Over the past two weeks, the Los Angeles Dodgers appeared unstoppable.
Then the Miami Marlins came to town.
After snapping Los Angeles' season-best, 11-game winning streak in the opener of a three-game series on Friday, the Marlins will look to keep rolling on Saturday when they conclude the weekend set against the host Dodgers with a day-night doubleheader.
Miami coasted to an 11-3 victory on Friday, hitting five homers in the process. Jorge Soler set the tone by drilling the second pitch of the game over the right-center-field fence. The Marlins built a nine-run lead through 3 1/2 innings to quickly end Los Angeles' hopes of keeping its winning streak alive.
Soler finished with two homers in the series opener, and he has six in his past eight games.
"Jorge goes about his business every day as a pro," Miami manager Skip Schumaker said. "Doesn't matter who's hitting behind him or in front of him, leading off, four-hole, it doesn't matter where he's at. He goes about his business the right way."
In addition to handing the Dodgers their first loss since Aug. 5, Miami also kept up with the Reds in the race for the third and final National League wild-card spot. Cincinnati had momentarily claimed sole possession of the berth following a 1-0 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays earlier Friday.
Both the Reds and Marlins sit at 64-59, a half-game behind the San Francisco Giants, who occupy the second wild-card position, and one game ahead of the Chicago Cubs.
Right-hander Eury Perez (5-4, 3.19 ERA) and left-hander Braxton Garrett (7-3, 3.91) will look to help Miami secure a more favorable position in the postseason chase. Perez will get the nod for Game 1 on Saturday, while Braxton is scheduled to start the nightcap.
In his most recent outing, Perez escaped with a no-decision after giving up four runs on four hits in four innings against the New York Yankees on Sunday. The rookie has never faced Los Angeles.
Garrett worked five scoreless innings against the Houston Astros on Monday, surrendering just four hits to earn the win. He has faced the Dodgers once in his career, allowing three runs on three hits in three innings of relief on May 15, 2021.
Left-hander Caleb Ferguson (7-3, 2.38 ERA) is set to go up against Perez to begin the twin bill. Ferguson, who will be serving as an opener, has made 51 appearances this season, but only one was a start.
In seven career appearances (zero starts) against the Marlins, Ferguson has never earned a decision while recording a 4.76 ERA.
Fellow southpaw Julio Urias (10-6, 4.35 ERA) is expected to take the mound for Game 2 after permitting three runs on four hits in seven innings against the Rockies on Sunday.
Urias matched his career high with 12 strikeouts against Colorado and has picked up three consecutive wins. He has also logged three quality starts over his past four outings, giving up six runs in 24 innings during that span, good for a 2.25 ERA.
"I'm starting to focus more on getting hitters out than just my mechanics," Urias said through a translator. "I'm attacking the zone, and I think I'm doing well."
In three career starts against Miami, Urias is 2-1 with a 4.70 ERA.
—Field Level Media