Young Marlins take on struggling O’s

BALTIMORE — The young Miami Marlins are coming off a tough 16-inning loss to the San Francisco Giants on Thursday. However, the Marlins did take three of four games in that home series.

But the Baltimore Orioles have been on another skid. They’ve lost seven in a row, and the Boston Red Sox swept a three-game series in Baltimore this week. The Orioles had a day off Thursday but will somehow need to find some offense when they face Miami to begin a weekend series at Camden Yards Friday.

Jose Urena (1-8, 4.59 ERA) starts for Miami. Urena won 14 games last year but dropped his first seven this season despite not pitching too badly.

This will be the right-hander’s first career appearance versus the Orioles.

Kevin Gausman starts for Baltimore. He is 3-5 with a 4.58 ERA this season and has been very effective on several occasions. Home runs have hurt the right-hander this year, though, as Gausman has allowed 14 homers in 76 2/3 innings.

This will also be Gausman’s first appearance against Miami in his career.

The biggest problem for Baltimore right now is that anemic offense. After Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to the Red Sox, the Orioles ranked last in the American League — and next-to-last in the majors — with a .226 batting average.

Chris Davis is hitting .150 with four homers and just 15 RBIs so far this season for Baltimore, and has been getting more and more time off, especially against left-handed pitchers. Trey Mancini is struggling, along with Jonathan Schoop and others.

To make things worse, even though the Orioles just got back closer Zach Britton — he had been sidelined following Achilles tendon surgery in the offseason — the team has just lost Richard Bleier. The left-hander has been one of the most consistent pitchers coming out of the bullpen but suffered what might be an injury to the latissimus dorsi muscle. And those take a long time to heal. Bleier was scheduled for a Thursday MRI.

“It’s got the characteristics of a lat, so we’ll see,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said in The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday. “Hope for the best. Obviously, he was in a lot of discomfort, so we’ll see. He never had anything like that before. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him for very long. He was pretty down as you can imagine.”

Miami will be coming to town after that nearly five-hour loss to the Giants on Thursday. The Marlins tied it in the ninth but the Giants got three in the 16th for a 6-3 win.

The Marlins played tough while winning the first three games of that series against San Francisco. Manager Bruce Bochy joked to the media that he was very happy to get his Giants out of Miami.

“For four straight games we’ve been fighting, clawing, getting back into it,” Marlins outfielder JB Shuck told the Miami Herald. “We didn’t give up. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to win that one.”

Also, for the Marlins, pitcher Caleb Smith has left the team because of a funeral and will apparently go on bereavement list.