A pair of last-place clubs are set to battle it out at Marlins Park on Friday, as the Miami Marlins host the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a three-game set.
Only the Marlins have scored fewer runs in the National League this year than defending World Series champion San Francisco. That offensive futility continued this week at Nationals Park as the Giants dropped two of three to Washington.
However, the Giants were able to avoid the sweep in Thursday's series finale as pinch-hitter Hector Sanchez delivered a three-run home run with two outs in the ninth inning to secure a dramatic 4-3 victory for San Francisco.
Meanwhile, Miami is coming off back-to-back wins at Kansas City after losing eight of its previous nine. The team had Thursday off after Wednesday's 5-2, series-clinching victory. Logan Morrison scored the go-ahead run in the seventh inning, then knocked in an insurance run in the ninth.
Run support has been lacking for Marlins starter Nathan Eovaldi, who has seen his offense fail to score a run while on the mound in any of his last five starts. That represents a scoreless span of 34 innings for Eovaldi, who is 0-1 with a 1.04 ERA in his last four outings and has posted a quality start in all but one of his 10 starts this season. He tossed seven scoreless frames against Atlanta on Saturday to snap the Braves' 14-game winning streak.
"There is always a guy like that, who the team just doesn't score runs for," manager Mike Redmond said. "In 13 years that I played, you don't have an answer. All you can say is, 'Hang in there,' and hopefully it turns around for him."
Meanwhile, the Giants will turn to Chad Gaudin, who has lost only once in 11 starts since moving to the starting rotation in the beginning of June. Gaudin has been nearly unhittable since July began, yielding one earned run or fewer in six of seven starts.
Most recently, the right-hander got a no-decision against Baltimore this past Saturday despite allowing a mere two hits in five shutout innings.
"In the long run, you just have to base your emphasis on getting outs as quickly as possible and keeping it simple," Gaudin said.
Miami won three of four in San Francisco when these teams met up from June 20-23.