Cueto looks for second win as Giants face Marlins

Field Level Media

Johnny Cueto gets an encore performance in front of his home crowd Sunday afternoon when the San Francisco Giants wrap up a seven-game homestand with a third matchup against the Miami Marlins.

Right-hander Elieser Hernandez (3-5, 5.24) is scheduled to get the start for the Marlins, who already have clinched no worse than a tie in the season series with three wins in the first five meetings.

Pitching has dominated the first two games of this series, with Tyler Beede doing most of the heavy lifting in a 1-0 Giants win on Friday, before the Marlins put together a pair of late two-run uprisings in a 4-2 win on Saturday that had been a scoreless duel between Robert Dugger and Madison Bumgarner for six innings.

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Cueto (1-0, 0.00) returned from a 13-month absence due to Tommy John surgery to throw five shutout innings Tuesday against Pittsburgh. He allowed just one hit in the eventual 5-4 win.

The original plan was to be conservative with the 33-year-old and give him a week off between starts. But he was so impressive in his season debut and came out of the 69-pitch outing pain-free, so he was pushed up two days to Sunday in order to get him another home start before the club hits the road next week.

"This man really worked hard," Giants manager Bruce Bochy observed earlier this week when making the announcement on Cueto's second start. "You see him, he's in tremendous shape. He was very determined to come back."

Cueto has gone 4-2 with a 5.09 ERA in 10 career starts against the Marlins.

The veteran will see a Marlins team that's totaled just 11 hits in the first two games of the series. Only three of the 11 hits have gone for extra bases, one being a two-run home run by Jorge Alfaro that's accounted for half of Miami's scoring in the series.

The Giants, meanwhile, have totaled 17 hits in the series, but have turned them into just three runs due to a lack of power. They've had five doubles and a triple in the series, but no homers, leaving them with two home runs in the first six games of their homestand.

Hernandez has never started a game against the Giants, but he's faced them three times in relief, including in his 2019 season debut in May. He finished an 11-3 win that day with two innings, allowing four hits and two runs.

He's gone 0-1 with a 6.52 ERA in his three outings against San Francisco, roughed up for seven runs and 12 hits in 9 2/3 innings.

Miami's bullpen backed Dugger with 2 2/3 innings of shutout relief in Saturday's win, and could have a new weapon at manager Don Mattingly's disposal on Sunday.

The Marlins snatched longtime minor league left-handed reliever Josh Smith off waivers from the Cleveland Indians on Saturday.

"We're trying to get better any way we can," Mattingly told reporters Saturday, "even if it's in small increments."

The 29-year-old has made just eight major league appearances, all this season and all in relief, for the Indians. He has never faced the Giants.

--Field Level Media

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