After blowing leads in the first two games of a four-game-set in Milwaukee, the Miami Marlins rallied to salvage a split. The Marlins will now head to St. Louis to conclude the first half of the season as the All-Star break gets underway following Sunday’s action. Miami will close the first half with a three-game series against the defending world champion St. Louis Cardinals. The Marlins and Cardinals will conclude their season series as well with the three games. The series will also end a 7-game-road-trip for Miami. Following the series, the Marlins will have four days to rest before the Washington Nationals visit South Florida next Friday.
Miami comes to St. Louis with a 40-42 record which leaves them in fourth place in the National League East. Miami trails Washington by nine games in the division and is 4.5 games back of the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants for the final wild card spot. St. Louis enters the series with a 44-39 record; the Cardinals are in third place in the National League Central sitting 2.5 games back of the surprising Pittsburgh Pirates. St. Louis however, is just one game out in the wild card race. Miami and St. Louis will play a night game on Friday before day games on Saturday and Sunday.
St. Louis leads 3-1. The Cardinals kicked off the 2012 season and opened Marlins Park with a 4-1 win over the Fish. St. Louis took two of three in Miami when the teams met less than two weeks ago. The Cardinals took the opener of that series 8-7 in 10 innings after rallying for four runs in the 9th to send the game into extra innings. Miami avoided the sweep with a 5-3 win in the series finale.
Marlins Acquire Carlos Lee, Send Sanchez Back to Minors
On Wednesday, the Miami Marlins acquired Houston Astros first baseman Carlos Lee in a trade for a pair of minor leagues including third baseman Matt Dominguez. Carlos Lee debuted on Thursday for the Fish going 2-for-4 with a run scored in a 4-0 win over Milwaukee. With the acquisition of Lee, Miami sent first baseman Gaby Sanchez back to Triple-A. Sanchez had hit below .200 for much of the year, and was sent down with a .202 average. His last hit however before being sent down, was a solo home run off Brewers’ closer John Axford in the top of the 9th to send Wednesday’s game into extra innings. Miami would squeak out a 7-6 victory in 10 innings.
Stanton Battles Knee Issues
Marlins’ right fielder Giancarlo Stanton had played in all 80 games for Miami prior to Wednesday. Stanton, Miami’s lone All-Star, has missed his last two games however with a knee injury. Stanton has discussed the possibility of not going to Kansas City for the All-Star Game and its festivities and may have arthroscopic surgery over the break to repair a loose body in the knee. Stanton leads the Marlins with 19 home runs, 50 RBIs and a .364 on-base percentage.
Friday – Ricky Nolasco (MIA) 7-6, 4.62 ERA vs. Jake Westbrook (STL) 7-6, 3.91 ERA
Saturday – Carlos Zambrano (MIA) 4-6, 4.14 ERA vs. Kyle Lohse (STL) 8-2, 2.80 ERA
Sunday – Anibal Sanchez (MIA) 4-6, 4.19 ERA vs. Joe Kelly (STL) 1-1, 3.29 ERA
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