Miami (57-59) at Pittsburgh (39-78)

Fair Currently: Pittsburgh, PA
Temp: 38° F
  • Game info: 7:05 pm EDT Mon Aug 16, 2010
Preview | Box Score | Recap

The Florida Marlins didn’t fare well against a team with playoff aspirations. A matchup with the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates could provide better results.

The Marlins look to snap a three-game losing streak Monday at PNC Park, where they open a four-game series versus the major league-worst Pirates.

After winning a season high-tying four in a row - including three against Washington to begin its 10-game trip - Florida (57-59) was swept by NL Central-leading Cincinnati over the weekend, losing Sunday’s series finale 2-0.

The Marlins, who have dropped eight of 12 to fall 10 1/2 games behind NL East-leading Atlanta, went 0 for 27 with runners in scoring position against the Reds.

“You’re not going to be too successful without getting hits with runners in scoring position,” said Dan Uggla(notes), who is batting .444 with three homers and eight RBIs in his last seven games.

Uggla wasn’t successful in the Marlins’ last visit to Pittsburgh, going 0 for 11 with three strikeouts as they were swept in a three-game set April 20-22, 2009. Florida averaged 2.0 runs and batted .191 during that series.

With the Marlins scoring just six times over the weekend, rookie right fielder Mike Stanton(notes) will likely remain in the fifth spot in the order to get more RBI opportunities. Stanton is batting .583 (14 for 24) with five doubles, four homers and eight RBIs on the trip.

Stanton will get his first look at James McDonald(notes) (1-2, 5.40 ERA), who is trying to rebound from his first loss with Pittsburgh. After going six scoreless innings against Colorado in his Pirates debut Aug. 5, the right-hander struck out six and allowed four runs over 4 2-3 innings of Wednesday’s 8-5 loss at San Diego.

“I had good stuff, a live fastball, but I got too many three-ball counts after being ahead in the count 0-2 and 1-2,” said McDonald, acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers at the trade deadline.

This will be McDonald’s first start versus the Marlins. While with the Dodgers, McDonald gave up one run in 2-3 innings of relief in a 6-3 loss to Florida on July 24, 2009.

McDonald will look to get the Pirates (39-78) back on track after they averaged 1.8 runs and batted .191 on an 0-6 trip.

“We have to swing the bats better,” manager John Russell told the Pirates’ official website following the team’s 10th straight road loss, 8-2 to Houston on Sunday.

Pittsburgh, which has dropped seven straight overall and eight of 11 at home, will try to avoid its first eight-game skid since an 0-12 stretch June 6-18. The Pirates will face Chris Volstad(notes) (6-8, 4.74), who is 2-0 with a 4.57 ERA in four starts since being recalled from Triple-A New Orleans.

In his only appearance against Pittsburgh, the Marlins right-hander lasted just three innings, yielding four runs in a 7-4 loss July 3, 2009.

Shortstop Hanley Ramirez(notes), who will bat leadoff for Florida the remainder of the season, is hitting .460 with two homers and six RBIS in 12 career games in Pittsburgh.

Pirates center fielder Andrew McCutchen(notes) was 5 for 12 with three runs against Florida last season. He is 1 for 2 versus Volstad.

Pittsburgh won four of six versus Florida in 2009.

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Starting Pitchers

C. Volstad Atl vs. J. McDonald ChC
12-9 Record 4-6
4.58 ERA 4.02
102 K 68
60 BB 29
1.41 WHIP 1.38


Monday, Aug 16