The Marlins look for a third straight victory while trying to add to the Padres’ misery at Petco Park as the teams continue their three-game series Tuesday night.
Florida (46-43) beat San Diego 3-1 in Monday’s opener to improve to 2-3 on a season-long 11-game road trip. The victory—coupled with Philadelphia’s loss to the New York Mets earlier in the evening—has the Marlins within 1 1/2 games of the struggling first-place Phillies.
“We scored enough runs and (Ricky Nolasco) made it hold up,” Florida manager Fredi Gonzalez said of Monday’s win.
While Philadelphia opens a tough home series with St. Louis on Tuesday, Florida looks to send San Diego (35-55) to a 10th straight home loss.
Though the losing stretch is the longest for San Diego at Petco, the Padres haven’t lost 10 in a row at home since dropping 12 straight from May 22-June 10, 1972.
On Monday, Jorge Cantu hit a two-run homer, his 16th, Alfredo Amezaga had three hits and All-Star Hanley Ramirez doubled to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 14 games for the Marlins, whose pitching staff has allowed six runs in its last two games after yielding 30 in the previous two against Colorado.
Cantu, who’s been a pleasant surprise this season for the Marlins, is 9-for-17 with two homers and four RBIs in his last five games. Ramirez, meanwhile, is batting .339 during his hitting streak.
The Marlins don’t expect fellow All-Star Dan Uggla to do more than pinch-hit during this series. The second baseman, third in the NL and the majors with 23 homers, has been out since June 28 with a sprained ankle.
“It feels better, and I hope to be able to pinch-hit sometime in this San Diego series,” Uggla told the Marlins’ official Web site. “As long as I don’t have to run, I’ll be fine.”
The Marlins hope for continued success against San Diego’s Randy Wolf (5-8, 4.59 ERA), who looks to avoid a fifth consecutive loss. Wolf is 0-4 with an 8.31 ERA since beating the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 11. He allowed seven runs and six hits in four innings of an 8-1 loss at Colorado on Wednesday.
“I was horrible. I was just awful,” Wolf said. “It was embarrassing. I felt like I was the worst pitcher in baseball.”
The left-hander hasn’t been much better against Florida, going 3-12 with a 6.24 ERA in 19 starts.
The Marlins counter with Andrew Miller (5-7, 4.98) as he tries to avoid a third straight defeat. Miller, 0-2 with a 5.51 ERA over his last three starts, allowed three runs and five hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-5, 11-inning loss at Colorado on Thursday.
The left-hander will make his second career start against San Diego after giving up two runs in six innings of a 10-3 win over the Padres on May 4.