Dontrelle Willis is having little trouble adjusting to the major leagues.
Willis, who will be making just the seventh start of his career, has been a pleasant surprise for the Marlins this season. Over his past three starts, the 21-year-old lefty is 3-0 with a 0.41 ERA.
On Thursday, he went seven innings, giving up five hits in a 2-0 win over the Oakland Athletics.
“Another outstanding job by the young left-hander,” Marlins manager Jack McKeon said. “He’s getting better and better. Once again he shut them down and did an excellent job.”
While Willis will look to provide Florida with another strong start, the Marlins will try to duplicate the offensive productivity they displayed in Tuesday’s series opener.
However, it was Lee who provided the most welcome offensive burst for the Marlins. The veteran first baseman had been in a 1-for-16 skid before going 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs on Tuesday.
Florida has won its last six games against Milwaukee. The Brewers have lost three straight overall and have been outscored 32-15 in those games.
STANDINGS: Marlins - 4th place, 14 1/2 GB, NL East. Brewers - 6th place, 10 GB, NL Central.
MARLINS PROBABLE STARTER: Willis (4-1, 3.00 ERA). In Thursday’s win over the A’s, Willis struck out four and walked three. He will be making his first-ever start against the Brewers.
BREWERS PROBABLE STARTER: Wayne Franklin (3-4, 5.12 ERA). Franklin has not earned a decision in any of his past three starts, giving up eight runs in 18 innings over that span. On Friday, the 29-year-old lefty worked 5 2-3 innings, allowing three runs and four hits in the Brewers’ 9-3 win over the Boston Red Sox. He has no record and a 3.38 ERA in four career games against the Marlins.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Marlins - Alex Gonzalez, .332 avg.; Lowell, 18 HRs, 51 RBIs and 42 runs; Juan Pierre, 25 SBs. Brewers - Geoff Jenkins, .266 avg.; Richie Sexson, 19 HRs, 45 RBIs and 46 runs; Eric Young, 16 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Marlins, 4-0.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Marlins - The Marlins recalled RHP Kevin Olsen from Albuquerque and optioned RHP Vladimir Nunez to the Triple-A team. … 3B Lowell is hitless in five career at-bats against Franklin. … RHP Braden Looper has six saves and a 1.08 ERA in his last seven appearances. Brewers - RHP Todd Ritchie will have surgery June 17 to repair the rotator cuff in his right shoulder, ending his season after five starts. He’s been on the 15-day disabled list since April 25 with right shoulder fatigue. … CF Shane Podsednik, who went 2-for-5 on Tuesday, has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games. … General Manager Doug Melvin had successful surgery Tuesday to repair a herniated disk in his back. He will be recuperating for a few days and will then have to wear a neck brace for a short time during his rehabilitation.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Marlins - 12-19 on the road; Brewers - 11-22 at home.
INJURIES: 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. Brewers - RHP Nick Neugebauer (shoulder), 15-day DL; RHP Todd Ritchie (shoulder), 15-day DL.