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Marlins rally in LA to snap five-game skid

Special to MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- The Marlins' youngsters are ready to learn and the veterans were willing to teach Tuesday in a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers that ended a five-game losing streak.

Cameron Maybin supplied the go-ahead double in the ninth inning, while Starlin Castro tied the score at 2 one inning earlier on his own-run scoring double.

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LOS ANGELES -- The Marlins' youngsters are ready to learn and the veterans were willing to teach Tuesday in a 3-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers that ended a five-game losing streak.

Cameron Maybin supplied the go-ahead double in the ninth inning, while Starlin Castro tied the score at 2 one inning earlier on his own-run scoring double.

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After the Marlins fell behind, 1-0, it was the red-hot J.T. Realmuto who tied the score with a third-inning home run, his second of the year.

Video: MIA@LAD: Maybin rips a go-ahead RBI double to left

Victories have been hard to come by for a rebuilding Marlins club, but staying competitive has not been an issue. The Marlins' last three defeats have been by a combined four runs. And 11 of their 23 games have been decided by three runs or fewer, including Tuesday.

"We feel like we have been in every game this year but two ballgames," Maybin said. "For a young team, it's about -- How do you finish? How do you learn how to finish? But being in the game is the first step, and we are in every game. I'm proud of that. I'm proud of the energy we bring."

They didn't get discouraged against the defending National League champions. The Marlins found themselves in a 2-1 hole in the eighth inning after Dodgers pinch-hitter Chase Utley worked a two-out bases-loaded walk against reliever Tayron Guerrero.

Castro, a nine-year veteran, came through with his RBI double off Tony Cingrani. Maybin delivered an inning later off Pedro Baez (0-1).

Video: MIA@LAD: Castro rips a game-tying double to left

"I think there is something to be said about that," manager Don Mattingly said of the Marlins' resilience. "When you're not winning those games, you're kind of finding a way to lose them, and we have found a few different ways to lose games. We did it defensively, our bullpen let some games get away and we did it with not good starting pitching."

Drew Steckenrider (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth inning for the victory, while Brad Ziegler pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his second save.

Realmuto continued to show how much he likes hitting against the Dodgers. He has a hit in all 18 games he has played against the Dodgers, with 12 of those at Dodger Stadium.

Left-hander Dillon Peters delivered the kind of start the Marlins were looking for, giving up just one run on four hits over 5 1/3 innings. He had four strikeouts, with two of those against Cody Bellinger.

It was Peters' strongest showing on the road this year after previous outings at Philadelphia and Milwaukee yielded a combined 13 runs on 13 hits with eight walks.

If anything, Peters has shown resilience by following a rough outing with a good one. Tuesday's start came after he gave up four runs to the Brewers with five walks.

"Just have short-term memory," Peters said. "It's baseball. You're going to have really good days, really bad days and some in the middle. So just get back to Day 1 after my start, get back to my routine and flush it, good or bad."

On Wednesday, a matchup with the Dodgers' Clayton Kershaw awaits, but the Marlins wanted to bask in Tuesday's comeback and assess whether they learned anything.

"Winning a couple of these, hopefully we can start to put some momentum together and you start to feel like you're going to win these games," Mattingly said. "That's the difference, really, in good teams and teams that aren't at that caliber. Tonight, we were able to do it, and hopefully we can do it again tomorrow and get some momentum."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Anderson's catch halts rally: Brian Anderson came up huge in the ninth inning with a single and a run scored on Maybin's double, but his defense in the seventh inning loomed large as well. After Utley's bases-loaded walk gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead, Anderson made sure the game remained close by reaching over the railing on the third-base to catch Bellinger's foul ball for the last out, leaving the bases loaded.

Dietrich takes flight in left: Marlins left fielder Derek Dietrich made a diving catch in the fifth inning, possibly snuffing out a Dodgers rally. With one out, Corey Seager hit a line drive, with Dietrich going airborne toward the foul line, making the catch just off the top of the grass. Enrique Hernandez then grounded into a forceout to end the scoreless inning.

Video: MIA@LAD: Dietrich makes a fantastic diving catch

HE SAID IT
"That's what we have to do as the veteran guys on the team, try to provide a spark and try to bring that leadership. Tonight was a good night for that." -- Maybin

Video: MIA@LAD: Maybin discusses his go-ahead RBI double

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Realmuto is now tied with Jim Davenport (1958) for the longest hit streak to open a career against the Dodgers. Both players delivered hits in their first 18 games against them. Realmuto is batting .391 (25-for-64) in his career against the Dodgers, with 10 runs and a 1.021 OPS.

Video: MIA@LAD: Realmuto swats a solo homer to right-center

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
After a one-out double in the fifth inning by Lewis Brinson, Peters' comebacker was knocked down by Maeda, who threw to first, where Peters was initially called safe. The call was overturned on review for the second out.

UP NEXT
Trevor Richards (0-2, 6.16 ERA) will mark the occasion of his first trip to California with a matchup Wednesday against Dodgers ace Kershaw in a 7:35 p.m. ET start. Richards lasted just 3 2/3 innings at Milwaukee on Friday, giving up a career high six runs. Kershaw (1-3, 2.45) has 35 strikeouts and just three walks in 33 innings.

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Miami Marlins, Starlin Castro, Cameron Maybin, J.T. Realmuto, Brad Ziegler

Straily appears poised to make 2018 debut

Marlins right-hander throws 88 pitches in third rehab start
Special to MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Dan Straily's first career trip to the disabled list could be coming to an end within the week, as the Marlins right-hander moved one step closer to a return Tuesday.

Straily threw 88 pitches in a rehab start for Double-A Jacksonville, suggesting his next outing could be in Miami on the upcoming homestand. Straily has been on the 10-day DL since the start of the season after a right forearm strain surfaced late in Spring Training.

