MLB Baseball: Miami vs Cincinnati live match
In four series this season, the Miami Marlins have yet to win any.
That trend continued on Wednesday as they lost to the host Cincinnati Reds 2-1 — blowing a one-run lead in the eighth.
“It was tough to swallow,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Wednesday’s loss. “We just have to keep grinding and hopefully come out of it in a big way.”
The Marlins also lost to the Reds on Tuesday, getting embarrassed 14-0.
On Thursday afternoon, the Marlins will try to avoid getting swept for the second time this season, and they will send rookie right-hander Pablo Lopez (1-1, 6.10 ERA) to the mound.
Cincinnati will start veteran right-hander Sonny Gray (0-2, 2.89 ERA), who has pitched in poor luck so far this season. Last Friday, Gray gave up a first-inning single and then retired the next 16 batters. He struck out seven and walked none in 6 2/3 innings.
“I want to go after guys,” Gray said of his pitching mentality. “I need to command the ball.”
That wasn’t a problem in his most recent start. In fact, Reds starting pitching has been very good lately. In this Miami series, Tyler Mahle allowed just one run in five innings on Wednesday and Luis Castillo pitched seven scoreless frames on Tuesday.
In addition to those good performances from the rotation, the Reds have hit seven homers in this series, including five on Tuesday.
Lopez will try to keep the ball in the park on Thursday. He has allowed two homers in two starts this season, and the 23-year-old has yet to find his groove. Lopez posted a 4.14 ERA in 10 starts last season.
He had five quality starts last season but none so far this year. This will be his first time facing the Reds, and he is just 1-2 with a 5.27 ERA in five career road starts.
Overall, the Marlins have lost three games in a row, scoring a total of just four runs during that span.
Gray hasn’t faced the Marlins since 2017, when he beat them by allowing just one run and three hits. Miami’s lineup has changed significantly since then, however, with numerous elite-level departures such as Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna and Dee Gordon.
Assuming Gray does not pitch a complete game on Thursday, he will surely hope for continued good work from the Reds bullpen. In six relief innings in this series, the Reds have allowed just three hits and no runs, striking out 11.
Miami’s bullpen has been a disaster in this series, allowing 10 hits and 12 runs in five innings. Drew Steckenrider took the loss on Wednesday, and fellow reliever Wei-Yin Chen poured gasoline on a pitching fire on Tuesday.
The Reds, who on Wednesday got manager David Bell back from a one-game suspension for his role in a fracas against the Pirates, will have right fielder Yasiel Puig available on Thursday. On Wednesday, Puig sat the last of his two-game suspension for the same incident.
As for Miami, look for catcher Jorge Alfaro to skip the start. He has been hit by a bat two straight games, and catchers often rest during a day game following a night contest.
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