Colorado Rockies at Miami Marlins series primer

BY foxsports • June 11, 2015

Series like the one in Toronto -- getting swept and outscored by the Blue Jays 22-8 -- are tough to swallow when the Washington Nationals have lost eight of 10 and the New York Mets have dropped six of eight.

When the Miami Marlins crossed the border earlier this week, they were winners of four of their past five series. The lone blemish? A series sweep at Pittsburgh.

Miami (24-36) returns for a six-game homestand beginning on Thursday with the Colorado Rockies. Last week at Coors Field, Miami took two of three. The Rockies (27-31) bounced back to beat the St. Louis Cardinals in two of three.

The first two pitching matchups of the four-game weekend series will be rematches of the visit to Denver.

Right-hander David Phelps surrendered a season-high nine runs on 11 hits, including two homers, over 3 2/3 innings in a 10-5 loss to the Rockies. Righty Chris Rusin, meanwhile, making just his second start (third appearance) of the season, cruised with the early lead over seven innings of two-run ball.

Rookie Jose Urena enters his fourth big-league start with momentum. Not only has he gone six innings in each of the past two outings, but on Sunday in Colorado, Urena allowed just one run on three hits with four strikeouts and two walks. Kyle Kendrick, who has an opponent-high 14 career wins against the Marlins, kept pace with two runs on five hits over seven frames.

Right-hander Mat Latos will return to the rotation to start Saturday's game. He had been on the 15-day disabled list with left knee inflammation. He made a rehab start on Monday for Triple-A New Orleans, giving up one run on three hits with five walks and four strikeouts over 4 2/3 innings. Righty David Hale has won two of his three starts, including his most recent against the Cardinals. Over seven innings, he permitted three runs with seven strikeouts.

In the series finale, Dan Haren looks to continue his impressive 2015. Haren, who hasn't lost since May 12, went seven innings in Toronto, allowing two runs on just three hits over seven frames. Southpaw Jorge De La Rosa, originally scheduled to pitch in the previous Marlins-Rockies series, was scratched because of a cut on his throwing hand. Like Haren on Tuesday, De La Rosa went seven innings of two-run, three-hit ball.

Here's a look at the upcoming Rockies-Marlins four-game series:

SCHEDULE AND PROBABLE PITCHERS

WHO'S HOT

2B DJ LeMahieu (Rockies): Over his last 11 games, LeMahieu has multiple hits in six of them for a .426 average (20 for 47). During the three-game set with the Cardinals, he went 7 for 13 with three runs, three doubles and two RBI.

RF Giancarlo Stanton (Marlins): In Toronto, Stanton took over the major-league home run lead (21) by blasting three, including a pair on Tuesday. He went 6 for 11 with four runs, two doubles and four RBI. Stanton walked once and struck out just twice.

WHO'S NOT

CF Charlie Blackmon (Rockies): Though Blackmon has an eight-game hitting streak, he has mustered just one hit — all singles — in each of the past four contests. Facing Cardinals pitching, he went 3 for 13 with two runs and a strikeout.

1B Justin Bour (Marlins): Dating back to the Chicago Cubs series (June 1-2), Bour is 1 for 21 with two walks and eight strikeouts. This comes after a stretch of three consecutive games (May 27, 29, 31) with a homer.

STORYLINES

.246: Road average for the Rockies. They are tied with the San Francisco Giants for the major-league lead in overall batting average (.275) thanks to a .300 home clip.

.174: Average at Marlins Park (4 for 23) for DJ LeMahieu in seven games (six starts). He has a .320 overall average against the Marlins over 21 games.

.429: Home winning percentage (12-16 record) for the Marlins, third worst in the NL and 25th in the big leagues

37: RBI for Giancarlo Stanton in 34 games against the Rockies. He has a .323 average, 13 doubles and 12 homers to go along with the runs driven in.

QUOTE BOARD

"Tough to come in and get swept in the series. Obviously we ran into a very hot Blue Jay team. They can swing the bats. They're as good a hitting club as we've faced to this point. When we made mistakes they made us pay (with) the back-to-back homers in the fourth and seventh. They punished the ball. When they find them they hunt the fastball and when you make a mistake with it they're swinging." -- Manager Dan Jennings on facing a hot Toronto ballclub that has won eight in a row

"Forget about this. We get to play again tomorrow. We've got to put this behind us and get back to winning series." -- Catcher Jeff Mathis on getting swept

"It's not a conscious effort. You're not trying to give up homers in any game. The key is to try and keep the ball down and on the ground. The way you win ballgames is by limiting walks and keeping the ball in the ballpark, and I didn't keep it in the ballpark today. It's tough to win a game when you give up three homers, no matter who you're facing." -- Right-hander Tom Koehler on surrendering three homers in Wednesday's loss

PROMOTIONS & GIVEAWAYS

June 11 -- Marlins Add-A-Cap Thursday Group Offer; Seniors Free Ticket Thursday presented by Wellmax Medicals Centers (55 and older); Subway Restaurants $5 Ticket Offer

June 12 -- Corona Light Summer Beach Bash; Happy Hour at the Budweiser Bow Tie Bar (pregame); Fireworks Friday (postgame)

June 13 -- Marlins Summer Concert Series with Gente de Zona; Saturday Spectacular (postgame party); All You Can Eat Seats; Bark at the Park with the Humane Society of Greater Miami and Adopt-O-Mania with Miami-Dade County Animal Services; Venezuelan Heritage Day; FSU Alumni Night; Clevelander Beerfest

June 14 -- Marlins Recyclable Grocery Tote Bag courtesy of MLB Network (all fans); Diamond Dash (postgame); Girl Scouts Day; Marlins Foundation Play Catch with Dad (postgame); Pepsi 4-for-$74; Selfie Sunday (photos with player pregame); Sunday Funday

LOOKING AHEAD

The Marlins host the New York Yankees for two games before embarking on a five-game trip to New York City and Cincinnati.

You can follow Christina De Nicola on Twitter @CDeNicola13 or email her at cdenicola13@gmail.com.


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