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LOS ANGELES -- Dan Straily's first career trip to the disabled list could be coming to an end within the week, as the Marlins right-hander moved one step closer to a return Tuesday.

Straily threw 88 pitches in a rehab start for Double-A Jacksonville, suggesting his next outing could be in Miami on the upcoming homestand. Straily has been on the 10-day DL since the start of the season after a right forearm strain surfaced late in Spring Training.

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Marlins manager Don Mattingly would neither confirm nor deny that Straily was headed back to the Majors.

"We'll just kind of continue to hold with him at least until tomorrow," Mattingly said before Tuesday's Marlins game against the Dodgers. "The biggest things with the guys out on rehabs is making sure that they are bouncing back the next day, so we'll see where he is tomorrow.

Straily's outing lasted 5 1/3 innings and was something of a mixed bag. He gave up four runs (three earned) on six hits with six strikeouts and one walk. Straily held Tennessee to one run over the first four innings before the Smokies broke out in the sixth inning for three runs.

Straily gave up two home runs in the outing, including a three-run shot by Eddy Martinez in the sixth.

Straily's outing Tuesday came after two appearances with Class A Advanced Jupiter, where he pitched a combined 7 2/3 innings. He has a 6.92 ERA in the three rehab appearances, striking out 12 with four walks.

After the Marlins assess Straily's health on Wednesday, another conversation will ensue.

"Then we'll have the discussion on placing him where we think is best for him next," Mattingly said.

There were a number of other injured Marlins appearing on rehab assignments Tuesday. Infielders Martin Prado and JT Riddle played for Jupiter, as did right-hander Elieser Hernandez, who threw 71 pitches over four innings.

All three of those players will also be reevaluated Wednesday before they play again.

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Miami Marlins, Dan Straily

Tuesday's top prospect performers

A's No. 2 impresses in Double-A debut
MLB.com

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Tuesday.

Jesus Luzardo allowed two runs on two hits in the first inning of his Double-A debut but was nearly untouchable the rest of the way, completing five strong innings of three-hit ball as Midland edged Corpus Christi, 3-2.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Tuesday.

Jesus Luzardo allowed two runs on two hits in the first inning of his Double-A debut but was nearly untouchable the rest of the way, completing five strong innings of three-hit ball as Midland edged Corpus Christi, 3-2.

Luzardo, Oakland's No. 2 prospect (No. 60 overall), struck out the side in the second inning before finishing with five strikeouts and one walk. He also induced a handful of ground-ball outs in the performance, throwing 45 of his 78 pitches for strikes.

Luzardo's promotion to the Texas League in the first month of the season was the latest in what has been a series of quick promotions for the 20-year-old left-hander.

Luzardo fans fifth batter of day

A third-round pick by the Nationals in 2016 despite having undergone Tommy John surgery a few months prior, Luzardo received a well-above-slot bonus to forgo his Miami commitment. He made his highly anticipated pro debut nearly a year later and dazzled in a trio of Rookie-level Gulf Coast League starts before joining the A's at the July Trade Deadline in the deal that netted Washington Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson. Luzardo continued to impress following the trade, too, pitching to a 1.82 ERA with 33 strikeouts and a .194 BAA in 29 2/3 innings (nine starts) between the Rookie-level Arizona and the Class A Short Season New York-Penn Leagues.

Luzardo's performance convinced the A's that the precocious sophomore was ready for a greater challenge, as he made just three starts in the hitter-friendly Class A Advanced California League -- posting a 1.23 ERA, a .120 opponents' average and a 25-to-4 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 14 2/3 innings -- before a bump up to Double-A.

With his latest debut behind him, Luzardo now boasts a 1.71 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP across his first 63 innings as a professional. He's racked up 78 strikeouts against 11 walks in that span, while limiting opposing hitters to a .193 average and zero home runs.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Tuesday

No. 8 overall prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. (Padres' No. 1) hit solo home runs in the sixth and ninth innings to account for both runs in Double-A San Antonio's 5-2 loss against Frisco. It marked the second career multi-homer game for the 19-year-old shortstop, who now has gone deep three times in 18 games for the Missions. He's batting an even .200 on the season.

Tatis Jr. slams solo homer

No. 13 overall prospect Bo Bichette (Blue Jays' No. 2) went home-to-third twice for Double-A New Hampshire in his first career two-triple game. He also scored a pair of runs in the contest before finishing 2-for-5. The 20-year-old shortstop is batting .296/.375/.428 on the season, with hits in 13 of 16 games for the Fisher Cats. Jonathan Davis (No. 28) led off the game with a home run, his first of the season, and drove in three in the 9-4 victory over Binghamton.

Bichette smacks second triple

Angels No. 9 prospect Matt Thaiss tallied three extra-base hits but ultimately fell a home run short of the cycle, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and a triple in Double-A Mobile's win over Mississippi. Thaiss matched his career high with the four hits and improved his batting average by 40 points, from .250 to .290, in the process. The 2016 first-rounder has 12 runs, 14 RBIs and seven extra-base hits in 17 games this season.

Thaiss hits game's second double

Tigers No. 10 prospect Christin Stewart blasted his third home run in his first multi-hit game of the year to help lead Triple-A Toledo past Pawtucket. He also doubled and hit a pair of singles to finish 4-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs. The 24-year-old outfielder is slashing .250/.370/.450 through 17 games after hitting .256/.335/.501 with 28 homers last season over 136 Double-A contests.

Stewart slugs home run

No. 79 overall prospect Stephen Gonsalves (Twins' No. 3) tossed five innings of one-run ball en route to his third win in four starts for Double-A Chattanooga. The 23-year-old recorded a season-high nine of his 15 outs via the strikeout while scattering four hits with two walks and throwing 60 of his 91 pitches for strikes. Gonsalves has pitched to a 1.77 ERA, with 25 strikeouts and 10 walks, while limiting batters to seven hits in 20 1/3 innings.

