Padres aim for sweep of Marlins

MLB

Rookie left-hander Ryan Weathers, who pitched four scoreless innings against the Miami Marlins last month, hopes to lead the Padres to a three-game sweep on Wednesday afternoon in San Diego.

San Diego beat Miami 6-5 on Tuesday, marking the Padres’ fourth straight win and the Marlins’ fifth consecutive defeat.

Weathers (4-4, 4.26 ERA) held Miami to just two hits on July 24, but he left with a no-decision after four innings. The Padres are 9-11 when Weathers pitches, and he hasn’t earned a win since July 6.

The Marlins will start right-hander Sandy Alcantara (6-10, 3.70 ERA), who has never faced the Padres.

There’s a good chance the Marlins will start rookie catcher Alex Jackson, who is a San Diego native.

“It’s a super exciting,” Jackson said when asked about playing in his hometown. “It’s super special being at home.”

Meanwhile, with San Diego star shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. out due to a shoulder injury, first baseman Eric Hosmer has stepped up for the Padres. Since July 1, Hosmer is hitting .426 at Petco Park — the highest home batting average in the majors during that span (minimum 50 plate appearances).

Tatis is eligible to return to the lineup on Wednesday, but Padres manager Jayce Tingler said that will not happen.

“He’s able to do a little more each day,” Tingler said. “He’s bouncing back, but he has a ways to go.”

Even without Tatis, the Padres bounced back from a 3-0 deficit on Tuesday. Four San Diego players — Hosmer, Austin Nola, Wil Myers and Trent Grisham — had two hits. Myers also walked twice.

The Padres, though, had to use eight pitchers and likely will have a tired bullpen for Wednesday’s game. In addition, reliever Drew Pomeranz left the Tuesday contest because of forearm tightness. His status for Wednesday was unclear.

All of that puts pressure on Weathers, who has yet to go past 5 2/3 innings this season.

Miami is in slightly better shape in terms of its pitching staff, and that’s partly because the Marlins used just six pitchers on Tuesday.

In addition, Alcantara has shown a strong tendency to give the Marlins length. He has lasted at least six innings on 17 occasions this year. He has lasted at least seven innings in seven games.

Unfortunately for the Marlins, they are 11-23 in one-run games, and they took another hit in that regard on Tuesday.

One way the Marlins are trying to find an edge is by running more. Since the start of July, the Marlins lead the majors with 28 steals.

The Marlins have some fast players, including Magneuris Sierra, who has stolen six bases and has not been caught, and Jazz Chisholm Jr., who is on the injured list.

But at least some of Miami’s recent success on the bases is more a function of attention to detail rather than flat-out speed. Jorge Alfaro has six steals and has not been caught. Shortstop Miguel Rojas has 11 steals and has been caught just once.

Neither player is particularly fast, but they study pitchers’ tendencies.

“We’re not really producing (many runs),” Rojas said of Miami’s offense. “I feel the necessity of getting those extra 90 feet.”

–Field Level Media

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