The visiting Miami Marlins will turn to rookie right-hander Eury Perez as they look to salvage a split with the Milwaukee Brewers in the finale of the four-game series on Thursday afternoon.
Perez (5-4, 2.90 ERA) will be opposed by right-hander Adrian Houser (5-4, 4.58 ERA), who is scheduled to be activated off the injured list for his first start since Aug. 27. Houser has been sidelined due to a swollen right elbow.
After dropping the first two games of the series, the Marlins bounced back for a 2-0 win on Wednesday night behind Braxton Garrett, who allowed four hits over six innings. A trio of relievers completed the seven-hit shutout.
Milwaukee, which won the first two games 12-0 and 3-1, had the leadoff hitter aboard in six of the nine innings on Wednesday but went 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. The Brewers, who were shut out for the 11th time this season, are 14-49 when scoring three runs or fewer, and 67-15 when scoring four or more.
“That’s a great job from the leadoff hitter, for sure, getting on six of the nine,” Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. “There was maybe a couple innings first and second, and then the next hit was obviously not there all night.”
Miami (75-71) is tied with the San Francisco Giants (75-71), a half-game behind the Cincinnati Reds (76-71) and Arizona (76-71) for the final National League wild-card spot.
The Brewers (81-64), who lost for just the second time in their past 12 home games, retained their four-game lead in the NL Central over the Chicago Cubs (78-69), who lost 7-3 at Colorado.
Houser is 2-2 with a 6.26 ERA over his past six starts. In his latest outing, vs. the San Diego Padres, he allowed four runs in two innings before leaving with right forearm tightness. He did not get a decision in the Brewers’ 10-6 win.
Houser is 2-0 with a 3.07 ERA in three career appearances, including two starts, against Miami.
Milwaukee left fielder Christian Yelich (.274, 17 home runs, 70 RBIs) missed his fifth straight game on Wednesday due to a sore lower back. However, he went through a pregame routine and is nearing a return, Counsell said.
Outfielder Mark Canha, who left the Tuesday game with a sore left wrist, will be out again on Thursday but could return on Friday.
Perez, 20, will be making his seventh start since being recalled in early August from Double-A Pensacola. After losing on Aug. 7, he has not had a decision in his past five starts, allowing nine earned runs 25 2/3 innings (3.16 ERA).
In his two September starts, Perez has yielded five runs in 9 2/3, giving up four homers, walking six and striking out nine. In his most recent outing, he gave up two runs on four hits in five innings in Miami’s 3-2 win at Philadelphia on Friday.
“Again, he’s 20 years old, and I thought he did really good against a tough environment, Friday night in Philly, it’s not easy for anybody,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said after that contest. “But for Eury to get through five, I think there’s always going to be some learning lessons and I think he learned some stuff tonight.”
Miami leadoff hitter Luis Arraez had two singles in four at-bats on Wednesday to raise his major-league-leading average to .349.
Marlins center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. left in the fourth inning Wednesday with right knee discomfort after trying to beat out a double-play grounder.
–Field Level Media