No. 59 overall prospect Alex Faedo's fourth career start was his longest. The Tigers' No. 3 prospect completed 6 2/3 innings, allowing one earned run on four hits with six strikeouts for Class A Advanced Lakeland in a no-decision against Dunedin. Faedo, the No. 18 overall pick in last year's Draft, has worked at least five innings in all four starts, posting a 2.74 ERA with 21 strikeouts and one walk over 23 innings in that span.

Video: Top Prospects: Alex Faedo, RHP, Tigers

Blue Jays No. 19 prospect Kevin Smith went 2-for-5 with a home run, a double and five RBIs, leading Class A Lansing past Dayton, 7-0. The homer, a three-run shot in the third inning, was Smith's second of the season and snapped a seven-game extra-base hit drought. The 2017 fourth-rounder is batting .286 overall with 17 RBIs, 10 runs and five steals through 15 games.

Braves No. 16 prospect Dustin Peterson's first home run of the season was a grand slam that proved the difference in Triple-A Gwinnett's 5-2 win against Rochester. He finished the contest with three hits and four RBIs, both season highs for the 23-year-old outfielder.

Cubs No. 28 prospect Cory Abbott was sharp for Class A South Bend in Game 1 of a doubleheader, tossing seven strong innings during which he allowed two hits -- including a solo home run -- and struck out six. The 22-year-old righty, Chicago's second-round pick in 2017, has given up three hits in his past two starts and owns a 2.12 ERA in 17 innings (three starts) on the season.

Marlins No. 11 prospect Brian Miller enjoyed a six-hit day as Class A Advanced Jupiter split a doubleheader with Palm Beach. The 22-year-old center fielder collected four hits in the opener for the second time in four games, going 4-for-4 with two runs and two stolen bases, and then added two more knocks, as well as two RBIs, in the nightcap. Overall, Miller improved his average from .313 to .360 with the 6-for-8 performance.

Angels No. 29 prospect Joe Gatto, a 22-year-old right-hander, allowed one hit over six innings in his second straight scoreless start for Class A Advanced Inland Empire. Throwing 47 of his 78 pitches for strikes, Gatto posted five strikeouts against two walks and induced 10 ground-ball outs. He's now kept his opponent out of the run column in three of four starts in the California League. Overall, Gatto has pitched to a 2.37 ERA with 25 strikeouts and eight walks in 19 innings.

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Jarlin solid again, but Marlins drop nail-biter

Special to MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- During a rough stretch for the Marlins, Jarlin Garcia has emerged as a must-see starting pitcher, impressing again Monday at Dodger Stadium, even if his teammates were unable to follow his lead.

Garcia gave up just a run over six innings, but the Marlins fell, 2-1, to the Dodgers, despite a game-tying rally in the eighth inning.

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LOS ANGELES -- During a rough stretch for the Marlins, Jarlin Garcia has emerged as a must-see starting pitcher, impressing again Monday at Dodger Stadium, even if his teammates were unable to follow his lead.

Garcia gave up just a run over six innings, but the Marlins fell, 2-1, to the Dodgers, despite a game-tying rally in the eighth inning.

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The loss was the Marlins' fifth straight. They've dropped eight of their last nine contests and 11 of their last 13. The Dodgers have won seven of their last eight.

Garcia has delivered three gems in three Major League starts, but a former Marlin was the one to get to him Monday. Kiké Hernandez, traded from Miami to Los Angeles after the 2014 season, had three hits on the night, including a fourth-inning home run off Garcia.

Garcia entered as the only pitcher on record since 1908 to give up one hit or fewer in each of his first two starts (min. 5 innings). And he was at it again against the Dodgers, taking a no-hitter into the fourth inning.

Leading off the fourth, however, Hernandez unloaded on a low fastball and put it over the wall in left-center for his third home run of the year.

Video: MIA@LAD: Hernandez rips a solo homer to left-center

"He was hitting corners, wasn't throwing over the fat part of the plate," Hernandez said of Garcia, who has a 1.00 ERA on the season and a 0.53 mark as a starter. "Seemed like all the strikes were on the black. There's a reason he's got that ERA."

Garcia has given manager Don Mattingly something to feel good about, even if team victories are not coming right now.

"He's been pretty good every time out, and he's faced two pretty good lineups his last couple out there," Mattingly said about Garcia's consecutive outings against the Dodgers and Yankees. "He's pitched on the road in both places, and he's pitched well. Jarlin has been impressive for us."

He was so good that he kept the Marlins in the game long enough for a late rally. The Marlins tied the game in the eighth inning thanks to an error from Dodgers second baseman Austin Barnes. Instead of turning a double play, Barnes' wild throw put Starlin Castro on second base. Brian Anderson followed with an RBI single.

Video: MIA@LAD: Anderson hits a game-tying RBI single

"Our pitching staff did a heck of a job today containing that offense," Anderson said. "Jarlin was pounding the zone with all of his stuff, getting swings and misses."

The Dodgers took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning on Cody Bellinger's sacrifice fly to right field off Kyle Barraclough (0-1).

Garcia struck out seven. His 92 pitches matched his total from last week's start against the Yankees. Next up would appear to be a home start against the Rockies, as Garcia looks to build his legend.

"I'm just happy overall with my health and my legs, and I'm just comfortable overall with my role as a starting pitcher," Garcia said through an interpreter. "It's just about going forward every day and getting better and better."

The Marlins managed just four hits and no runs in five innings against Dodgers rookie Walker Buehler, who was making both his 2018 debut and his first big league start. He pitched 9 1/3 innings in relief last September.

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Stopped at the starting line: The Marlins appeared to be in position to get Garcia some early run support, loading the bases in the first inning, but J.B. Shuck struck out to end the threat. It was one of five strikeouts for Buehler. The Marlins would not get another runner as far as second base against the right-hander.

