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National League Preview from The Sports Network



Tuesday, July 1 (All times Eastern)

Philadelphia Phillies (36-46) at Miami Marlins (39-43), 7:10 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Philadelphia - A.J. Burnett (5-7, 3.89) Miami - Henderson Alvarez (5-3, 2.32)

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Marlins have won each of Henderson Alvarez's last eight starts and will try to end a four-game slide with him on the mound Tuesday in the opener of a three-game series versus the Philadelphia Phillies.

Alvarez is 3-0 in his previous eight appearances and has a sparkling 0.78 earned run average over the past seven. In a 3-2 win at Philadelphia last Wednesday, Alvarez lasted 6 2/3 innings and held the Phillies to two runs, one of which was earned, to improve to 5-3 with a 2.32 ERA.

The right-hander has emerged as Miami's ace and will make his ninth start at Marlins Park, where he has a 4-1 record to go along with a 1.44 ERA. In four career starts against the NL East-rival Phillies, Alvarez is 1-1 with a 2.03 ERA across 26 2/3 innings of work.

Miami could use a good outing from one of its starters and young prospect Andrew Heaney was the latest victim to fall. He has lost all three of his starts so far and gave up four runs and eight hits in six innings of a 4-3 setback versus Oakland on Sunday.

"His command was really good." said Marlins manager Mike Redmond. "He just made one bad pitch and they took advantage of it."

The A's pulled off a three-game sweep and sent the Marlins to their fourth straight loss and ninth in 12 tries.

Marcell Ozuna had a solo homer for the Miami, which is 5 1/2 games off the lead in the NL East. Christian Yelich returned from a stint on the disabled list and finished with a triple and a run scored.

Meanwhile, the Phillies' five-game winning streak in mid-June seems so long ago and they have just two wins in the past 10 games since then.

Philadelphia hopes an upcoming 10-game road trip can get them back to relevance in the NL East and will start the trek in south Florida. The Phillies struggled to a 2-6 record on an eight-game homestand versus Miami and Atlanta, and suffered a four-game sweep this weekend versus the Braves.

The Braves completed the sweep with Sunday's 3-2 win and outscored the hosts, 22-8, during the set. David Buchanan allowed all three runs and five hits in five innings to take the loss, and B.J. Upton's two-run triple in the top of the second inning hurt the most.

Buchanan walked five batters and struck out four.

"I'm not really known for walking guys, especially today and the last outing," said Buchanan. "You can't go out there and walk that many guys and expect to have a good outing. You've got guys making good plays behind you and you can't leave them out there for that long. It's not fair to them and it keeps me out there longer, so that's something I have to get rid of."

Marlon Byrd homered twice and has gone deep three times in the last seven games. Ben Revere and Jimmy Rollins had three hits apiece in the loss.

The Phillies have struggled at home with an 18-27 record and hope a change of scenery will put them in the win column more often. They are 18-19 on the road and will also make stops in Pittsburgh and Milwaukee.

A.J. Burnett gets the trip started Tuesday in Miami and is 5-7 with a 3.89 earned run average in his first year with the Phils. He has alternated losses in his past five starts and is 2-4 in the past six decisions. Burnett took the loss in last Wednesday's 3-2 setback to the Marlins and permitted all three runs in seven innings.

Burnett had a complete game the previous time out June 20 at Atlanta. He has lasted at least six innings in the past seven starts and is 3-3 in eight road assignments this season. Burnett, a right-hander and former Marlin, will make his sixth career start against Miami and is 2-2 with a 2.97 ERA.

The Phillies are 6-4 against the Marlins this season and split a four-game set with them last week. The Marlins are 89-84 all-time at home versus Philly.

07/01 10:39:59 ET

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