Florida starter Carl Pavano will look to rebound from one of the worst outings of his career when he faces the defending World Series champion Anaheim Angels in the opener of a three-game series at Pro Player Stadium.
Pavano gave up a career high-tying nine earned runs and nine hits over just 3 1-3 innings in a 9-6 loss Sunday to the Cincinnati Reds. The nine runs were the most ever given up by a Florida pitcher at Pro Player.
“Overall, I left the ball up and it was flying all over the yard,” said Pavano, who gave up seven runs in the fourth. “I was pressing a little bit. It’s a lot easier to hit them when they are up than when they are down in the zone.”
The demoralizing loss came one start after Pavano gave up just one earned run and five hits in a 5-1 complete-game win over the Montreal Expos.
“Pavano just had a bad day,” Marlins catcher Ivan Rodriguez said. “He’s been pitching great for us. It’s just one bad day.
“He threw some pitches that could have been called strikes, but were not called. We can’t do anything about that. It was just a bad day overall.”
Pavano could have his hands full against the Angels, who come in after hitting 15 home runs in taking two of three from the Montreal Expos.
Anaheim, which outscored the Expos 33-14 in the series, missed a chance to climb a season-high three games above .500.
The Marlins beat the Oakland Athletics 2-0 on Thursday, their third win in five games and eighth in 12.
Florida, which has the third-best interleague record in the majors (63-42), handed Oakland its first shutout since Sept. 17, 2002.
“I’m glad we pulled out a close one because, one, we won the series and, two, we have momentum going against a very good Anaheim team,” said rookie left-hander Dontrelle Willis, who pitched seven strong innings for the win.
STANDINGS: Angels - 3rd place, 10 1/2 GB, AL West. Marlins - 4th place, 13 GB, NL East.
ANGELS PROBABLE STARTER: Kevin Appier (4-2, 4.75 ERA). Appier gave up one earned run and eight hits over 8 2-3 innings in a 6-1 win over the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Saturday. The veteran right-hander has won two straight starts and his last three decisions. In six career starts against the Marlins, he is 2-1 with a strong 2.95 ERA.
MARLINS PROBABLE STARTER: Pavano (4-6, 4.54 ERA). The 27-year-old righty has never faced Anaheim.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Angels - Anderson, .315 avg. and 53 RBIs; Troy Glaus, 13 HRs and 39 runs; Adam Kennedy, 9 SBs. Marlins - Alex Gonzalez, .335 avg.; Mike Lowell, 18 HRs, 49 RBIs and 39 runs; Juan Pierre, 24 SBs.
INTERLEAGUE RECORDS: Angels - 2-1; Marlins - 2-1.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Angels - RHP Troy Percival, who has been out two weeks with an injured hip, is expected to be activated from the disabled list on Saturday. … OF Eric Owens hit .261 with nine homers and 65 RBIs in two seasons with the Marlins before signing with the Angels as a free agent in December. … The Angels rank third in the American League with 65 homers. Marlins - Florida starting pitchers have allowed only one home run in the last 11 games. … RHP Vladimir Nunez was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque after Wednesday’s game, and LHP Juan Alvarez was sent down to make room. … OF Brian Banks did not start Thursday night, but said he was feeling fine after being hit in the helmet by a fastball Wednesday night.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Angels - 14-16 on the road; Marlins - 17-14 at home.
INJURIES: Angels - OF Darin Erstad (hamstring), 15-day DL; RHP Percival (hip), 15-day DL; RHP Matt Wise (elbow), 60-day DL. Marlins - RHP Josh Beckett (elbow), 15-day DL; RHP Toby Borland (appendicitis), 15-day DL; RHP A.J. Burnett (elbow), 60-day DL; OF Abraham Nunez (hamstring), 60-day DL.