Video: MIA@LAD: Buehler dazzles in first MLB start

HE SAID IT
"This is nothing new for me. I've seen him as a starter throughout the Minor Leagues. When he gets the ball right now, get ready on defense for a ball to be put in play, because he's hammering the zone with everything he has. It's fun playing behind him, watching him rack up the K's there." -- Anderson, on Garcia's run of one run and just five hits combined in the first three starts of his career

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Not only has J.T. Realmuto looked impressive to start the season, he is facing a team that he has always hit well. Realmuto had two hits Monday, giving him three multihit games in his first five contests this season. He also improved to 24-for-60 (.400) against the Dodgers in his career, with a 1.004 OPS and nine runs scored in 17 games.

UP NEXT
Left-hander Dillon Peters (2-2, 6.98 ERA) will put his resiliency on display again when he takes the mound for the Marlins on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. Peters did not make it out of the fifth inning in a loss to Milwaukee on Thursday, but he did bounce back after a rough April 7 outing at Philadelphia to beat the Pirates. The Dodgers will counter with right-hander Kenta Maeda (2-1, 3.77).

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Miami Marlins, Jarlin Garcia

Injury updates: Prado, Elieser, Riddle, Straily

Special to MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- A rough weekend series at Milwaukee could not destroy Marlins manager Don Mattingly's optimism, especially when it came to the news that some of his injured players are making progress.

Martin Prado, Elieser Hernandez, JT Riddle and Dan Straily all will see action on their Minor League rehab assignments Tuesday, sending a signal that brighter days are ahead.

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LOS ANGELES -- A rough weekend series at Milwaukee could not destroy Marlins manager Don Mattingly's optimism, especially when it came to the news that some of his injured players are making progress.

Martin Prado, Elieser Hernandez, JT Riddle and Dan Straily all will see action on their Minor League rehab assignments Tuesday, sending a signal that brighter days are ahead.

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Add Wei-Yin Chen's rehab outing Sunday, and the Marlins feel they soon could be on the back side of a rash of injuries, a welcome update as they play out a three-game series with the Dodgers.

"We're still kind of biting our tongue and continuing to hope that these guys keep progressing," Mattingly said from the Dodger Stadium dugout Monday. "We'll keep taking it one day at a time, for the starters one start [at a time], and evaluate, see where we're at. Dan's pitching tomorrow. Prado, Riddle, Elieser, they'll all play tomorrow."

The Marlins won't rush things, even if they are coming off a four-game series at Milwaukee where everything that could beat them did. The club has also lost seven of its last eight, only winning a 9-1 decision at New York, against the Yankees, in that stretch.

Prado continues to recover from knee surgery last year, but he could be back sooner rather than later. Mattingly could use the presence of the 34-year-old veteran.

"You get a Martin Prado in here, he's working hard every day," Mattingly said. "He's not accepting anything other than himself being a really good player. And our young guys need to see that, that you are always fighting to get better.

Rule 5 pickup Hernandez, who is on the 10-day DL after dental surgery this spring, is scheduled to pitch five innings at Class A Advanced Jupiter on Tuesday. Prado is also playing in that game, as is shortstop Riddle (shoulder). They were supposed to play Monday, but that game was rained out.

Straily will pitch Tuesday for Double-A Jacksonville. The Marlins' projected No. 2 starter has been on the DL with a right forearm strain.

"You definitely want veteran players around, because they have been through it," Mattingly said. "They're not going to waver in their approach or preparation. Dan Straily, he's a guy now that has had enough success that he knows how to get ready to pitch. He's not going to let one start affect the next."

Mattingly might be looking at the positives, but he is not oblivious. He knows the Marlins need to get better. They might do just that soon if they can get a few established guys back on the roster.

"We have some good things happening," Mattingly said. "Some of it is behind the scenes, some of it is subtle, but there are definitely good things happening."

Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

Miami Marlins, Wei-Yin Chen, Elieser Hernandez, Martin Prado, JT Riddle, Dan Straily

Smith K's 10, but Marlins drop finale vs. Crew

MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- So much for struggling on the road. Caleb Smith erased any doubts that he could perform away from home, but the left-hander had little to show for it on Sunday in the Marlins' 4-2 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park.

Smith logged career highs with six innings and 10 strikeouts while allowing just two hits and no walks. But those hits came back to back in the fourth inning, with Christian Yelich's two-run home run to center spoiling an otherwise stellar outing.

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MILWAUKEE -- So much for struggling on the road. Caleb Smith erased any doubts that he could perform away from home, but the left-hander had little to show for it on Sunday in the Marlins' 4-2 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park.

Smith logged career highs with six innings and 10 strikeouts while allowing just two hits and no walks. But those hits came back to back in the fourth inning, with Christian Yelich's two-run home run to center spoiling an otherwise stellar outing.

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After being tagged for five runs in 2 1/3 innings in his last start, a loss at Yankee Stadium on Monday, Smith put everything together in his efficient six innings. Of his 77 pitches, 55 were strikes.

"It feels really good," Smith said. "After my last outing, the days felt like they were going by so slowly. I was ready to get back out there and go again."

Video: MIA@MIL: Smith fans Yelich in the 1st for his first K

Justin Bour had two hits and two RBIs, but he also committed a two-out error in the seventh inning on Eric Thames' grounder to first that allowed Milwaukee's third run to score. Bour also made a baserunning blunder in the eighth inning, taking off from first base with one out on Brian Anderson's routine fly ball to center, and he was doubled up to end the inning.

"First off, I'm not getting that ground ball and getting out of the inning," Bour said. "That's pretty frustrating. On the popup, I saw the first baseman go behind, so I'm thinking right there two outs, that's why he's behind me, and just a mental lapse. I would much rather go 0-for-4 with four strikeouts than commit an error and do something stupid on the bases. That leaves a terrible feeling in your stomach, so it's just brutal."

