Twins-Marlins Preview

The Associated Press

Now that Tom Koehler finally earned his first career victory, he'll try to accomplish what a Miami Marlins starter has only done twice this season: win a second straight start.

Miami sends Koehler to the mound Wednesday as it hosts the Minnesota Twins, whose recently hot offense was quieted in Tuesday's series opener.

The eight-start winless streak by Koehler (1-5, 4.65 ERA) was the third-longest to begin a Marlins career. He put it to rest in a 2-1 victory at San Francisco on Thursday, allowing one run over seven innings of three-hit ball.

"Other than the day I met my wife, this is probably the happiest moment of my life. Definitely the happiest baseball moment," said Koehler, who turns 27 on Saturday.

Ricky Nolasco and Jose Fernandez are the only Miami starters to win two consecutive outings this season. Koehler had appeared in 21 games for the Marlins (26-50) before finally getting a victory.

"It definitely didn't weigh on my confidence, but to say I didn't think about it would be a lie," said Koehler, who allowed a career-worst nine runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings against St. Louis in his previous start. "Every time I went out there I wanted to win the game. I was wondering what it would take to do it."

Marcell Ozuna, whose two-run single in the eighth inning Thursday helped Koehler secure his win, also drove in two runs in a 4-2 victory Tuesday. The rookie outfielder is 21 for 48 (.438) with runners in scoring position.

"He's put together a lot of great at-bats, big at-bats, and he did again tonight," manager Mike Redmond said of Ozuna, who has eight RBIs over his last five games.

The Twins (34-39) scored 43 runs while going 5-3 from June 15-23, tied for the fifth-most in baseball during that stretch, before struggling Tuesday as they were held to one extra-base hit.

Joe Mauer didn't cool off, though, going 2 for 4 and now batting .419 during a seven-game hitting streak. He's hit .462 in his last seven interleague games and .375 in six career matchups with the Marlins.

Minnesota scheduled starter Scott Diamond (5-6, 5.27) has had a particularly tough time against NL competition this season, going 0-2 with a 9.22 ERA in three starts and yielding 26 hits in 13 2-3 innings.

He's given up 13 earned runs over 15 innings in his last three starts on the road, where he began the season 3-0 with a 1.42 ERA.

The left-hander earned just his second win in eight starts Thursday in an 8-4 home victory over the White Sox. He gave up four runs, with three earned all coming in the sixth of a 5 1-3-innings effort.

Diamond has failed to finish the sixth inning in seven of his last eight starts.

"Overall, I'm pretty happy with the way it went," Diamond told the team's official website. "The numbers don't look the best, but I'm happy with how I progressed through the game."

Logan Morrison was 2 for 4 on Tuesday, his fifth two-hit performance through 11 games since returning from knee surgery.

The Marlins are 2-8 in interleague play this year.