Phillies try to solve mystery of scoring against Marlins’ Peters

Miami Marlins left-hander Dillon Peters has made seven career starts in the major leagues. None of them have gone quite as well as his big league debut against the Philadelphia Phillies in September.

Peters (1-0, 0.00 ERA) tossed seven scoreless innings and had eight strikeouts against the Marlins’ divisional opponent on Sept. 1, 2017. He’ll get another look at the Phillies on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park.

Peters had a good debut in 2018, too. The 25-year-old threw six shutout innings against the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, working around six hits and a walk.

“He was able to slow them down, and I think that makes his fastball better,” Miami manager Don Mattingly told FOX Sports Florida about Peters, who made the rotation out of spring training.

“He sprayed the fastball in that first inning, but after that he was able to settle down and throw enough strikes with it that they had to respect it. Then the change came out a little bit later.”

Peters will be facing a Phillies offense that showed more life in the team’s home opener Thursday.

The Phillies beat the Marlins 5-0 in the first of a three-game set before Friday’s off day. Third baseman Maikel Franco was 3-for-4 with his first home run of the season, a triple and four RBIs.

“I saw a lot of battle. He got down in a couple of counts and was able to battle back and get two monster hits for us,” Phillies first-year manager Gabe Kapler told MLB.com about Franco’s big game.

“The line-drive trajectory on his ball has been really consistent from spring training to this point. He hasn’t always had much to show for it, but I can tell you the feeling of being in the batter’s box and hitting balls on the nose gives you confidence in your next at-bats and eventually that confidence leads to results.”

Kapler heard some boos from an already frustrated fan base when he was introduced Thursday. But the Citizens Bank Park crowd of 44,488 was cheering by the end of the team’s second victory of the season.

The Phillies can claim their first series win of 2018 with another weekend victory against the Marlins. They’ll turn to right-hander Vince Velasquez on Saturday.

Velasquez (0-1, 13.50 ERA) had a forgettable season debut. The hard-throwing right-hander surrendered seven runs (four earned) and nine hits in 2 2/3 innings against the Atlanta Braves on March 31.

Velasquez has had some success against Miami in six previous starts against the club. He is 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA against the Marlins. The ERA is Velasquez’s lowest against any opponent he has faced more than twice.

The Marlins were shut out for the first time in seven games this season in the series opener. Third baseman Brian Anderson was able to extend his hitting streak, however. Anderson, 24, has hit safely in each of Miami’s first seven games and carries a .321 average and .957 OPS into Saturday’s game.