The Philadelphia Phillies believe their offense hasn't hit its stride yet
"We have a lot of good hitters," Phillies third baseman Alec Bohm said. "We're a very aggressive team, and sometimes that works against us. We have to make pitchers throw us something to hit, and we've done a good job lately of being disciplined.
On Monday, the Phillies rested right fielder Nick Castellanos, who hasn't been all that disciplined of late. He is hitting just .123 (8-for-65) with one home run, one walk and 23 strikeouts in 16 games since the All-Star break
Conversely, rookie center fielder Johan Rojas has given the Phillies a boost, batting .346 (9-for-26) in 11 games since being promoted to the majors on July 15. He contributed a two-run double on Monday
"I try to be ready for any situation," said Rojas, who will turn 23 on Aug. 14. "One thing about me is that I'm always going to work hard.
As for their pitching, the Phillies -- who have won four of their past six games -- are set to start left-hander Ranger Suarez (2-5, 4.22 ERA) on Tuesday
The 27-year-old Venezuela native is 4-2 with a 3.35 ERA in 16 career appearances against the Marlins, including five starts. In 10 appearances in Miami -- including all five of his starts -- Suarez is 3-2 with a 3.68 ERA
This season, his numbers have been hard to decipher. His ERA is 2.95 in seven road starts, but it's 5.70 in seven home starts. Also, he had a 7.13 ERA in May before shining in June (1.08) and struggling in July (6.11)
The Marlins will counter Suarez with Sandy Alcantara (4-9, 4.46 ERA). The right-hander has had a disappointing follow-up to his dominant 2022 National League Cy Young Award season, during which he went 14-9 with a 2.28 ERA
However, he is coming off the best month of his 2023 season, as he posted a 3.31 ERA in five July starts. In his most recent outing, Alcantara tossed his first complete game of the season, a five-hitter in a 7-1 win over the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday
In 18 career starts against the Phillies, he is 6-8 with a 3.64 ERA
The Marlins' offense is powered by second baseman Luis Arraez, who leads the majors with a .381 batting average. On Monday, he went 3-for-4 with one hit each to right, center and left field
For power, Marlins turn to outfielder Jorge Soler, who leads the club in homers (25), runs (57) and slugging percentage (.493)
Soler was rested on Sunday as he rode a 12-game homerless streak that featured 18 strikeouts and a .146 average (7-for-48). Back in the lineup on Monday, he launched a two-run homer in his first at-bat
"Sometimes you need a mental reset," Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. "These guys are human. It's not going to go as good all the time as you want.
The Marlins are also getting healthier as outfielders Avisail Garcia returned on Sunday and Jazz Chisholm Jr. returned on Monday after long stays on the injured list
Chisholm, who had been out an oblique injury, went 1-for-3 with a double, a steal and a walk in his first game since July 2
"A healthy Jazz makes our lineup better," Schumaker said. "He looked great. His legs feel fine in talking to him after the game.
--Field Level Medi