Marlins-Astros Preview

The Associated Press

Despite having a flashy new ballpark, the Miami Marlins are playing their best baseball on the road.

The Marlins look to remain perfect on their current trip with an eighth consecutive victory Tuesday night against the Houston Astros.

While Miami (15-14) is 6-5 at its new ballpark on the site of the former Orange Bowl, it's back to .500 (9-9) on the road after improving to 7-0 on a nine-game trip with a 4-0 win at Houston on Monday. The Marlins last won eight straight overall as part of a nine-game run Sept. 9-19, 2008, but they have not strung together that many consecutive victories on the road since July 16-Aug. 5, 1995.

Carlos Zambrano tossed a three-hitter with nine strikeouts while Hanley Ramirez hit his sixth homer and Giancarlo Stanton extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a two-run shot Monday. The Marlins have outscored San Francisco, San Diego and Houston 31-17 during the winning streak.

Ramirez is 7 for 18 with two home runs in his last four games and has seven RBIs in his last five. He's 9 for 13 with two homers and five RBIs in his last three against the Astros.

Stanton, meanwhile, has hit .333 with all six of his homers and 12 of his 17 RBIs during the 10-game hitting streak.

"He's swinging at strikes," manager Ozzie Guillen told the Marlins' official website. "Every time he puts the ball in play, that ball is going to be hit hard."

After Zambrano won his first game with Miami and lowered his ERA to 1.98, Anibal Sanchez (2-0, 2.43 ERA) looks to continue his strong start Tuesday.

The right-hander has not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his five starts and has lasted seven innings in each of the last three. He gave up a run in seven innings of a 3-2 win at San Francisco on Thursday.

"He's just nasty," catcher Brett Hayes told the Marlins' official website. "It's definitely fun to catch when he's on like that. What can you say, he's doing his job."

Sanchez, 3-1 with a 2.48 ERA in six starts versus Houston, allowed two earned runs and struck out seven in six innings of a 5-4, 11-inning victory over the Astros on April 15.

The Astros (13-16) will call up Aneury Rodriguez from Triple-A Oklahoma City to make his 2012 debut. The right-hander was 1-6 with a 5.27 ERA in 43 games for Houston in 2011, including 0-4 with a 5.80 ERA in eight starts.

Rodriguez, 1-3 with a 4.97 ERA in six starts at Triple-A this season, did not allow a run or hit in one inning over two appearances against the Marlins in 2011.

Houston second baseman Jose Altuve is 5 for 12 in the last three games versus Miami, and had one of the three hits Monday for the Astros. Altuve is batting .351 in 27 games this season.

The Astros have dropped two in a row following a season-high five-game winning streak.

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