Miami Marlins (39-42) at Milwaukee Brewers (38-43), 2:10 p.m. (ET)
(Sports Network) – Scoring runs has been a problem for Miami at times this
season, though certainly not during its series with Milwaukee.
That didn’t stop the Marlins from going out and adding a veteran bat to its
lineup and they expect to have new addition Carlos Lee in the lineup for
today’s finale of a four-game set with the Brewers.
The Marlins have scored 24 runs over the first three games of this series,
losing the first two contests prior yesterday’s 7-6 victory in 10 innings.
Despite that production, they are still tied for 13th in the National League
with 321 runs scored and are hitting a collective .243.
Miami hopes the addition of Lee can help that. The club sent two prospects to
Houston following yesterday’s win to acquire the 36-year-old, who is hitting
.287 on the season with five homers and 29 runs batted in. Though his power
numbers are down, manager Ozzie Guillen is still happy to have the first
baseman in his lineup.
“He’s a smart hitter,” said Guillen, who managed Lee in 2004 while with the
White Sox. “A great hitter who’s had a great career. He’s the type of player
we need. It was a huge move.”
The Marlins won for the fifth time in seven games on Wednesday, but the
disappointing club sits nine games out of first place in the NL East.
Miami rallied from seven runs down to tie the game on Tuesday and went ahead
on Jose Reyes’ solo homer in the 10th inning, but saw closer Heath Bell give
up a walk-off two-run homer to Aramis Ramirez in the bottom of the frame. That
marked the Marlins 10th straight loss to the Brewers, but they won for the
first time over the club since Sept. 25, 2010 with yesterday’s extra-inning
Gaby Sanchez hit a game-tying solo homer in the bottom of the ninth on
Wednesday before Hanley Ramirez drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th with a
Bell gave up a double to Rickie Weeks with one out in the bottom of the 10th,
but retired the next two batters to notch his 18th save.
“As soon as I gave up a double to Weeks, I thought the game might be over,”
said Bell. “I really felt bad after yesterday. Today is a new day. I wasn’t
going to let them beat us this game. Even with yesterday, I still wanted to
get in there in the ninth inning. The guy’s never gave up. They did their job,
and I did mine.”
Despite his heroics, Sanchez was sent to Triple-A New Orleans after the game
to make room for Lee, while outfielder Giancarlo Stanton sat out again with a
right knee ailment. He won’t play today and hopes to return on Friday, but he
could also opt to sit out through the All-Star break.
Randy Wolf was in line to win for the first time since April 30 despite
coughing up a four-run lead, but John Axford blew his fifth save of the season
in the ninth when Sanchez homered to right field as Milwaukee had a four-game
win streak snapped.
Aramis Ramirez picked up two hits, knocked in a run and scored another for the
Milwaukee, but he was unable to deliver with two on and two outs in the bottom
of the ninth inning.
“It’s disappointing,” Milwaukee manager Ron Roenicke said. “I thought we
should have won that game today. It came down to thinking it was Randy’s game.
Not the last start but before that, we tried to go to the bullpen, and
every time we go to the bullpen, we lose the game.”
Roenicke will hand the ball to Mike Fiers for today’s finale, and though the
right-hander hasn’t allowed a run since the middle of June, he may not have a
spot in the rotation following the All-Star break.
Fiers hasn’t given up a run since the third inning of a victory at Minnesota
on June 16, hurling 18 1/3 scoreless frames in two starts and one relief
appearance since. After throwing 7 1/3 frames of five-hit ball in a no-
decision at the White Sox on June 24, Fiers struck out a career-high 10
batters in six innings to beat the Diamondbacks on Saturday.
Despite his impressive run, Fiers could be the odd-man out if Shaun Marcum is
ready to return from an elbow injury after the break.
Fiers will try to make it a difficult decision after battling early on against
Arizona. He needed 31 pitches to get past the first inning, but allowed only
two hits and three walks in the victory, moving to 3-2 with a 2.29 earned run
average in seven games (6 starts) on the year.
The 27-year-old, who has never faced the Marlins, took the blame for his slow
“It wasn’t really them, it was me not hitting my spots,” Fiers told
Milwaukee’s official website. “Early on, I was trying to get in a groove and I
Miami also turns to a hurler on an impressive run as left-hander Mark Buehrle
has followed a four-start losing streak with consecutive seven-inning
Buehrle followed a scoreless outing versus Toronto by holding Philadelphia to
a pair of runs on seven hits while striking out seven on Saturday. He improved
to 7-8 with a 3.48 ERA in 16 starts on the season.
The 33-year-old has faced the Brewers twice before, one of those starts, and
has a 6.43 ERA without a decision.
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