Phillies-Marlins: 5 things you need to know

Phillies-Marlins: 5 things you need to know

September 18, 2013, 2:15 pm
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1. When and where

The Phillies (71-80) close out their second-to-last home series of the year against the Marlins at 7:05 p.m. on CSN.

2. Offensive outbursts

The Phils have outscored the Marlins 18-6 in taking the first two games of the series. It’s the first time in 72 games that the Phils have scored at least six runs in back-to-back wins.

The Phils have beaten the Marlins 11 of 15 times this season. They’ve outscored them 68-43.

3. Utley on fire

Chase Utley has hit three-run homers in consecutive games to pace the Phils. He’s the first Phillie since Ryan Howard in 2006 to homer and drive in at least four runs in back-to-back games.

On the season, Utley is hitting .280/.346/.485 with 18 homers and 66 RBIs. He trails only Matt Carpenter (.486) in slugging percentage among NL second basemen.

4. Miner’s starting debut

With right shoulder inflammation sidelining Kyle Kendrick, veteran reliever Zach Miner gets his first start with the Phillies and first for any major-league team since 2009.

In 13 appearances with the Phils this season, Miner has a 3.72 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. He’s eclipsed 40 pitches in a game three times, and that combined with his four days of rest make him a candidate to go about four innings Wednesday night.

Miner is opposed by Marlins right-hander Nate Eovaldi (3-6, 3.80). The centerpiece of the deal that sent Hanley Ramirez to the Dodgers, Eovaldi has developed nicely for the Marlins this season.

Eovaldi had poor starts his last time out against Washington (3 IP, 9 H, 5 ER) and Aug. 16 against the Giants (3 IP, 12 H, 9 ER), but has a 1.34 ERA in his seven other outings since July 25.

The 23-year-old is 0-4 with a 5.85 ERA in four career starts vs. the Phils -– all last year -- and has been smothered by Carlos Ruiz (4 for 6, three doubles) and Domonic Brown (4 for 8).

5. Too late a start

Ruiz missed the Phillies’ first 25 games because of a suspension and started slowly before suffering a hamstring injury. But over his last 36 games, he’s hit .336/.385/.528 with 12 doubles, four homers and 25 RBIs.

His end-of-season numbers will end up falling in line with his last several seasons, even if almost all of the production came for a team going nowhere. That wasn’t Ruiz’s fault, but it was partially his fault that the team got out to such a slow start.

A 34-year-old free-agent at season’s end, Chooch is hitting .287 with a .731 OPS in 85 games this season.

Tonight's lineup

1) Cesar Hernandez, CF

2) Jimmy Rollins, SS

3) Chase Utley, 2B

4) Carlos Ruiz, C

5) Domonic Brown, LF

6) Darin Ruf, 1B

7) Cody Asche, 3B

8) Roger Bernadina, RF

9) Zach Miner, P