Miami left-hander Braxton Garrett will try to pick up his first victory in exactly one month Tuesday night when he takes the mound as the visiting Marlins play the second game of a three-game series with the Cincinnati Reds
Garrett (5-3, 4.14 ERA), winless in his last four starts, picked up his last victory on July 8 over the defending National League champion Philadelphia, 5-3, when he allowed three runs on six hits over five innings while striking out three
Garrett is 0-2 with a 4.60 ERA in three career starts against Cincinnati. He had a no-decision in his last start on Wednesday at Philadelphia, a 9-8, 12-inning loss, when he allowed three runs on six hits over five innings
Miami has lost five straight, is 5-17 since the All-Star break and 1-14 in its last 15 road games. Marlins pitchers have surrendered 12 home runs over the last four games and the team is batting just .115 (7-of-61) with runners in scoring position for August
Still, Miami manager Skip Schumaker remained upbeat after his team's latest loss
"Keep fighting," Schumaker said. "We're in this. There's all kinds of teams pushing to get into the wild-card spot or win divisions. The Reds are one of them. We're right there with them.
Win the final two games of the series and Miami would move back in front of Cincinnati in the wild-card race despite its recent woes
"We're all trying to figure this thing out together," Schumaker said. "It's not one guy who's going to do it. We all have to do it together.
Schumaker thought the return of hard-throwing, 20-year-old rookie right-hander Eury Perez on Monday gave his team a boost. Perez (5-4) had been optioned to Double-A Pensacola on July 7 in an effort to monitor his innings. He allowed four runs on five hits on Monday, including back-to-back solo homers to Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Joey Votto in the fourth, and struck out seven with a fastball that clocked as high as 99.9 mph
"It meant a lot just for him to just walk through the doors at 2 p.m. today," Schumaker said. "Getting him every fifth or sixth day, whatever we decide to do, should be a huge push for us. I thought with 75 to 80 pitches to work with he did a really good job. It's not an easy team to play and not an easy ballpark to pitch in but I thought he did a really good job in his first start back.
Cincinnati snapped a six-game losing streak with the win. T.J. Friedl had two hits, including a two-run triple in the third inning that gave the Reds a 2-1 lead. Encarnacion-Strand and Votto followed an inning later with home runs on back-to-back pitches
"We did that off a pitcher tonight who might have the best stuff in baseball," Reds manager David Bell said. "That's a big deal for us and can definitely take that forward.
Lefty Brandon Williamson picked up the win, allowing one run on three hits over 6 2/3 innings while striking out a career-high nine
"Just when we needed it the most, for sure," Bell said of Williamson's performance. "Not just for the win but (also) how much we've used our bullpen. He was really good.
Right-hander Luke Weaver (2-4, 6.98 ERA) will try to give the Reds a series win on Tuesday. Weaver is 1-2 with a 3.28 ERA in six career appearances and four starts against Miami
--Field Level Medi