Derek Lowe has had a hand in each of the Los Angeles Dodgers’ last two series wins over the Florida Marlins. He’ll try to clinch a third straight when the teams wrap up a four-game set at Dolphin Stadium on Thursday.
The right-hander is 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA and .184 opponent batting average in his last two starts against the Marlins.
Los Angeles (20-14) also has taken seven of its last nine meetings from Florida, including five of six in Miami. Brett Tomko carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning for his first victory of 2007 and drove in a run with a suicide squeeze in the Dodgers’ 5-3 win on Wednesday night.
“For a pitcher to get his first win, a lot of times it’s like a hitter getting his first hit of the season,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said. “It’s good to get it out of the way, because it could be something that would be on his mind more than it should.”
Russell Martin, Wilson Valdez and Brady Clark each had two of the Dodgers’ 10 hits, improving them to 10-1 when they reach double-digits. They’ll try to continue that support as Lowe (3-3, 3.89 ERA) looks to follow up one of his best starts of the season.
The right-hander held Atlanta to one unearned run and season-lows of three hits and eight strikeouts over seven innings in a 6-3 win on Saturday.
“That’s the nastiest stuff I’ve seen since I’ve been up,” said Braves’ right fielder Jeff Francoeur, who went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Lowe is 5-2 with a 4.29 ERA in 11 career games, including six starts, versus Florida (15-18). Marlins third baseman Miguel Cabrera, who is batting .348 this season, is 0-for-13 during his career against Lowe.
Mike Jacobs was held out of the lineup for the second straight night Wednesday with a sore right thumb, but had a pinch two-run homer in the seventh on Wednesday during Florida’s fourth loss in five games.
Sergio Mitre (0-2, 3.12) will make his second start since coming off the disabled list with a blister problem. Making his first appearance since April 17, the right-hander allowed three runs—one earned—and four hits over six innings, but didn’t factor into a 7-6 defeat in 12 innings to San Diego on Saturday.
“He pitched well,” Marlins rookie manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “He went out there until the seventh inning, and he battled.”
Mitre has made two relief appearances versus the Dodgers, allowing two hits over two innings. He may not have to face Dodgers’ first baseman Nomar Garciaparra, whose 2-for-21 slump earned him a spot on the bench Wednesday.