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National League Preview from The Sports Network
Friday, July 20th (All times Eastern)
Miami Marlins (44-48) at Pittsburgh Pirates (51-40), 7:05 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Miami - Ricky Nolasco (8-7, 4.47) Pittsburgh - Kevin Correia (6-6, 4.25)
(Sports Network) - Kevin Correia tries to win a career-high fifth straight decision tonight and give the Pittsburgh Pirates a rare victory over the Miami Marlins in the opener of a three-game series.
Correia has won his past three starts and his four-decision win streak has evened his season record to 6-6 to go along with a 4.25 earned run average. He beat the Milwaukee Brewers last time out on Saturday, hurling six innings and getting charged with four runs -- two earned -- on four hits and a walk. The right-hander retired the final 11 batters faced and set a season high with six strikeouts.
Correia, though, did not have a good outing the last time he faced the Marlins. On May 15 in Miami, the 31-year-old was tagged for six runs on eight hits and four walks over just 3 2/3 innings. Five of those runs came in the fourth, when he yielded two-run hits to John Buck and Omar Infante as well as a run-scoring double to Hanley Ramirez in which Infante was thrown out at the plate.
That loss gave the Pirates a split of a two-game series in Miami and was their 15th setback in the last 18 meetings. The Marlins won all six encounters last season and have taken six straight in Pittsburgh.
Ricky Nolasco hopes to make it seven in a row in the Steel City as he tries to get back into the win column. The righty was bidding for a third straight victory on Sunday versus Washington, but took a 4-0 loss despite not giving up his first hit until the fifth inning.
Nolasco lasted 5 1/3 frames in all, charged with four runs on six hits and two walks. He lost his fourth decision in the last six and is 8-7 with a 4.47 ERA in 18 starts this season.
The 29-year-old is 5-3 with a 2.10 ERA in 10 career meetings with the Pirates, including eight starts. He has won each of his last four outings against them, pitching to a 1.00 ERA over that span.
The Marlins dropped the final two games of their set with the Cubs after winning three of four, falling in Thursday's rubber match 4-2. Mark Buehrle allowed four runs on six hits and a walk over five innings to see a personal four-start win streak end.
"Today was one of those days where luckily I went out there for five innings because from the bullpen it just seemed like I had nothing working," Buehrle said. "It was just one of those games where you're not going to have your stuff and you turn the page and get ready for your next start."
Emilio Bonifacio and Greg Dobbs each knocked in a run for Miami.
Pittsburgh, meanwhile, sits a half-game back of the first-place Cincinnati Reds in the NL Central and won for the ninth time in 13 games with Wednesday's 9-6 triumph over the Colorado Rockies.
The Pirates blasted four homers in the game, getting a decisive two-run shot from Casey McGehee in the fifth frame. Pedro Alvarez, Garrett Jones and Rod Barajas also went deep.
"We went out there and still had quality at-bats and fought back and had a couple big hits that put us right back in it," Clint Barmes said. "It's happened many times here. I don't think it was too surprising for anyone here."
In fact, the lone disappointment came when Neil Walker went 0-4 to have his 17-game hitting streak come to an end.
07/20 10:38:56 ET
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