Though the status of two key contributors remains uncertain, the Miami Marlins seem poised to put a positive finish on a disappointing season.
The Marlins can win a third consecutive series Wednesday night against the visiting Milwaukee Brewers.
While Miami (58-81) still isn't sure if slugger Giancarlo Stanton will return from a wrist injury suffered in late June, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria (hamstring) believes he can play again this season but certainly will miss a sixth consecutive contest Wednesday.
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Already with career highs of five home runs and 48 RBIs, Hechavarria has been one of the few bright spots for the underachieving Marlins.
"Right now, I'm around 70 percent," he told MLB's official website. "I think I'll be back before the season ends. But to rush back from a hamstring isn't easy."
Miami, though, won't worry about who is not on the field.
Instead, it will try to win for the seventh time in nine games after evening this three-game set with a 6-4 win Tuesday. J.T. Realmuto hit two homers, including an inside-the-parker, as the Marlins handed Milwaukee (61-77) its second loss in three games after winning six in a row.
"That's a thing of beauty," Marlins manager Dan Jennings said of Realmuto's accomplishment. "Very few catchers possess that type of speed and athleticism to be able to run off an inside-the-parker.
"A big night for him."
It was the first time since May 31, 1980, that a catcher - Montreal's Gary Carter - had a multihomer game that included an inside-the-parker.
Realmuto is batting .429 in his last seven games and could be back behind the plate to catch Tom Koehler (8-13, 4.08).
The right-hander is 0-7 with a 6.31 ERA in his last eight starts, but the Marlins snapped a seven-game skid with him on the mound in Friday's 6-5, 11-inning win over the New York Mets. For a second straight home start, Koehler allowed two runs in six innings but walked a season-high five after walking four in his previous outing at Marlins Mark.
Perhaps the right-hander's worst start during his winless stretch came Aug .19 when he gave up seven runs, nine hits and walked four in 4 1-3 innings of an 8-7 loss at Milwaukee. Khris Davis belted a two-run homer and a three-run shot off Koehler in that contest and is batting .350 in five career games at Marlins Park.
Scooter Gennett, who is 3 for 7 with a triple against Koehler, is batting .379 in his last 19 games.
Milwaukee's Ariel Pena (1-0, 6.00 ERA) makes his first career start after he earned the win despite allowing two runs in three innings of Saturday's 7-3 victory at Cincinnati in his major league debut. The right-hander, who is replacing the ineffective Matt Garza, doesn't appear to be on a specific pitch count.
"We're going to try to win the game, so however that works (in terms of pitch count), it works," manager Craig Counsell said. "We're trying to be really flexible here. I think that's the best way to do it when you have some options now."