The Florida Marlins are currently playing some of their best ball this season thanks in large part to consistent pitching. Inconsistency, meanwhile, has been Byung-Hyun Kim’s biggest problem in recent years.
Looking to extend a season-high four-game winning streak, the Marlins hope for a second straight solid outing from Kim when they face the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night in the middle game of their series.
Florida (22-23) has allowed just 10 runs during its win streak, and with a win can reach the .500 mark for the first time since May 4 when it was 14-14.
Four Marlins pitchers combined to hold Philadelphia (22-23) to five hits in a 5-3 win on Tuesday night in the series opener.
Now, Kim (2-2, 7.15 ERA) will make his second start for the Marlins after being acquired May 13 from Colorado for pitcher Jorge Julio. The Korean-born right-hander won his Florida debut, allowing three runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings to beat Tampa Bay 8-4 on Friday night.
Kim, though, is 15-23 with a 5.15 ERA as a starter since 2004. He’s 0-1 with a 4.97 ERA in two career starts against the Phillies, but also has recorded a 2.11 ERA in 14 relief appearances against them.
Florida was helped out by timely hitting on Tuesday including Miguel Cabrera’s RBI triple in the sixth. Cabrera went 2-for-4 and is batting .467 (14-for-30) with two home runs, a triple and three doubles against the Phillies this season.
Jeremy Hermida went 0-for-4, going hitless for the first time in eight games since being activated off the disabled list on May 14. Manager Fredi Gonzalez has been batting Hermida sixth.
“You have to change your approach a little bit at certain spots in the order, but I’m happy just to be in there,” Hermida said.
Freddy Garcia (1-3, 4.86) starts for Philadelphia and will try to shut down a Marlins team that has scored 24 runs in their last four games.
Garcia, who had at least 12 wins in seven of his previous eight seasons, has settled down some after a subpar start.
The right-hander has allowed three runs or less in each of his last three starts, but is 0-1 in that span. The loss came in his last outing, when he gave up two runs and seven hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 3-2 loss to Milwaukee on Thursday.
Garcia made his first career appearance against the Marlins on April 27 and allowed four runs and seven hits in 4 2-3 innings, but didn’t factor in the Phillies’ 6-5 win.
Philadelphia, which is 9-13 on the road, has squandered a chance to climb above .500 three times in the past week. The Phillies had a 3-1 lead after three innings Tuesday.
“When you lose a tough one like this, it’s something that you dwell on,” Phillies pitcher Cole Hamels said.
A bright spot for Philadelphia on Tuesday was the play of reserve outfielder Jayson Werth, who hit his first two home runs of the season. He is batting .375 (6-for-16) against the Marlins this season.