. The veteran is batting only .143 in 12 games since being signed as a free agent.