Video: MIA@MIL: Cain makes catch in center, doubles up Bour

The Marlins, who are now 1-5 on their current road trip, have been in need of a strong start, and Smith delivered. But with Miami down a run in the seventh inning, the southpaw was lifted for a pinch-hitter.

"I wanted him to be able to go back out, but we have to try to score in that inning," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.

Until Sunday, Smith's season had been different as night and day based on where he's pitched. In two road starts, he had a 13.50 ERA with seven strikeouts and 11 walks over 5 1/3 innings. It was vastly different at Marlins Park, where he had a 3.48 ERA in 10 1/3 innings with 15 strikeouts and four walks.

"Everything was working," Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto said. "He was very effective in the strike zone. He got ahead of guys early, was really able to get through the lineup the first time through, primarily with his fastball, which was huge for him. The second time through, he was able to mix a little more, and he was able throw his slider quite a bit and throw it in the zone when he wanted to and throw it out of the zone when he wanted to."

Smith opened with three perfect innings, striking out six on 32 pitches, before running into trouble in the fourth. Lorenzo Cain led off with a single to right, and Yelich crushed his home run to center.

"It was supposed to be a two-seam [fastball] in, and it was just middle of the plate, down in the zone," Smith said. "He put a good swing on it. That's really the pitch that cost us the lead."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Missed opportunity: In the sixth inning, the Marlins put themselves in position to tie the game or take the lead, loading the bases with no outs against Brewers starter Junior Guerra. Realmuto and Starlin Castro each singled and Bour drew a walk, prompting a pitching change with the Brewers clinging to a 2-1 lead. Jeremy Jeffress entered with no outs, and he needed 12 pitches to get three outs while not allowing a run. Anderson struck out on a splitter, and J.B. Shuck popped out foul to third, while Lewis Brinson went down on strikes, swinging through a 2-2 offspeed pitch to end the inning.

"That's the inning, definitely, that you look back and you have an opportunity right there to get on the board and get at least get one," Mattingly said. "It is an inning that hurt us, for sure where you look back and say that was a missed opportunity."

Video: MIA@MIL: Jeffress escapes a bases-loaded jam in 6th

SOUND SMART
At 5-16, the Marlins are tied for their worst start ever through 21 games. They started with the same record in 1995 and 2013.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Realmuto impacts the game in many ways, behind the plate and with his bat. In the first inning, Realmuto used his legs on the bases. He scored from first base on Bour's double, touching home with a hand swipe just ahead of Brewers catcher Jacob Nottingham's tag. According to Statcast™, Realmuto made it from first to home in 10.58 seconds, and his sprint speed was 28.1 feet per second. Realmuto needed to be on the go, because Bour's double had an exit speed of 113.6 mph.

"Actually, it was probably closer than it should have been, because I rounded third a little wider than I wanted to," Realmuto said. "[Anderson] was behind the plate telling me, 'Slide outside, slide outside.' He did a good job of letting me know, so I knew where to slide."

 Video: MIA@MIL: Bour opens the scoring with an RBI double

HE SAID IT
"Nothing clicks unless you're on the field. It's all about what you do in the batter's box, what you're doing on the mound. There's not too much you can do to stop this ship until you go out there and perform and win games when the pressure is on the line." -- Realmuto, on how to turn things around

UP NEXT
Whatever the role, Jarlin Garcia has performed. Even though he opened the season in the bullpen, the left-hander has been the Marlins' best overall pitcher. Garcia will make his third start on Monday at 10:10 p.m. ET at the Dodgers. Between his first two starts, he's thrown 11 scoreless innings. The Dodgers will counter with right-hander Walker Buehler, their top prospect, who will make his MLB debut.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Justin Bour, Caleb Smith

Brinson hits 3rd HR of series vs. Crew in loss

Tazawa allows walk-off home run in ninth after 13-pitch at-bat
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- Lewis Brinson continues to refine his mechanics at the plate, but the rookie center fielder has found his home run swing. Brinson crushed a three-run home run in the second inning on Saturday, but there was an all-too-familiar result for the Marlins.

Jesus Aguilar capped a 13-pitch at-bat in the ninth inning against reliever Junichi Tazawa with a walk-off home run that gave the Marlins a 6-5 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park.

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MILWAUKEE -- Lewis Brinson continues to refine his mechanics at the plate, but the rookie center fielder has found his home run swing. Brinson crushed a three-run home run in the second inning on Saturday, but there was an all-too-familiar result for the Marlins.

Jesus Aguilar capped a 13-pitch at-bat in the ninth inning against reliever Junichi Tazawa with a walk-off home run that gave the Marlins a 6-5 loss to the Brewers at Miller Park.

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Leading off the ninth against Tazawa, Aguilar fouled off three straight full-count pitches before driving the ball over the center-field wall.

"That's a tough loss," Brinson said. "We can't put our heads down. That's when it's going to snowball, and the next thing you know, we're deeper in a hole. We've just got to keep going, keep fighting and keep going out there and playing hard and playing for each other. I think that's the biggest thing. … I think we still have a lot of fight on this team."

Aguilar called it his best-ever at-bat, saying it was his first walk-off ever: "Not even in Nintendo. I feel like a superstar right now."

"That was just a really good at-bat on his end," Marlins catcher Bryan Holaday said. "He battled off some really tough pitches, and he got the best of us."

The Marlins have dropped three straight in the four-game series at Milwaukee, but Brinson has shown glimpses of why he's a touted rookie. That was evident by his third home run of the series. He also showed he's a work in progress, though, by striking out three times.

Acquired by the Marlins from the Brewers in January as part of the Christian Yelich trade, Brinson entered the series mired in a 1-for-36 slump. But after sitting out Miami's two games prior to its four-game set in Milwaukee, he responded with two homers in the opener on Thursday, a 12-3 loss.

