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Marlins-Reds Preview

AP - Sports

The manner in which the Miami Marlins won their latest contest might be what they need to begin a run in the right direction.

Looking to win back-to-back games for the first time this season, the visiting Marlins continue their series with the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday.

Justin Ruggiano hit a tiebreaking solo homer off Cincinnati's Aroldis Chapman in the ninth inning to help Miami (4-13) snap the Reds' four-game winning streak with a 2-1 victory Friday.

The Marlins have scored four runs in their last three games, but bounced back nicely against a Cincinnati team that totaled 11 runs in each of the previous two contests - including Thursday's series opener.

"We haven't scored a ton of runs,'' Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "We're trying to be aggressive in situations when we can be aggressive.''

The hard-throwing Chapman had not allowed a run in his previous eight appearances. Five of the seven homers Chapman has allowed during his four seasons in the majors have come at Great American Ball Park.

"You get so used to him being perfect, but that happens a couple of times a year,'' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "It doesn't happen very often."

Ruggiano, who homered in his second straight game, has hit three of Miami's five home runs on the season. He's 7 for 22 with five RBIs in his last six contests and 8 for 20 in seven career games versus Cincinnati (9-8).

Shortstop Nick Green added three hits Friday for Miami, which hopes more competitive efforts are in the team's future.

"It all came together perfect (Friday),'' Redmond said.

Scheduled Miami starter Wade LeBlanc (0-3, 6.75 ERA) has served up eight of the 12 runs he's allowed this season in the first inning. Washington scored four in the first Monday off LeBlanc, who yielded seven and nine hits in 3 2-3 innings of a 10-3 loss.

"I don't know. We're only three starts in, but something has got to change," LeBlanc told the Marlins' official website. "We've got to figure out how to get through that first inning unscathed, and give these guys a chance. That's priority No. 1 at this point."

The left-hander is 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA against the Reds, but last faced them in 2011.

Cincinnati counters with Bronson Arroyo (2-1, 4.05), who allowed a two-run homer and four other hits in eight innings of a 4-2 win over Philadelphia on Monday. That helped the Reds end a five-game skid and rest a bullpen that had been taxed during the slide.

"(Baker) said that he needed me bad," Arroyo told the Reds' official website. "I assumed that meant go deep in the ballgame and have a 'W' next to our name at the end of the night."

The right-hander is 1-4 with a 4.22 ERA in 10 starts against the Marlins.

Cincinnati managed four of its five hits in six innings Friday off Miami starter Kevin Slowey. Joey Votto drove in the Reds' lone run, but is 1 for 12 with five strikeouts in the last four games.

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