With a rookie pitcher on the mound, the Florida Marlins will look to continue their recent dominance over the Milwaukee Brewers on Tuesday in the middle game of their three-game set at Dolphin Stadium.
Rick Vanden Hurk, a 21-year-old native of the Netherlands, will make his major league debut for the Marlins (5-2) on Tuesday, replacing Ricky Nolasco, who was placed on the disabled list with elbow inflammation. Vanden Hurk was recalled from Double-A Carolina, but has never pitched higher than the Class A level.
The right-hander will try to help Florida to a 10th straight win over Milwaukee. The Brewers dropped all seven meetings between the teams last season, and have lost seven in a row at Dolphin Stadium.
The Brewers will aim to reverse their fortunes against Vanden Hurk, who has already had ligament replacement surgery on his pitching arm. He has a 5-12 record and a 3.47 ERA in 39 career minor league games.
“I’m going pretty crazy right now,” said Vanden Hurk, whose family is expected to fly in from Holland for Tuesday’s contest. “Getting the call up, it means a lot. Getting the first big start, that’s pretty exciting.”
Miguel Cabrera went 1-for-2 and hit his third homer Monday as the Marlins won 5-3 in the series opener. Cabrera, who was recently named this season’s first NL player of the week, is 12-for-24 with eight runs scored and 11 RBIs.
“I feel good,” Cabrera said. “I’m seeing good pitches to hit.”
Cabrera is 4-for-11 with two homers and four RBIs against Claudio Vargas (0-0, 13.50 ERA), who will take the mound for the Brewers on Tuesday.
Florida is batting .311 as a team and averaging 6.4 runs through its first seven games.
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez could be in the lineup Tuesday after missing Monday’s game with a stiff right hamstring.
Monday’s loss was the fourth in five games for Milwaukee (3-4) after its 2-0 start. The Brewers’ nine-game losing streak to the Marlins matches the longest active streak between teams in the majors.
“It’s our first loss to the Marlins this year,” Milwaukee manager Ned Yost said. “I don’t care about any other year. I don’t care about anything but tonight.”
Though the Brewers offense broke out in a 9-4 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday, it managed only three runs Monday for third time in four games. On the positive side, Geoff Jenkins homered in his third straight game. The veteran outfielder also has six RBIs in his last three contests.
Vargas will make his first start of the season for the Brewers. The right-hander allowed three runs and five hits in two innings of relief work in Friday’s 9-3 loss to Chicago.
Vargas went 12-10 with a 4.83 ERA in 31 games with Arizona last season, setting a career high in wins. He is 3-3 with a 3.79 ERA in nine career games - six starts - against Florida. He pitched one of his finest games at Florida last Sept. 5, when he allowed just four hits in seven innings to earn the win in the Diamondbacks’ 4-0 victory.