Right-hander Mike Fiers returns to his home state on Monday with a chance to reverse the result of his last meeting with Miami, as the Milwaukee Brewers open a four-game series with the host Marlins.
A 27-year-old from Hollywood, Fla., Fiers took a 4-0 loss to the Marlins on July 5 in Milwaukee after allowing two runs on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings.
He's won five of eight decisions across nine starts since, including consecutive defeats of Pittsburgh and the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 24 and 29, respectively.
In those two wins, he allowed nine hits and four runs in 14 innings, while walking three batters and striking out 16.
In seven road starts this season, Fiers is 4-2 with a 3.12 earned run average in 43 1/3 innings.
Miami counters with California-born righty Ricky Nolasco, who's coming off his best outing of the season.
The 29-year-old, a 14-game winner in 2010 and 10-time winner last season, got to double digits again in 2012 with a 9-0 blanking of the Washington Nationals on Aug, 28, in which he tossed a complete-game five-hitter.
It was his first win since Aug. 11 and just his second since July 6.
Lifetime against Milwaukee, Nolasco is 5-6 in 13 starts with a 4.37 ERA.
On Sunday in Milwaukee, the Brewers kept mascot Bernie Brewer active and finished off a three-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates with a 12-8 win.
Ryan Braun, Jeff Bianchi, Rickie Weeks, Carlos Gomez and pitcher Yovani Gallardo all homered for the Brewers, who have won seven of their last eight games.
Gallardo was going for his seventh straight win, but was chased from the game after he allowed seven runs on 11 hits in 4 2/3 innings. Kameron Loe (5-4), who gave up a run in an 1 1/3 of relief work, received the win.
"He was out of whack," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said of Gallardo. "He has thrown so well for so long. He had a game when he just wasn't on. He tried to fight through it and get five innings in."
In Miami, Jason Bay broke out of a 10-for-83 slump and delivered two hits, including a first-inning grand slam to help the New York Mets down the Marlins, 5-1, and complete a three-game sweep.
Mark Buehrle (12-12) allowed five runs, all in the first inning. He shook off the rough start and pitched seven innings for the Marlins, giving up six hits while striking out three.
The Marlins entered the series with a 53-52 lead in all-time matchups between the teams, though Milwaukee swept all seven games in 2011. In one four-game series in 2012 from July 2-5, the Brewers won the first two game and Miami took the second two.