NL East cellar dwellers start series in Miami
Young righty Jacob Turner aims for a second straight pitching gem against the New York Mets on Monday night when the Miami Marlins host them in the opener of a four-game series at Marlins Park.
Just 22 years old, Turner faced the Mets for the third time in his brief big- league career on May 31 and emerged a 5-1 winner after scattering five hits and striking out three batters in seven innings in Miami.
It was his third career meeting with the Mets and leveled his record against them to 1-1 while lowering his earned run average against them to a stingy 1.83 in 19 2/3 innings.
Turner has gone 2-3 in nine subsequent starts, last winning on July 10 against the Atlanta Braves. His last two outings have ended in losses at Milwaukee and Colorado while he's allowed 11 hits and four runs in 11 combined innings.
In four starts this season in Miami, Turner is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA in 30 innings.
The Marlins are 5-5 in his last 10 starts, with four of the wins coming in Miami.
Turner will be opposed by 27-year-old righty Jeremy Hefner, who's aiming for his first win since July 7.
The Oklahoma native defeated Milwaukee, 2-1, to extend a win streak to three straight decisions, but he's since gone 0-2 in three outings while being strafed for 19 hits and 16 runs in 13 1/2 innings.
However, he was effective in his last road start in Pittsburgh on July 12 and got a no- decision despite allowing just two runs in seven innings of the Mets' 3-2 loss.
In 11 road outings this season, he's 3-3 with a 3.84 ERA.
On Sunday in Washington, Wilson Ramos had a grand slam and five RBI and the Nationals recorded 18 hits en route to a 14-1 rout against the Mets in the finale of a four-game series at Nationals Park.
Marlon Byrd drove in the lone run for the Mets.
Starter Carlos Torres (1-2) lasted just three innings, surrendering eight runs on nine hits and a walk.
In Miami, Jose Fernandez was dealing, as he struck out a career-high 13 batters to help the Marlins edge the Pittsburgh Pirates, 3-2, in the rubber match of a three-game series.
Fernandez (7-5) threw a 97-pitch gem, allowing just two runs on five hits without a walk over eight stellar innings. The 13 strikeouts set a new Marlins rookie record.
Giancarlo Stanton continued his recent offensive surge, going 2-for-3 with a solo homer that put Miami ahead in the sixth. Ed Lucas and Donovan Solano each added an RBI for the Marlins, winners in three of their last four contests.
The Mets entered the week with an eight-game lead in the overall series between the teams, 169-161. The Marlins won eight of the first 11 games in 2013, however, including five in a row from May 31 to June 9.