The Miami Marlins are returning home for nine straight games and will begin the stretch against the Atlanta Braves on Friday.
Miami has won five of the last six series it has played and it set franchise records while on the road for offense. The Marlins have begun to turn their season around in recent weeks and are sitting at 23-36 on the season. Miami still remains in last place in the division, but it no longer has the worst offense in baseball.
The Marlins have been winning series against losing teams, as well as playoff contending teams. Their series win over the Milwaukee Brewers may have featured their most impressive work on the season. The Brewers entered the series in first place and Miami outscored them 25-8 in the three-game set.
The Braves will be another challenging opponent for the Marlins, as they sit in second place in the National League East. Atlanta continues to be a playoff contender with a potentially potent lineup. Miami is 1-5 against Atlanta in the 2019 season.
Jose Urena will start for the Marlins in Friday's series opener. Urena was roughed up by Atlanta in May, but he has posted a quality start in every outing since that game. The right-hander is 4-6 with a 4.14 E.R.A. and his improvement is another big reason for Miami's recent success. Urena started for the Marlins on Opening Day and has seemed worthy of that assignment since mid-April. Outside of the aforementioned game against Atlanta, Urena has eight quality starts dating back to April 14th.
Trevor Richards has quickly become one of Miami's most dependable arms and he will have another opportunity on Saturday. Richards has allowed two combined runs over his last three starts and he has a 3.53 E.R.A on the season. The right-hander faced Atlanta in May and hurled 4.1 shutout innings. It took 90 pitches for Richards to get through that outing and he will be looking for more efficiency against the Braves this time around.
Pablo Lopez will be Miami's starter in the series finale on Sunday. Lopez has two straight quality starts of his own and a 4-5 record on the season. Lopez dominated the Braves in May, when he gave the Marlins six shutout innings. The 23-year old allowed only three hits and a walk, while striking out six in that outing.
Brian Anderson has posted a .346 batting average over the past week and has homered twice during that time. Anderson also had two doubles during that stretch, to go along with a superb six runs batted in. The third baseman had two three-hit games during the road trip and lifted his season average to .246.
Friday's first pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m.