(SportsNetwork.com) - The Miami Marlins close out their road trip with a stop at Citizens Bank Park, as they take on the Philadelphia Phillies Tuesday night in the opener of a three-game set.
Miami suffered a four-game sweep in Queens over the weekend at the hands of the division-rival Mets. The Marlins have now dropped seven of their last nine games to fall to the bottom of the National League East standings, one game back of the Phillies.
On Sunday, the Marlins scored five runs after the fifth inning but still wound up losing 7-6 as they were unable to overcome the Mets' seven-run fourth inning off starter Tom Koehler.
"There is a level of frustration," manager Mike Redmond said. "We continue to battle back and keep fighting. If we keep stringing together at-bats, we're going to get on the other end of these games. We've got to get the pitching straightened out and get these guys deeper into games, to get us opportunities."
Things have not gone any better for the offensively challenged Phillies, who have lost seven of eight. They just dropped three of four to the Washington Nationals, and the lineup has been held to two or fewer runs in four of its last five games.
Philadelphia was unable to solve Nats starter Stephen Strasburg in Sunday's 4-1 loss to close out the series. The right-hander struck out seven in 7 1/3 innings, while Phillies starter David Buchanan went five frames and allowed three runs on six hits. Buchanan is now 0-3 with a 9.22 ERA after three times through the rotation.
"Against the Red Sox, I wasn't really throwing strikes," Buchanan said of his three-inning season debut against Boston. "I was falling behind. Eventually that's going to catch up to you. But (Sunday) I thought I was throwing the ball in the zone. Had some tough breaks."
Philadelphia is beginning a six-game homestand, which will conclude a span of 16 straight games against the NL East. The Phillies are just 3-7 so far in that stretch.
Despite the team's overall struggles, one bright spot has been the early returns from new center fielder Odubel Herrera, who spent 2008-14 in the Texas Rangers' farm system before the Phillies picked him in the Rule 5 Draft. Herrera has four doubles and two triples over his last five games and is hitting .302 on the season.
Jerome Williams gets the start for Philadelphia. The right-hander was tagged for 10 hits, including two home runs, and four earned runs in a loss at the Mets on Wednesday. He'll look to rebound with a performance more in line with his season opener against Washington, when he twirled six innings of one-run ball and struck out six batters.
Williams pitched for three teams in 2014, although he did appear most comfortable with the Phillies as he went 4-2 with a 2.83 ERA across nine starts.
Veteran Dan Haren gets the call for Miami. The durable right-hander has made at least 30 starts in 10 straight seasons, although he has seen his ERA hover above 4.00 in each of the last three. Still, Haren has posted a 2.08 ERA through two starts this season, and he gave up just two runs on three hits in seven innings in Atlanta on Wednesday. He also struck out five.
The Phillies had an 11-8 edge over Miami in last season's series.