Reds look to Romano and his fastball to try to bounce back vs. Miami
MIAMI -- Right-hander Sal Romano, one of the Cincinnati Reds' final cuts out of spring training, has battled back and is getting an extended opportunity.
Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. on FOX Sports Ohio
Romano (2-2, 5.50 ERA) faces the host Miami Marlins on Friday night. Miami will throw right-hander Vance Worley (0-2, 6.37).
Romano, a 23rd-round pick out of his Connecticut high school in 2011, made his major league debut April 16, taking the loss and getting sent back to the minors. He missed more than a month at Triple-A Louisville (shoulder) and managed little success there (1-4, 3.47 ERA).
But, like most teams this time of year, the Reds need pitching help and Romano was recalled July 6, when he won his first big-league game by defeating the Colorado Rockies 6-3.
Romano beat the Marlins by the same score Sunday, allowing one run, three hits and a walk while striking out seven in six innings.
"He had success off his fastball," Reds manager Bryan Price said of Romano, who began the season as the Reds' eighth-ranked prospect.
Indeed, Romano might have the best fastball in the Reds' organization.
Worley has made 12 appearances this season (four starts). He has a decent career line against the Reds, whom he last faced in 2015. In seven career appearances (five starts) against Cincinnati, he is 2-1 with a 3.38 ERA.
Worley, a 29-year-old California native, is the definition of a journeyman pitcher with a 33-30 career record.
The Marlins are hoping to get enough out of Worley to keep their momentum going. The Marlins (47-53) beat the Reds 4-1 in the series opener Thursday and have won five of their past seven games.
Meanwhile, the Reds (41-61) have lost four games in a row and 12 of their past 14. The Reds have also lost six straight games at Marlins Park.
The Marlins have several hot hitters at the moment. For example, third baseman Derek Dietrich has eight RBIs in the past two games after driving in a career-high five Wednesday.
Left fielder Marcell Ozuna is hitting .313 and has been Miami's best hitter this season. He is also 7-for-11 with 16 RBIs with the bases loaded. His seven hits in that situation -- a total that includes a double, triple and grand slam -- are second in the National League.
Miami right fielder Giancarlo Stanton went 0-for-2 on Thursday, but drew three walks as teams continue to pitch to him carefully.
Stanton leads the majors with 33 homers and has 98 career homers at Marlins Park. His 12 homers in July tie Dan Uggla (2008 and 2012) for the club record for any month.
Stanton is on pace for 53 homers this year. That would shatter the club record, 42 by Gary Sheffield in 1996.
Another factor in Friday's game, potentially, is Marlins closer A.J. Ramos. He earned his 20th save of the season Thursday, getting four outs.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly said he would have no problems going back to Ramos again Friday.
"I know he's strong," Mattingly said of Ramos, who has been rumored as trade bait as the Marlins may look to rebuild and get prospects in return. "I know he bounces back.
"In two years here, he's probably never been sore, which is amazing for a guy we use a lot. He's probably the only guy I've ever been around who never gets sore."