Diamondbacks-Marlins Preview

Facing an offensively challenged Miami Marlins team that’s been

particularly bad against left-handers lately, Wade Miley appears to

be in a good spot to rebound from his worst outing of the

season.

Miley will try to keep the Miami bats quiet and lead the Arizona

Diamondbacks to their fifth straight win in the finale of a

three-game series at Marlins Park on Sunday.

The Diamondbacks (25-18) moved into sole possession of first

place in the NL West on Saturday after Brandon McCarthy pitched a

three-hitter to beat the Marlins 1-0, Arizona’s ninth win in 12

games.

“He just got on a roll and we left him in there,” manager Kirk

Gibson said. “He did it quickly, that was the best sign of

all.”

Arizona starters have keyed the team’s success during the past

12 contests, posting a 2.32 ERA and pitching at least seven innings

seven times.

Miley (3-2, 3.75 ERA) contributed one of those strong starts,

but his next outing didn’t go well. The left-hander allowed a

season-high seven runs over five innings of a 10-1 loss to Atlanta

on Monday.

“He didn’t make the pitches he needed to make,” manager Kirk

Gibson said.

Miley, though, may be able to bounce back Sunday. He’s given up

one run and five hits over 14 1-3 innings while winning his two

career starts against the Marlins.

Miley faces a Miami team that ranks last in the major leagues

with a .221 batting average and 2.67 runs per game. The NL-worst

Marlins (11-32), losers of seven straight, are hitting .188 with

five extra-base hits in their last five games against

left-handers.

Greg Dobbs (.139), Juan Pierre (.152), Adeiny Hechavarria (.154)

and Rob Brantly (.091) have endured the biggest struggles against

lefties among the Marlins.

Miami has totaled three runs for Ricky Nolasco (2-5, 4.39) in

his past three starts, though the right-hander allowed 10 runs over

11 innings in two of them. He lost all three games.

Nolasco gave up a season-high six runs in five innings of a 6-2

defeat to Cincinnati on Tuesday.

“It kind of stems from our offense, with him going out there he

knows he can’t give up much,” manager Mike Redmond said. “He’s

trying to be perfect.”

Nolasco has gone 5-2 with a 4.62 ERA in eight career starts

against the Diamondbacks, but he’s allowed 14 runs – 10 earned –

and 14 hits over eight innings in the last two.

Arizona’s Gerardo Parra, who hit a leadoff homer to account for

the only run Saturday, is 13 for 28 during a seven-game hitting

streak. Teammate Paul Goldschmidt has gone 11 for 20 with three

homers and five doubles over his last five games.

Miami hasn’t lost eight in a row since an 11-game skid June

11-20, 2011.