There was not much doubt on Brinson's homer in the second inning. The 23-year-old blistered a drive that Statcast™ projected at 406 feet with an exit velocity of 111.3 mph. It was a laser with a launch angle of 19 degrees and came on an 80.4-mph changeup from Brent Suter.

"The homer was good," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "There's ways to go with him and his swing. Obviously, we're seeing some success with the home runs. I think for him, it's about experience and improvement and continuing to work and continuing to get better, but obviously, we're seeing some success, which is a good thing."

Video: MIA@MIL: Mattingly talks about walk-off loss, Brinson

The Marlins opened the scoring in the first inning on Derek Dietrich's one-out home run, and Brinson's three-run shot made it 4-0 before the Brewers began chipping back.

Video: MIA@MIL: Dietrich belts a home run to right-center

After the homer, Brinson acknowledged he got a little overly aggressive in his three strikeouts. In the sixth inning, he chased a pitch out of the zone after being ahead, 3-1, in the count.

"Getting antsy, trying to make something happen, trying to get on base, besides just taking my walk," Brinson said. "But I like where my swing is at. I'm seeing the ball. I want to stay right here."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Protecting a 5-4 lead in the eighth inning, Kyle Barraclough put himself in a bind with two outs by walking Travis Shaw, who advanced to second on a wild pitch. The inning intensified when Eric Thames walked, putting runners on first and second.

Eric Sogard hit a fly ball to left field, where Dietrich and shortstop Yadiel Rivera converged, but the ball fell in despite Dietrich's final lunging effort. Shaw scored to tie the game, but Rivera prevented the go-ahead run from scoring by making a one-hop throw to the plate. Holaday fielded the ball up the third-base line and applied the tag on Thames' leg, keeping the score even at 5.

"I just caught it, tried to dive and get him if I could," Holaday said. "Luckily, we were able to get him."

Video: MIA@MIL: Rivera throws Thames out at the plate

Initially ruled an error on Dietrich, the official scorer changed it to an RBI double. Still, Dietrich accepted blame on a ball that should have been caught.

"I called the ball and I dropped it," Dietrich said. "That one's on me. Unfortunately, that [stinks] because Jose [Urena] pitched well and [Barraclough] did his job so that one's on me."

SOUND SMART
Rookie Brian Anderson recorded his fifth multi-hit game of the season, and his RBI single in the fifth inning was his first in five games. Anderson had been 1-for-16 in his previous five games.

Video: MIA@MIL: Anderson singles to right and extends lead

HE SAID IT
"You gotta do the little things right and that's everything from baserunning to defense in those situations. We did that other than catching the ball that should've been caught." -- Dietrich, on his misplay in the eighth inning

UP NEXT
The Marlins close out their four-game series at Miller Park on Sunday at 2:10 p.m. ET with left-hander Caleb Smith (0-2, 6.89 ERA) seeking his first win. Smith is off to an up-and-down start thus far depending on where he's pitched. His road ERA is 13.50, compared to 3.48 at Marlins Park. Milwaukee counters with right-hander Junior Guerra (1-0, 0.82).

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Lewis Brinson

Marlins hope Straily is one start from return

Right-hander will pitch Tuesday for Jacksonville; Chen progressing
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- The Marlins are hoping to get one of their top veteran starters back soon to help stabilize their young rotation.

Dan Straily, who has been on the disabled list since the start of the season with a right forearm strain, is scheduled to make a rehab assignment start for Double-A Jacksonville on Tuesday. If that goes well, the 29-year-old right-hander could be cleared to join the Marlins.

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MILWAUKEE -- The Marlins are hoping to get one of their top veteran starters back soon to help stabilize their young rotation.

Dan Straily, who has been on the disabled list since the start of the season with a right forearm strain, is scheduled to make a rehab assignment start for Double-A Jacksonville on Tuesday. If that goes well, the 29-year-old right-hander could be cleared to join the Marlins.

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"We just want to make sure he's ready," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "We'd love to have him back right away to bring that veteran into the rotation. With him, you know what you're going to get. But we want him to be ready and feel like he's ready to compete."

Straily has made two rehab assignment starts at Class A Advanced Jupiter, logging a combined 7 2/3 innings. On Wednesday, he threw five innings, allowing one run with six strikeouts and no walks. The right-hander threw 68 pitches (52 strikes).

"Everyone wanted to make sure he threw another one," Mattingly said. "We'll see how he comes out of that one, and hopefully we're ready to go."

Before experiencing discomfort late in Spring Training, Straily was initially scheduled to be the Marlins' No. 2 starter. In 2017, he topped the team in innings pitched (181 2/3) and starts (33). This was Straily's first trip to the disabled list in his Major League career.

The Marlins have a young, inexperienced rotation that has struggled to work deep into games. Miami starters entered Saturday's game ranked 27th in innings pitched (91), first in walks (53) and 28th in ERA (5.64).

Along with Straily, the Marlins also are hopeful Wei-Yin Chen (left elbow strain) will both be back within a couple of weeks. Chen is on a rehab assignment with Jupiter and is set to start on Sunday.

The Marlins are leaning on rookies like Trevor Richards and Dillon Peters, who lack significant big league experience.

"You're asking a lot of young guys, but that's OK," Mattingly said. "They're going to learn, and that's how they're going to get better. So it's how they're going to handle it. You talk about Dan, and Wei-Yin -- and he's throwing the ball well and keeps advancing -- those kind of guys, they've been through it."

As their young players gain experience, the Marlins are counting on their veterans to provide leadership.

"Obviously, the veteran guys are important, because they're the guys who need to show leadership, as far as how we're going to play, how we're going to prepare," Mattingly said. "We'll lean on those guys, and really, if they're not that guy, they shouldn't really be here, honestly. Our young guys have to continually learn how to grind through a year.

