Coming off their first series sweep of the season, the Miami Marlins look to stay hot on Monday night when they begin a three-game set with the hosting Philadelphia Phillies.
The Marlins took all three games of their weekend series with the New York Mets, pounding their NL East rivals 11-6 in Sunday's finale. They plated 24 runs in the series to match their longest winning streak of the season, having lost nine in a row before the sweep.
Greg Dobbs hit a three-run homer and Marcell Ozuna fell a home run shy of the cycle while driving in four runs.
It was also a game to remember for Ed Lucas, who was playing in just his third career major league game. The 31-year-old was recalled from the minors on Monday following a minor league career that began in 2004.
"The first couple of days here I was just getting acclimated," said Lucas. "We've been winning. I saw my name in the lineup today and it was the first time I got to the park and I thought, 'I'm here, let's play baseball. Let's get a win.' It's not so much about me anymore, it's about the team."
Lucas will stick around a little longer despite the fact that first baseman Casey Kotchman is expected to be activated from the disabled list prior to tonight's game. He has missed the past 55 games due to a left hamstring strain.
Outfielder Jordan Brown was optioned to Triple-A following Sunday's game.
While Lucas is enjoying his first taste of major league action, 26-year-old Tom Koehler aims to pick up his first career win.
Koehler began the season in the bullpen, but has gone 0-3 with a 3.24 earned run average over four straight starts. In his career, the right-hander has gone 0-4 with a 3.81 ERA in 18 games (5 starts).
Koehler was solid on Wednesday versus the Tampa Bay Rays, logging a season- high eight innings. He gave up two of his three runs during the outing in the first inning and suffered a 3-1 loss.
"It's always tough when you give up a couple of runs in the first," Koehler said. "When you give up that second run it really puts your team in a hole. Every at-bat becomes a battle for them from the beginning, and that can't happen."
Koehler has faced the Phillies twice before in relief, including a May 2 outing in which he yielded three runs over two innings of work. He gave up a pair of run-scoring singles and also uncorked a wild pitch that plated a run.
The Stony Brook product will face off tonight against perhaps the hottest hitter in the NL right now in the Phillies' Domonic Brown. The outfielder has a hit in seven straight and 12 of his past 13 games. He was batting .243 prior to that stretch, but has upped his average to .282.
The 25-year-old leads the NL with 16 homers and has a team-high 40 RBI on the year. Brown has gone deep eight times in his past nine games and hit a three- run homer in Sunday's 7-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.
Brown finished with four RBI and was a double shy of the cycle.
"The more consistent he gets, the better he gets," Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Brown.
Cliff Lee picked up his seventh victory of the season, allowing three runs with a season-high 11 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings.
Milwaukee plated a total of four runs in the eighth inning and reliever Antonio Bastardo gave up another run in the ninth before recovering to notch his first save of the season.
Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon was unavailable with an undisclosed illness, but Philadelphia still managed to avoid a three-game sweep and win for only the third time in eight games.
The club will try to string together consecutive wins tonight behind Kyle Kendrick, who is coming off a win over Boston on Wednesday that followed two straight losing starts.
The right-hander held the Red Sox to a pair of runs on four hits and three walks in a 4-3 decision, improving to 5-3 on the year with a 3.27 ERA in 11 starts.
Kendrick, 28, has had a ton of success lifetime versus the Marlins. He beat them on May 2 with seven innings of two-run ball, moving to 11-2 with a 3.62 ERA in 20 games (15 starts) in this series.
The Phillies have won six of 10 versus the Marlins this season, including a four-game split in Philadelphia from May 2-5.