Preview: Marlins go for series split in finale against Padres
TV: FOX Sports Florida
TIME: Pregame coverage begins at 8:30 p.m.
SAN DIEGO — When the Padres opened their homestand Monday, the goal was simple: Win all three series to get back on track at Petco Park.
They go into Thursday night’s finale of a four-game set with the Miami Marlins needed a win to complete the first stage.
The Padres positioned themselves to take three of four from the Marlins by winning Wednesday night’s game on a walk-off error by third baseman Miguel Rojas.
Lyles, 27, will be making his fifth straight start after opening the season in the Padres bullpen, where he had a 3.66 ERA in 13 appearances totaling 19 2/3 innings. Lyles held the opposition scoreless in 10 of his outings out of the bullpen.
As a starter, Lyles is 1-1 with a 3.97 ERA. In his four starts, Lyles has given up 10 runs on 20 hits and eight walks with 24 strikeouts in 22 2/3 innings.
The highlight of his season was his second start May 15 against the Rockies at Petco Park. He was perfect for 7 1/3 innings — the second-longest perfect-game bid in franchise history. In his two starts since, however, Lyles has given up nine runs on 14 hits and six walks with eight strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings.
Lyles will be making his sixth career appearance and fourth start against the Marlins on Thursday. Thus far, he has not had great success against Miami, going 1-1 with a 7.00 ERA, a 1.72 WHIP and a .292 opponents’ batting average against the Marlins. He has given up 14 runs on 21 hits and 10 walks with 14 strikeouts in 18 innings.
Chen, 32, a 6-foot, 193-pound native of Taiwan, will be making his seventh start of the season for the Marlins after starting the year on the disabled list with an elbow strain. He was activated April 28.
Chen has worked 29 1/3 innings this season, giving up 17 runs on 27 hits and 14 walks with 20 strikeouts and a 1.40 WHIP.
But Chen’s numbers have improved drastically over his last three starts. He has a 1.59 ERA over 17 innings in those starts, giving up 11 hits and six walks with 14 strikeouts. Opposing hitters have batted .188 against Chen in those starts with two extra-base hits.
However, in his two starts before his recent three-start run, Chen gave up 13 earned runs in seven innings. Ten of the 12 hits he gave up went for extra bases. The opposing hitters in those two games batted .400 with four doubles, a triple and five homers for a 1.100 slugging percentage.
Chen will be making his second career start against the Padres. On June 13, 2016, Chen earned the victory against San Diego, allowing four runs on seven hits and a walk with seven strikeouts over six innings. All four runs came on solo homers.