Marlins make a stop in south Philly

( – The Miami Marlins close out their road trip with a stop
at Citizens Bank Park, as they take on the Philadelphia Phillies Tuesday night
in the opener of a three-game set.

Miami suffered a four-game sweep in Queens over the weekend at the hands of
the division-rival Mets. The Marlins have now dropped seven of their last nine
games to fall to the bottom of the National League East standings, one game
back of the Phillies.

On Sunday, the Marlins scored five runs after the fifth inning but still wound
up losing 7-6 as they were unable to overcome the Mets’ seven-run fourth
inning off starter Tom Koehler.

“There is a level of frustration,” manager Mike Redmond said. “We continue to
battle back and keep fighting. If we keep stringing together at-bats, we’re
going to get on the other end of these games. We’ve got to get the pitching
straightened out and get these guys deeper into games, to get us

Things have not gone any better for the offensively challenged Phillies, who
have lost seven of eight. They just dropped three of four to the Washington
Nationals, and the lineup has been held to two or fewer runs in four of its
last five games.

Philadelphia was unable to solve Nats starter Stephen Strasburg in Sunday’s
4-1 loss to close out the series. The right-hander struck out seven in 7 1/3
innings, while Phillies starter David Buchanan went five frames and allowed
three runs on six hits. Buchanan is now 0-3 with a 9.22 ERA after three times
through the rotation.

“Against the Red Sox, I wasn’t really throwing strikes,” Buchanan said of his
three-inning season debut against Boston. “I was falling behind. Eventually
that’s going to catch up to you. But (Sunday) I thought I was throwing the
ball in the zone. Had some tough breaks.”

Philadelphia is beginning a six-game homestand, which will conclude a span of
16 straight games against the NL East. The Phillies are just 3-7 so far in
that stretch.

Despite the team’s overall struggles, one bright spot has been the early
returns from new center fielder Odubel Herrera, who spent 2008-14 in the Texas
Rangers’ farm system before the Phillies picked him in the Rule 5 Draft.
Herrera has four doubles and two triples over his last five games and is
hitting .302 on the season.

Jerome Williams gets the start for Philadelphia. The right-hander was tagged
for 10 hits, including two home runs, and four earned runs in a loss at the
Mets on Wednesday. He’ll look to rebound with a performance more in line with
his season opener against Washington, when he twirled six innings of one-run
ball and struck out six batters.

Williams pitched for three teams in 2014, although he did appear most
comfortable with the Phillies as he went 4-2 with a 2.83 ERA across nine

Veteran Dan Haren gets the call for Miami. The durable right-hander has made
at least 30 starts in 10 straight seasons, although he has seen his ERA hover
above 4.00 in each of the last three. Still, Haren has posted a 2.08 ERA
through two starts this season, and he gave up just two runs on three hits in
seven innings in Atlanta on Wednesday. He also struck out five.

The Phillies had an 11-8 edge over Miami in last season’s series.