With one of the worst lineups in the major leagues, the Miami Marlins have had to lean heavily on their pitching this season.
Jose Fernandez looks to deliver another solid effort from the starting rotation as Miami seeks a third straight victory Tuesday night when they face the slumping Philadelphia Phillies.Miami ranks last in baseball with a .222 batting average, 122 runs and a .283 on-base percentage, among others categories, and entered Monday's series opener having scored more than three runs once in 12 games.The Marlins (13-32), though, got two RBIs from both Justin Ruggiano and Nick Green in a 5-1 victory over the Phillies, winning for a second straight time following a seven-game losing streak."We've been waiting for those base hits and we were fortunate enough to get a couple of them," manager Mike Redmond said. "It was nice to see."Miami allowed one run for the third consecutive contest, as Alex Sanabia ended a five-start losing streak by pitching 6 1/3 solid innings. The starting rotation posted a 7.34 ERA in the six games prior to the current hot stretch.Fernandez (2-2, 3.48 ERA) has gone 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA over his last three starts, a run that began when he struck out nine and gave up one hit -- a Freddy Galvis single in the bottom of the first -- in seven innings of a 2-0 win over Philadelphia on May 4.The 20-year-old right-hander gave up two runs in seven innings of a 5-3, 10-inning loss Thursday, throwing a career-high 99 pitches."I like to compete, and I know (throwing that many pitches is) not going to happen every time, and I respect that and that's what I work for," Fernandez said. "Whatever they want me to do, I do it and just keep putting good effort on it and give the team a chance to win."Miami has provided him with just 16 runs of support in his eight starts. The rookie allowed two hits in six scoreless innings versus the Phillies on April 13 in his second major league start, but didn't earn a decision as the Marlins scored in the bottom of the ninth for a 2-1 victory.The Marlins have outscored Philadelphia 21-3 while winning the last three meetings, with Domonic Brown's homer accounting for the Phillies' lone run Monday.Philadelphia (21-24) has been outscored 17-4 while dropping two of three overall."We definitely have to score more runs to have a winning team," manager Charlie Manuel said. "Hopefully we can keep staying at it and we will, but right now it's tough. We take a step forward and two steps back."The Phillies will look to get back on track with help from Tyler Cloyd, who has been recalled from the minors to make his second spot start.Cloyd (0-0, 2.84) gave up two runs in 6 1/3 innings of a 3-2 loss to Arizona in his season debut May 10, when was immediately sent back to Lehigh Valley."I might as well go (to the minors) and keep pitching well," Cloyd said after that outing. "Hopefully, the next opportunity they have, I can come back up and do well."The right-hander is 2-2 with a 4.58 ERA in seven career starts, none against the Marlins.