The Miami Marlins will be on the road again when they visit the San Diego Padres for a weekend series beginning on Friday.
Miami was home for only three days, after spending a week on the road. During that brief homestand, the Marlins came away with two victories over the San Francisco Giants. This road trip will bring Miami to San Diego and Milwaukee, before it heads back home for nine straight.
The Marlins will have their ace, Caleb Smith on the mound for the series opener. Smith is coming off his worst start of the season, but he still has a team-best 3.05 E.R.A. The lefty gave up five runs in three innings to the Washington Nationals and he only picked up one strikeout. Smith has tallied six or more strikeouts in each of his other nine starts this season.
Jose Urena's 2019 season has turned around completely and will look to keep that going on Saturday. Urena has posted seven quality starts in his last eight tries, following a rough beginning to the 2019 season. Urena had a 10.38 E.R.A. through two starts and has reduced that all the way down to 4.11. The right-hander is 3-6 and has picked up wins in two consecutive outings.
Miami has won three straight games started by Trevor Richards and his next appearance will come on Sunday. Richards has a 3.82 E.R.A. on the year, which is good for second best in the rotation. Richards has put together three straight quality starts and has done a good job of limiting walks as of late. Prior to the recent win streak, Miami had lost all of Richards' first eight starts of the year.
Miami's offense has improved in May and a big reason for that progress, has been the promotion of Harold Ramirez. The outfielder is hitting .389 with a .431 on-base percentage and he has hits in almost all of his big-league games. Ramirez has one home run and five runs batted in so far, in his 15 games played. The 24-year old has also added three doubles along the way.
The Marlins are expected to be without one of their best hitters in this series, as Neil Walker sustained an injury to his quadriceps on Thursday. Walker continues to lead the Marlins in batting average and the team may place him on the injured list on Friday.
Starlin Castro has had a rough season, but he has been heating up recently. The veteran infielder has at least one hit in five straight contests and picked up Miami's first triple of the season on Wednesday. Castro's batting average is sitting at .233 and he has 16 runs batted in this season.
Friday's first pitch is scheduled for 10:10 p.m.