The Miami Marlins, who stumbled to a 7-19 record in May, suddenly possess a hot offense as they return home to start a seven-game homestand.
First up for Miami: four games against the San Francisco Giants, beginning Thursday night.
That Marlins scored 26 runs while in splitting a doubleheader with the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday in Denver.
“We have to hit as a team,” Marlins second baseman Jazz Chisholm Jr. said after he homered and drove in four runs in Miami’s 14-1 win over Colorado in the opener of the doubleheader.
The Marlins posted double-figure runs again in the nightcap but wound up taking a 13-12 loss in 10 innings. Colorado’s Brendan Rodgers capped his three-homer game with a walk-off blast in the bottom of the 10th.
Prior to Wednesday’s double dip, the Marlins had lost eight of 10 games while averaging just three runs per contest during that span.
On Thursday, Miami will face Giants left-hander Alex Wood (3-4, 4.81 ERA). Wood has done well in his career against the Marlins, going 8-4 with a 2.50 ERA in 17 appearances, including 14 starts.
Miami will start Sandy Alcantara (5-2, 2.00 ERA). The right-hander has yet to beat the Giants, going 0-2 with a 3.00 ERA in six appearances, including five starts.
In his career pitching at Miami, Alcantara is 11-18 with a 3.11 ERA in 43 starts. Alcantara has a 2.00 ERA in 10 games pitching to Gold Glove catcher Jacob Stallings, who is new to the team this year. Stallings is hitting .217 with one homer and 17 RBIs through 43 games.
San Francisco is also getting little offense from its top catcher, as Joey Bart is struggling in this his first full year in the majors.
Bart, who was the second overall pick in the 2018 draft, had the night off on Wednesday. He is hitting just .153 with a .600 OPS.
The 25-year-old batted .214 with a .792 OPS in April. In May, he hit .093 with a .413 OPS.
“It hasn’t been the start I wanted, but I’m in full-on work mode,” said Bart, who has dedicated a great deal of time to his defense and his handling of pitchers. “It’s about learning and adapting every day.”
Bart, who has one homer in five career at-bats against the Marlins, has caught Wood four times. In those games, Wood has a 7.64 ERA.
Giants backup catcher Curt Casali is beyond solid. Last year, San Francisco went 42-13 in Casali’s starts. Casali caught five shutouts in a row at one point, becoming just the fifth catcher with a streak that long since 1900.
This year, Casali is hitting .250 with a .772 OPS after going 0-for-4 on Wednesday as the Giants lost 6-5 to the host Philadelphia Phillies. San Francisco still won the series two games to one.
The Giants expect to be healthier for the Miami series. Third baseman Evan Longoria (sore right shoulder) did not start on Wednesday but was used as a pinch hitter. Outfielder Austin Slater (left wrist inflammation) is eligible to come off the injured list on Thursday and has been traveling with the team, taking batting practice.
Miami’s injury situation includes a pair of third basemen — Brian Anderson (lower back spasms) and Joey Wendle (strained left hamstring) — who were placed on the injured list on Wednesday.
Luke Williams started at third base in the first game of the Wednesday doubleheader, and he went 2-for-5 with a run in his Marlins debut. He appeared off the bench in the nightcap but didn’t get a plate appearance.
Williams, 25, went 3-for-12 in eight games with the Giants earlier this season before he was sent to the minors early last month. The Marlins acquired him in a May 26 trade in exchange for minor league infielder Hayden Cantrelle.
–Field Level Media