Two left-handers -- Braxton Garrett of the Miami Marlins and Blake Snell of the visiting San Diego Padres -- are set to match up on Wednesday night for the middle game of a three-game series.
The Marlins are 6-4 this year when Garrett (1-2, 4.50 ERA) starts. In two career games against the Padres, Garrett is 1-0 with a 6.10 ERA.
San Diego is 2-8 this year with Snell (1-6, 5.04) on the mound, though he is 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA in four career starts against the Marlins. What's more, he is 2-0 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts in Miami.
Garrett had one truly awful start this year, allowing 14 hits and 11 runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Braves as he suffered his first loss of the season on May 3.
Beyond that game, Garrett -- Miami's first-round pick in 2016 -- has an impressive 2.68 ERA this year. On Wednesday, he will look for his first win since April 22.
Snell was the American League's Cy Young Award winner in 2018, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA while with Tampa Bay. After that season, he signed a five-year, $50-million contract.
Since then, however, he is just 26-32 with a 3.98 ERA, and he is scheduled to become a free agent after this season, his third with the Padres.
As for San Diego's hitters, Padres manager Bob Melvin has been concerned with his lineup. In fact, prior to the start of Tuesday's series-opener, Melvin said, "Our team is down offensively a little bit."
Indeed, the Padres entered this week ranked 24th in the majors in runs scored.
However, the Padres may have found a winning formula in their 9-4 win on Tuesday, going 5-for-6 on steals and drawing eight walks. Six of those walked batters came around to score.
Seven Padres players got hits, including Juan Soto, who went 2-for-3 with two RBIs, two walks, one run and one steal.
In addition, Matt Carpenter -- who entered Tuesday batting just .105 in May -- smacked two doubles and drove in three runs.
"That's what makes our lineup deeper," Melvin said of Carpenter, who hit sixth on Tuesday.
Padres star Fernando Tatis Jr. said he and his teammates have been taking better at-bats lately.
"This is what our offense should be doing," Tatis said of Tuesday's nine-run explosion.
Meanwhile, the Marlins are missing some key players due to injuries, including dynamic center fielder Jazz Chisholm Jr. (toe) and saves leader A.J. Puk (elbow).
Other Marlins on the injured list include starting pitchers Trevor Rogers and Johnny Cueto and outfielder Avisail Garcia. The Marlins got outfielder Jesus Sanchez off the injured list on Tuesday and he went 1-for-1 as a pinch-hitter.
Miami's leading hitters are second baseman Luis Arraez (.376) and outfielder Bryan De La Cruz (.301), the former leading all of baseball in batting average.
De La Cruz on Tuesday went 3-for-4 with a homer, three RBIs, two runs scored and one walk.
The Marlins, who have one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, have overachieved so far, going 28-27.
"It's just one-third of the season," Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said prior to Tuesday's game. "We're nowhere close to being finished. We have a lot of work still to be done."
--Field Level Media