National League Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, July 22nd
(All times Eastern)
Miami Marlins (44-50) at Pittsburgh Pirates (53-40), 1:35 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Miami - Anibal Sanchez (5-6, 3.95)
Pittsburgh - Jeff Karstens (2-2, 4.15)
(Sports Network) - Miami may be a popular destination spot, but Marlins
starter Anibal Sanchez has been logging plenty of time on the road.
The right-hander makes his fourth straight road start today in the finale of a
three-game series against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Sanchez's personal road swing didn't get off to the best of starts as he was
charged with five earned runs over five innings of a no-decision at Milwaukee
on July 3. However, five days later he logged six innings of two-run ball in
another no-decision at St. Louis, then opened the second half with a win over
the hosting Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.
Sanchez was charged with just two runs -- one earned -- on nine hits and two
walks while striking out seven over seven frames of a 9-5 win. He is 2-0 over
his last four starts and 5-6 with a 3.95 earned run average in 18 outings in
2012. That includes a 3-1 mark and 2.76 ERA in nine starts on the road.
"Anibal threw the ball very well, maybe the best he's thrown the ball in a
while," Miami manager Ozzie Guillen said on his club's website. "One thing
about it, when we make a mistake behind him, come back and shut it down. Most
of the time when somebody makes a mistake behind him, you see him lose a
little bit of the concentration and get wild and make a bad pitch. I think
today he went out and made the right pitch at the right time."
The 28-year-old did lose a 3-2 decision at home to the Pirates on May 14,
charged with all three runs over seven frames. That dropped him to 2-2 with a
2.17 ERA in four career starts against Pittsburgh.
The Pirates hope that Jeff Karstens can continue to have success eating up
innings in today's finale.
Karstens has made four starts since missing over two months due to injury and
has logged at least seven frames in each of his last three outings. He won the
first two, but did not factor into a 5-4 setback at Colorado on Monday after
yielding four runs on six hits and two walks in seven innings.
The 29-year-old righty is 2-2 with a 4.15 ERA in seven starts this season as
well as 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA in four career meetings with the Marlins,
including one start.
The Pirates lost all six meetings with the Marlins last year and 15 of the
previous 18 encounters overall before taking the first two contests of this
series. Pittsburgh now looks for its first sweep of Miami since April 20-22,
2009 at home.
An unusual fourth inning led to a 5-1 win on Saturday for the Pirates, who
scored four runs in the frame without recording a hit.
The first two batters of the inning were hit by a pitch and Pittsburgh starter
A.J. Burnett reached first on a throwing error on his sacrifice bunt attempt
that scored a run. Following a walk to load the bases, Neil Walker lifted a
sac fly and Andrew McCutchen then drew a walk to fill the bags again.
Garrett Jones and Casey McGehee followed with bases-loaded walks before Pedro
Alvarez and Rod Barajas both struck out to end the frame.
"It's been a long time since I've seen four runs score without a hit," Pirates
manager Clint Hurdle said.
Burnett, who improved to 7-0 in the Steel City this year, surrendered a run on
eight hits and a walk in 7 2/3 innings.
McCutchen, who came in hitting .500 in July, went 1-for-4. Walker tallied a
hit and an RBI, while Jones registered a pair of RBI for the Pirates, who only
logged five hits as they won their fourth consecutive game to sit a half-game
behind the Cincinnati Reds for first place in the NL Central.
Carlos Zambrano was charged with five runs -- four earned -- on three hits and
six walks over 3 1/3 frames for Miami, which has dropped four in a row.
"If I had to work on something it would be my delivery," Zambrano said. "I
definitely will work on it in my next bullpen session."
Hanley Ramirez was out of the starting lineup for a second straight game for
the Marlins due to an infected right hand. He originally sustained an injury
to the hand when he hit a fan on July 8 and is unlikely to play today.
07/22 10:37:20 ET