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Pitchers look to build on strong starts as Marlins host Braves

Sportsnaut
May 8, 2022; San Diego, California, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Trevor Rogers (28) throws a pitch against the San Diego Padres during the first inning at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Two reliable starting pitchers who are coming off redemptive outings will oppose each other on Friday when the Atlanta Braves open a three-game series at the Miami Marlins.

Atlanta’s Charlie Morton (2-3, 4.93 ERA) and Miami’s Trevor Rogers (2-4, 4.45) are both coming off strong outings in what otherwise has been a disappointing start for both.

Rogers looked good in his most recent start on Saturday against Milwaukee. He pitched 5 1/3 innings and allowed one run on five hits with eight strikeouts to earn his second win of the season. It was his first start without walking a batter of the season. Rogers altered his mix of pitches and threw more sliders than changeups to go along with fastball.

“My changeup had probably the most depth it’s had a year,” Rogers said. “Really found the bottom of the zone late with it and I think my slider was probably the best it’s ever been in my career. Had a lot of turn, a lot of depth, picked up pace as it got closer to the plate. Really had a three-pitch mix and made my life a little easier out there.”

Rogers has had very little luck against the Braves. The left-hander is 0-4 with a 5.24 ERA in five career starts against Atlanta. Rogers lost to the Braves on April 22, despite allowing only one unearned run in a five-inning appearance of a game the Marlins lost 3-0.

Morton looked good in his outing last Saturday against San Diego. He gave up one run on two hits, one walk and nine strikeouts in six innings of a game that was that the Braves won, although the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead for him. In his most recent two starts, he has pitched 11 innings and allowed a combined one run on four hits, four walks and 14 strikeouts.

“It was really good,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said after Morton’s last start. “The way the ball was coming out and how efficient he was, he took another step forward.”

Morton has not faced the Marlins this season. In 19 career starts against Miami he is 9-5 with a 4.03 ERA. His last win over Miami was Aug. 18, 2021.

In its most recent series, Miami won two of three games against Washington, dropping the finale 5-4 on Wednesday. The Marlins are 3-3 on their current homestand, which concludes with the Braves.

Atlanta lost two of three games against the National League Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers. The Braves have lost four of their past six games to fall four games under .500 and 7 1/2 behind the New York Mets in the NL East.

Atlanta right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was hit by a pitch on Wednesday to extend his on-base streak to 26 games, dating back to last season. He went 0 for 4 with three strikeouts to end his eight-game hitting streak.

Miami’s Jazz Chisholm Jr. has been red-hot. He went 5-for-11 with three runs, one double, one triple, one homer and three RBIs in the Washington series. Chisholm has five home runs and 15 RBI in 25 career games against the Braves.

This is the second season series between the two clubs. Miami won two of three games in April.

–Field Level Media