The Cincinnati Reds will attempt to pick up their fourth straight win while securing their first road sweep of the season when they face the Miami Marlins on Sunday afternoon.
Cincinnati will send right-hander Luke Weaver (1-2, 7.36 ERA) to the mound, while Braxton Garrett (1-2, 5.97) gets the nod for the Marlins.
The Reds have shown patience with manager David Bell, who is in his fifth season at the helm. Perhaps that patience will pay off this year as Bell continues to preach team unity.
“Playing together and relying on each other leads to wins,” Bell said this weekend. “It also makes the game more fun.
“Trust your teammates. Trust the guy next to you. … I’m happy that all of that is growing every day (with our team).”
Jake Fraley is surely making Bell happy with his play. In two games against Miami this weekend, Fraley went 4-for-8 with three homers, eight RBIs, five runs, one walk and one steal.
“I’m just trying to see a ball up and put it into the outfield,” Fraley said.
Fraley has the second-highest on-base-plus-slugging percentage on the team at .826. He trails second baseman Jonathan India, who has a .839 OPS.
On the mound, Reds closer Alexis Diaz (nine saves in nine tries) will likely rest Sunday. He saved the first two games of the series, pitching a total of 2 2/3 innings.
Since the Reds scratched left-hander Nick Lodolo (calf) from Saturday’s scheduled start, their bullpen is stretched thin. Cincinnati used seven pitchers in its 6-5 win Saturday, and the Reds badly need a long outing from Weaver.
Weaver is in his first year with the Reds after signing a one-year, $2 million contract this offseason. The Reds are 2-2 when starting Weaver, who is 1-2 with a 3.72 ERA in five career appearances (three starts) against the Marlins.
But in two career starts in Miami, Weaver is 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA.
The Marlins, meanwhile, are 4-2 when Garrett starts this year. However, the Marlins have lost two straight games when starting Garrett, who has allowed 15 runs in 9 2/3 innings during that span.
Garrett, a former first-round pick, has dropped his only two career starts against the Reds (0-2, 5.91 ERA).
Besides trying to get Garrett back on track, the Marlins have injury concerns in their outfield. Right fielder Jesus Sanchez (hamstring) and center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. (foot) are questionable for Sunday. Both were hurt Saturday.
It’s possible one or both could go on the injured list before Sunday’s game.
“It’s like the worst time to get injured when you feel good at the plate,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said. “Jazz has been taking some really good at-bats. (Saturday) was really, really good. Sánchez has been our hottest hitter. So for that to happen, obviously, it’s kind of a punch to the gut when that happens to the team and to him.
“Hopefully it’s not as bad as it looked, but we can only find out through the imaging.”
Sanchez has hit .400 (10-for-25) through eight games in May, while Chisholm has hit safely in five of his last six games.
–Field Level Media