The Miami Marlins are turning up the heat at just the right time, hovering just outside of a National League wild-card spot after beating the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday for their fifth consecutive win.
The teams will meet again on Wednesday for the middle game of a three-game series, and the Marlins have another chance to show off their power game.
Miami, who hit four home runs on Tuesday, and now will face Los Angeles right-hander Lance Lynn (10-10, 5.81 ERA), who leads the majors with 37 home runs allowed this season.
Jake Burger, Josh Bell, Bryan De La Cruz and Jazz Chisholm Jr. all went deep for the Marlins (71-67) in the series opener. De La Cruz's 18th of the season, a two-run shot in the eighth inning, put Miami up for good. Chisholm followed with his long ball.
"Obviously Burger, he hits home runs, and against the Dodgers apparently, too," Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. "He's in one of those zones right now where he's hitting everything hard and on the barrel. I love when he comes to the plate because you know something is going to get hit hard."
The Marlins are scheduled to start right-hander JT Chargois (1-0, 3.78 ERA) on Wednesday. He has made one appearance against the Dodgers in his career, giving up one hit and striking out one in 1 1/3 innings while pitching for the Seattle Mariners in 2021.
The Dodgers (84-53) are in position to win the National League West and wrap up at least the second seed for the NL playoffs, but they are being challenged with problems on multiple fronts.
Not only has Los Angeles lost four of its past five games, but now its pitching situation has become a question.
The Dodgers are without left-hander Julio Urias indefinitely after his arrest Sunday on a charge of felony domestic violence. Urias was supposed to pitch Thursday, but he did not travel with the team and the club has not decided who would start that game.
"There are still so many (pitching) unknowns that we haven't wrapped our arms around that yet," Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. "We feel like we have really talented arms both in Triple-A, on the IL and on our active roster that we feel like we're going to have a lot of talent on our pitching staff in October."
Just how much of that talent is needed remains to be seen.
Clayton Kershaw pitched five innings on Tuesday but walked five batters. He is trying to ward off more shoulder issues after an injury cost him six weeks in the middle of the season.
In addition, third baseman Max Muncy missed the Tuesday game due to a shoulder injury that occurred while swinging at a pitch on Sunday.
"I think we avoided anything serious," Muncy said. "It feels OK now. We'll see in a day or two what it feels like."
Compounding the Dodgers' issues, catcher Austin Barnes left late in the Tuesday contest after he was hit in the mask by a backswing.
Lynn has been solid since his arrival from the Chicago White Sox at the trade deadline, going 4-1 with a 3.57 ERA in six starts. However, he gave up three homers and seven runs total in 4 1/3 innings during a loss to the Atlanta Braves on Thursday. He is 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA lifetime against the Marlins in nine appearances (seven starts).
—Field Level Media