"There are going to be a lot of talks like these, I feel like. We're going to have to make sure we're continually resetting our club and our mindset, not getting frustrated by a two- or three-day patch. Basically get ourselves ready to play. That sounds very easy, but it's really very hard, especially when things aren't going well."

Worth noting
• Third baseman Martin Prado (left hamstring) is playing in a rehab game for Jupiter on Saturday and will be given Sunday off.

• Shortstop JT Riddle (right shoulder tendinitis) played in an extended spring training game on Saturday and won't play on Sunday.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Dan Straily

Saturday's top prospect performers

Braves right-hander fires six dominant frames
MLB.com

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Saturday.

Kyle Wright had shown flashes of excellence early in his first Double-A campaign before putting it all together Saturday night in his finest performance as a pro.

Here's MLB Pipeline's roundup of the top prospect performances in the Minor Leagues on Saturday.

Kyle Wright had shown flashes of excellence early in his first Double-A campaign before putting it all together Saturday night in his finest performance as a pro.

Wright, Atlanta's No. 2 prospect (No. 30 overall), turned in a career-long outing, tossing six-plus scoreless innings of one-hit ball to lead Double-A Mississippi past Mobile, 3-1. He issued two walks and struck out four, throwing 52 of his 84 pitches for strikes.

The two-out hit Wright allowed in the first inning was the only real blemish in his performance. He proceeded to retire 15 of the next 16 batters before departing the game in the seventh inning, after he had issued a leadoff walk to Matt Thaiss (Angels' No. 9). A pair of M-Braves relievers handled the final three innings to help secure Wright's first win at the Double-A level.

Wright retires 15 of 16 batters

The 2017 first-rounder (No. 5 overall pick) scuffled in his previous turn, allowing four earned runs in just one inning after posting 7 2/3 scoreless frames across his first two M-Braves starts. Overall, Wright, 22, owns a 2.45 ERA on the season, with 14 strikeouts and nine walks in 14 2/3 innings.

Austin Riley (Braves' No. 8, No. 97 overall) did his part to support Wright's cause by going 2-for-4 with two doubles and an RBI. The 21-year-old third baseman is already up to eight doubles this season in 16 games, during which he's hitting .386/.435/.754 with 11 runs scored and 14 RBIs.

The rest of the best performances from top prospects Saturday

No. 15 overall prospect Mitch Keller (Pirates' No. 1) completed a season-high seven innings to pick up his second win for Double-A Altoona. The 22-year-old right-hander wasn't at his sharpest, allowing three earned runs on six hits and three walks, though he still struck out seven and generated another eight outs on the ground. Jason Martin (No. 22) delivered his first home run, a two-run shot in the second inning, and later added a double to finish the game 3-for-4 with three runs.

No. 20 overall prospect Royce Lewis (Twins' No. 1) lifted his average from .222 to .323 for Class A Cedar Rapids behind a perfect 4-for-4 performance. The four hits, all singles, matched the 2017 No. 1 overall Draft pick's career-high mark. He also scored two runs and swiped his second base as the Kernels fell to Kane County, 9-2.

Lewis notches fourth hit

No. 25 overall prospect Brendan McKay (Rays' No. 3) fired four scoreless innings, allowing two hits and no walks with seven strikeouts in a no-decision for Class A Bowling Green. He threw 84.4 percent of his pitches (38 of 45) for strikes in the dominant performance and now owns a 2.00 ERA with 15 strikeouts and four hits allowed in nine innings (three starts) this season. At the plate, meanwhile, the two-way star is hitting .346/.546/.385 with 10 RBIs and an absurd 13-to-3 walk-to-strikeout ratio.

• There's no stopping No. 29 overall prospect Juan Soto. The Nationals' No. 2 prospect belted his fifth home run, a three-run shot, as well as his third triple as he recorded multiple hits for the fourth time in five games for Class A Hagerstown. Through 15 games, the 19-year-old outfielder is slashing .389/.507/.870 with 13 extra-base hits, 24 RBIs and more walks (15) than strikeouts (11).

Soto crushes three-run homer

No. 74 overall prospect Jon Duplantier (D-backs' No. 1) worked five strong innings as he picked up the win for Jackson in his season debut. It also marked the Double-A debut for the 23-year-old righty, who allowed two earned runs on four hits and one walk while striking out six. The 2017 MLB Pipeline Pitcher of the Year had opened the season on the disabled list with a hamstring injury.

Duplantier fans six in AA debut

No. 96 overall prospect Brandon Woodruff (Brewers' No. 3) allowed just one earned run while completing at least five innings for a third straight start for Triple-A Colorado Springs. The 25-year-old righty tallied a season-high seven strikeouts while scattering three hits with one walk in five innings. He's pitched to a 1.65 ERA in 16 1/3 innings since being demoted to Triple-A on April 7.

• After giving up a combined 19 hits in his previous two starts, Marlins No. 13 prospect Zac Gallen allowed just four hits in seven scoreless innings Saturday as Triple-A New Orleans defeated Oklahoma City, 2-0. The 22-year-old righty compiled five strikeouts against three walks in the outing while finding the strike zone with 58 of his 91 pitches. Gallen has completed at least six innings in three of his four starts this season.

Gallen strikes out five

Padres No. 11 prospect Esteury Ruiz and Tirso Ornelas (No. 14) both connected on their second home run of 2018 and collected three hits as Class A Fort Wayne defeated Dayton, 8-2. Ruiz, 19, hit a two-run shot in the sixth inning before finishing 3-for-5, while the 18-year-old Ornelas finished 3-for-4 after hitting a three-run homer in his first at-bat. Leadoff man Jeisson Rosario (No. 18) paced the TinCaps with three runs as he improved his average to .310 with his second multi-hit game in as many days.

