Marlins return home for rematch vs. Athletics (Jun 13, 2017)
MIAMI -- Welcome home.
That's the greeting for the Miami Marlins (27-35) as they arrive back in town after a 3-4 road trip.
That's also the greeting for Oakland Athletics pitcher Jharel Cotton, a former Miami Dade College standout who will start against the Marlins for the first time in his career on Tuesday.
And, in keeping with the theme, with a slight variation, it is expected to be "welcome back" for Miami slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who should make his first start since getting hit by a pitch on Saturday.
Stanton, who has a bruised right wrist, did not start Sunday but did get in the game as a pinch hitter. He struck out.
Still, barring a setback, Stanton will be in Tuesday's lineup.
"It's still a little swollen, a little sore," Marlins manager Don Mattingly told the media on Sunday. "Right now, (Tuesday) is what we're hoping for (his next start)."
Stanton is hitting .361 with five homers and 12 RBIs since May 23, which is when the Marlins played at Oakland. That was also the game when Mattingly switched Stanton from cleanup to second in the batting order, a move that has brought life to the entire team.
Meanwhile, the A's (27-36), who are in last place in the American League West, are 9-23 on the road and have made 62 errors overall, the most in the majors through Sunday's games.
They have lost eight consecutive road series. That is the franchise's worst stretch since they dropped nine straight road series in 1986.
"It's been frustrating," Oakland manager Bob Melvin told the media on Sunday.
The A's, who have lost eight games this year when they have had 10 or more hits, are hoping Cotton (3-6, 5.20 ERA) will give them a lift.
Unlike the majority of the team, Cotton has actually been good away from home this year. He is 2-3 with a stellar 2.83 ERA in five road starts, striking out 28 in 28 innings. He has a 7.76 ERA in five home starts
Overall, though, Cotton has struggled of late, posting a 6.04 ERA in his past four starts. He has issued 11 walks in 17 innings over his past three outings.
Cotton was a revelation in five late-season starts as a rookie last season. He went 2-0 with a 2.15 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP.
This year, he has a 1.43 WHIP, and walks are his biggest problem. His walk rate per nine innings last year was 1.2 This year, it is 4.4.
Cotton will be opposed by Miami starter Jose Urena (4-2, 4.62 ERA).
The hardest thrower in the Miami rotation with a fastball that averages 96 mph, Urena beat the A's on May 23, the only time he has faced them. However, he allowed two homers and six runs in five innings in that game.
Like Cotton, Urena is a 25-year-old right-hander. But Urena needs to turn things around because he has allowed six homers in his past four starts.
Three hitters to watch in Tuesday's game are Athletics infielders Yonder Alonso and Jed Lowrie and Marlins left fielder Marcell Ozuna.
Yonder, a former University of Miami star, is batting .310 and usually hits in the middle of Oakland's lineup. Lowrie is hitting .293 and was terrific when the A's hosted the Marlins last month, going 6-for-8 with four doubles and four runs scored.
Ozuna is hitting .369 with 10 homers and 25 RBIs in 25 games at home this season.