Hanley Ramirez isn’t playing in next week’s All-Star game, but
he’s finally looking more like a three-time All-Star following a
Ramirez looks to stay hot as the Florida Marlins try to match
their season-high four-game winning streak Saturday night against
the Houston Astros.
After hitting .300 or better each of the last four years,
Ramirez was hitting .200 through June 20. Since then, he’s batted
.400 while driving in 18 runs in 16 games, going 3 for 3 with home
run and a walk in Friday’s 6-3 win over the Astros.
“When you go through those moments you just have to fight and
fight,” Ramirez said of his early struggles. “I wasn’t feeling
anything at home plate. I was a different guy.”
Ramirez is 13 for 29 with three home runs and 11 RBIs in July.
Mike Stanton has also been hot this month, driving in a pair of
runs Friday to give him five RBIs in the last three games.
The duo has helped Florida (41-48) win the first two games of
this series after it beat Philadelphia 7-6 in 10 innings Wednesday.
The Marlins have won seven of 10 overall and Saturday can match
their longest winning streak of the season, set April 19-22.
The team is hitting .323 the last three games, scoring 18
“I told you guys, when we beat the Phillies in that walkoff,
that was going to be our rhythm,” Ramirez said. “Everything has
Florida is 4-1 against the Astros (30-60) this year and has won
12 of the last 14 between the teams at home.
Ramirez has hit well against Saturday’s scheduled starter Brett
Myers (3-8, 4.67 ERA), who will try to avoid a third straight loss.
The right-hander gave up five runs and a career-high 13 hits in six
innings of a 5-3 loss to Pittsburgh on Monday.
Myers is 0-4 with a 7.90 ERA in his last six starts against
Florida. He did not receive the decision in a 7-5 Houston win over
the Marlins last year after giving up four runs in seven
Ramirez is 11 for 31 against Myers with a home run and three
Myers takes the mound after Houston set a franchise record for
losses before the All-Star break Friday. The Astros have dropped 12
of their last 14, totaling eight runs in their last five
Michael Bourn continues to be one of the few consistently
productive players for Houston, adding another two hits Friday.
He’s hitting .330 over the last 21 games.
Hunter Pence is 0 for 7 with three strikeouts in this series
while Jeff Keppinger is 1 for 8.
The Astros hope to do more damage against Ricky Nolasco (5-5,
3.91) than the last time they faced him.
Nolasco was sharp against Houston on April 8, giving up two runs
in eight innings of a 4-3 victory – his fourth win in five starts
versus the Astros.
Despite losing five of his last six decisions overall, Nolasco
has pitched well lately. After a five-hit shutout against Oakland
on June 29, he gave up one run in seven innings of a 1-0 loss to
Philadelphia on Monday.