The Florida Marlins opened their final series of the season on a positive note. Three more victories would help them end the year on one.
Needing to win out to avoid their first losing season in three years, the Marlins try to win their season-best fifth straight home game Friday when they face a Pittsburgh Pirates team in danger of posting the worst 81-game road record in major league history.
After hitting .221 and averaging 2.0 runs on a 1-6 trip, Florida (78-81) tagged Pirates pitching for 13 hits in Thursday’s 11-9 victory.
“He’s amazing, he just keeps getting better,” manager Edwin Rodriguez said of Stanton, who has a franchise record-tying 17 homers since the All-Star break and leads all rookies with 22 despite not making his major league debut until June 8.
While Florida tries to inch closer to .500 and notch its first five-game winning streak at Sun Life Stadium this season, the Pirates (56-103) are looking to improve their major league-worst 16-62 road record.
If Pittsburgh gets swept, it will post the worst record ever in an 81-game road schedule. The New York Mets went 17-64 away from home in 1963.
“It’s sad that we’d even consider 10 wins to be something of a goal,” Maholm told the Pirates’ official website after a 9-3 win over Houston on Sunday.
Maholm, one victory shy of his career high set in 2007, but also one loss shy of his career high from the same season. He’s trying to win three consecutive starts for the first time since April 2009.
The rookie right-hander’s ERA had been 1.56 through his first three outings.
“It’s about making pitches,” Mendez told the Marlins’ official website. “If you make the pitch, you can throw whatever you want, but I couldn’t do it today.”
Florida has won four straight over the Pirates after losing the opener of the season series.