Fox News - Fair & Balanced


National League Preview from The Sports Network

Saturday, June 2nd (All times eastern)

Miami Marlins (29-23) at Philadelphia Phillies (28-25), 4:05 p.m.

Probable Starting Pitchers: Miami - Ricky Nolasco (5-3, 4.26) Philadelphia - Cole Hamels (8-1, 2.43)

(Sports Network) - Riding an eight-game winning streak over his last nine starts, Cole Hamels will take the mound today aiming to beat the only team he's lost to this season.

The Phillies left-hander, whose won five straight starts, suffered his lone defeat of 2012 to Miami on April 9 at Citizens Bank Park, the site of this afternoon's contest.

Hamels, who has pitched at least seven innings in each of his last four appearances, is coming off a victory against the Mets on Monday. He's just 6-8 with a 3.51 ERA over 20 career games when facing the Marlins.

A good outing from Hamels could help the Phillies continue their recent surge that has the NL East so tight that only 2 1/2 games separate the top and bottom team in the division. The Phillies are the bottom dwellers, but have won seven of their last nine contests, including last night's 6-4 thriller thanks to Jonathan Papelbon's five-out save and an amazing catch in center field by John Mayberry Jr.

Papelbon escaped a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the eighth and then retired the first two batters in the ninth. Justin Ruggiano singled to left and advanced to second base. Pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs hit a line drive to deep center field, but Mayberry got twisted around and still somehow was able to reach out and make the catch at the warning track.

Papelbon, who logged his 15th save, had the look of disbelief when the catch was made to end the game.

"Any time [Phillies manager] Charlie [Manuel] calls on me to get in the game, I'm ready and more than able," Papelbon said about his five-out save. "I look forward to any opportunity to get in the game."

Hector Luna had two hits and knocked in three runs for the Phillies, while Hunter Pence added three hits, including a two-run home run, and scored three times.

Kyle Kendrick (2-4) allowed two runs on eight hits and three walks in 5 1/3 innings to earn the win.

Mark Buehrle (5-5) gave up four runs on 11 hits through a five-inning start to suffer the loss.

"Just a bad day at the office," Buehrle said about his outing. "I thought I was making good pitches but a lot of balls were finding holes."

Ricky Nolasco counters on the mound today for the Marlins. The righty is coming off a 3-2 loss to the Giants at Marlins Park on Sunday, in which he gave up just three runs and five hits over seven innings.

It's been a struggle for Nolasco recently. He went 4-0 with a 2.72 ERA over his first six starts of the season, while opponents batted .235. The Marlins won five of those games. In four starts since then, he is 1-3 with a 7.06 ERA, and opponents are batting .333.

Nolasco is 6-4 with a 3.55 ERA in 15 games (12 starts) all-time against the Phillies.

Miami shortstop Jose Reyes went 3-for-4 last night and extended his hitting streak to 12 games, the longest currently in the majors.

The Phillies took two of three matchups with Miami earlier this season from April 9-12 and have won six of the past nine meetings between the clubs. The Phillies have also won 11 of their last 13 at home against the Marlins.

06/02 10:32:51 ET