Jazz Chisholm Jr., who awakened the Miami offense on Saturday, will try to help the visiting Marlins take the rubber game against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday.
Chisholm was 4-for-6 with a homer, three RBIs, three runs scored and two stolen bases in Miami’s 9-7 win over Atlanta on Saturday.
It was part of a 14-hit attack that saw the Marlins score their second-most runs of the season and emerge from a slump where they had scored only six runs in the previous four games.
“It’s good to see him continuing on what we talked about with him, just kind of staying in focus, don’t give at-bats away,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “We keep telling him, if he keeps doing that, staying focused, he’s going to have a good year.”
John Berti got the start at third base when Miguel Rojas was a late scratch due to flu-like symptoms. He walked three times and scored two runs, in addition to being stellar defensively.
The pitching matchup for the series finale features Miami left-hander Jesus Luzardo (0-1, 4.82) against Atlanta right-hander Bryce Elder (1-1, 4.30).
This will mark the third start of the season for Luzardo, who has yet to last more than five innings. He was impressive in his first appearance, gaining a no decision after allowing two runs — one earned — and striking out 12 in five innings against the Los Angeles Angels.
But he regressed in his most recent start Tuesday against St. Louis, as he was tagged for five runs — four earned — in 4 1/3 innings.
“A lot of missed spots for the most part, with the ball getting over the middle of the plate and not getting the height he wanted,” Mattingly said.
Luzardo has made one career start against the Braves. He gave up four runs in three innings, struck out four and walked five in a loss last August.
Elder will make his third major league start and first against Miami.
Elder took the loss in his last start last Sunday against the San Diego Padres. He allowed two runs on three hits, with five walks and three strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.
The Braves finally ended their string of solo home runs on Saturday. Alex Dickerson delivered two-run homer, his first with the Braves, to end the team’s streak of 16 consecutive solo homers. The Braves had not homered with a man on base since Austin Riley’s two-run homer on Opening Day. It was the team’s longest streak of solo homers since 1960.
Atlanta shortstop Dansby Swanson appears to be emerging from his season-long slump. He went 2-for-4 with a triple and two RBIs and lifted his batting average to .182. It was as low as .143.
“I’ve seen him go through these stretches and he’s got the mental toughness to be able to work through it,” Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said. “The last couple nights he’s looked pretty good. He’s looked like his old self.”
The Braves could get right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. back in the lineup sooner than the May 6 target. Acuna will play at least three of four days next week for Triple-A Gwinnett.
If no problems develop, he may be cleared for a faster return.
–Field Level Media