The Colorado Rockies, who are coming off their second three-game sweep of the season -- first over a team with a winning record -- are set to visit the slumping Miami Marlins on Tuesday night.
Rockies right fielder Randal Grichuk, who hit a three-run homer in Colorado's sweep-clinching 8-3 win over the San Diego Padres on Sunday, said his team is highly confident.
"I think hitting is contagious," Grichuk said. "No one wants to be left behind when everyone is swinging it well. Hopefully we can continue this in Miami."
The Marlins just concluded a 4-6 road trip that started with a 2-0 record. After that, the Marlins lost six of eight games.
At issue for the Marlins is their hitting with runners in scoring position and strikeouts. In their four wins on this most recent road trip, the Marlins hit .375 with RISP. In their six losses, they hit just .120.
Marlins manager Don Mattingly preached patience.
"We've just got to keep getting runners on base," Mattingly said. "Guys will come through."
Tuesday's pitching matchup will feature Marlins lefty Daniel Castano (0-1, 0.00 ERA) and Rockies right-hander Ryan Feltner (1-2, 4.85 ERA).
In his pro career, Castano, 27, has pitched 16 times in the majors and 100 games in the minors. This year, he has bounced between both levels. He pitched in the majors twice in April, once in May before making his first start June 15.
He blanked the Phillies for 6 2/3 innings on five hits and two walks. He left with the lead but got a no-decision when the Phillies rallied to win 3-1 against Miami's bullpen.
"I just tried to go hitter to hitter," said Castano, who has never faced the Rockies. "I tried to slow the game down, not make it too big."
Feltner, 25, beat the Marlins in Colorado on May 30 in the only time he has faced Miami. Feltner held the Marlins to four hits, one walk and one run in seven innings, striking out six.
Since then, however, Feltner has allowed seven runs in nine innings in his next two starts.
Offensively, the Rockies are powered by first baseman C.J. Cron, who leads the team in homers (17), runs (41), RBIs (52), slugging percentage (.561) and OPS (.905). His 14 doubles are tied for the team lead with shortstop Jose Iglesias.
However, the Rockies are just 11-18 on the road this season.
The Marlins, who are 15-14 at home, struck out 48 times in the past four games against the New York Mets. Miami, which lost three of those games, fell one strikeout short of the franchise record for most strikeouts in a four-game series.
Mattingly said injuries have hampered his offense. Four starter-caliber hitters are currently out: first baseman Jesus Aguilar, center fielder Jesus Sanchez, and third basemen Brian Anderson and Joey Wendle.
"We've been a little disjointed with our lineup," Mattingly said, "just from the standpoint of who is in and who is out."
--Field Level Media