Pirates No. 16 prospect Calvin Mitchell boosted his average to .371 with his fourth straight multi-hit game for Class A West Virginia. The 2017 second-rounder tallied his third triple this season before finishing with four hits and four RBIs, both matching his career bests. Braeden Ogle (No. 28) paced the Power on the mound, tossing six innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts in the 13-8 victory. He allowed six hits and walked three, throwing 54 of his 87 pitches for strikes in the outing.

Red Sox No. 15 prospect Jalen Beeks piled up 10 strikeouts in six scoreless innings as Triple-A Pawtucket blanked Gwinnett, 6-0. The 24-year-old left-hander allowed two hits, two walks and hit one batter while throwing 59 of his 98 pitches for strikes. Beeks has dominated early this season, posting a 0.64 ERA with 26 strikeouts and five walks in 14 innings (three starts).

Beeks strikes out 10

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Richards struggles with control as Marlins fall

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MILWAUKEE -- Trevor Richards was in trouble early and often, but the rookie right-hander still managed to avoid the big inning. That is, until three pitches broke everything open in the fourth.

In a three-pitch span, Richards allowed an RBI triple to Christian Yelich and back-to-back home runs to Ryan Braun and Travis Shaw, as the Brewers broke things open en route to handing the Marlins an 8-0 loss on Friday at Miller Park.

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MILWAUKEE -- Trevor Richards was in trouble early and often, but the rookie right-hander still managed to avoid the big inning. That is, until three pitches broke everything open in the fourth.

In a three-pitch span, Richards allowed an RBI triple to Christian Yelich and back-to-back home runs to Ryan Braun and Travis Shaw, as the Brewers broke things open en route to handing the Marlins an 8-0 loss on Friday at Miller Park.

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"I just left some pitches up," Richards said. "They were attacking early. I left some breaking balls, some offspeed up early, and they made me pay."

In the two losses to start the four-game series at Milwaukee, the Marlins have been outscored 20-3, and for the seventh time this season, Miami has allowed eight or more runs.

"Obviously, we haven't scored and didn't score tonight," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "Last night, there was some sort of attack, but it's really more about the pitching for us. Tonight, we get in trouble early, a lot of pitches early, a lot of deep counts early into areas of the bullpen you don't want to get into at all, but obviously, we're not into that ballgame long enough."

Making his fourth big league start, Richards was in trouble from the start. The 24-year-old walked three and allowed a run in a 39-pitch first inning, seeing 12 pitches fouled off.

"We threw a lot of pitches early," Richards said. "After that first and second inning, I knew I needed to get in the zone and make adjustments. My offspeed just wasn't there tonight."

Richards walked six after combining for five in his first three starts. It was a two-out free pass he issued to Lorenzo Cain in the fourth inning that set up the five-run frame. After losing Cain, Yelich jumped a changeup for an RBI triple, Braun connected on a slider for his home run and Shaw's shot to right was on a four-seam fastball.

"It started with Cain and Yelich," Brewers manager Craig Counsell said. "[Cain's] at-bat in the fourth inning, it was two outs, nobody on. He's down in the count, two strikes, and he battles a walk. All of a sudden, we've got a five-spot up here. We made it tough on the opposing guy."

Richards didn't make it through the fourth, exiting after 102 pitches (61 strikes). He allowed six runs (five earned) on six walks and five hits over 3 ⅔ innings.

Tayron Guerrero relieved Richards and struck out four over 1 1/3 innings while allowing one walk. Guerrero threw four fastballs that Statcast™ had at 100-plus mph, with a high of 100.4 mph.

Video: MIA@MIL: Guerrero strikes out Cain, side in 5th

"I was all over the zone," Richards said. "Mechanics, and rushing, and just little things like that. I was throwing the ball not where I wanted it. Obviously, it showed. I threw a lot of balls early. I was able to get out of it [in the first], which was good. But I just needed to do that earlier."

SOUND SMART
You can say J.B. Shuck was hustling down the line on his infield single in the fifth inning. In fact, the Miami right fielder was motoring. According to Statcast™, Shuck's sprint speed to first base was 29.9 feet per second, which is on the border of elite status. From home to first, Shuck was at 3.97 seconds. Anything below 4 seconds on a non-bunt is especially impressive.

Video: MIA@MIL: Shuck beats out a grounder for a hit in 5th

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
By the time he stepped into the box with one out in the fifth inning, Brewers right-hander Jhoulys Chacin saw enough to know he wasn't about to dig in against Guerrero. The towering 6-foot-8 right-hander with the 100 mph fastball had just struck out Jett Bandy, and with one out and with a six-run lead, Chacin stood far back in the batters' box. His heels almost touched the third-base side of the batter's box, and on each Guerrero pitch, the Brewers pitcher backed up even more.

The first pitch hummed in at 99.4 mph for a ball. Seeing that Chacin wasn't about to swing, Guerrero grooved the next two fastballs for strikes -- 95.4 mph and 95.9 mph. Guerrero then buzzed a 99.7 mph fastball that Chacin took for strike three.

Video: MIA@MIL: Guerrero freezes Chacin with 100-mph heater

HE SAID IT
"It's pretty bad right now. We have to find a way to start playing better, overall. We're not going to win games if we don't score runs. Even with Trevor fighting for outs early in the game, he fights through the first couple of innings. We have to find a way to score runs. Even if we throw a one-run game, we're not going to win if we don't score." -- shortstop Miguel Rojas, on the Marlins' recent struggles

ROJAS 'OK' AFTER DIVE
The Marlins avoided potential disaster in the first inning on Cain's lead-off infield single. On the play, Rojas ranged to his left and dove. He collected the ball but didn't make a throw. For a second, Rojas collected himself to make sure his left shoulder was fine.

In recent years, Rojas has missed time due to left shoulder injuries. Saturday was one of the few times he tested the shoulder by leaving his feet.

"It's OK," Rojas said. "I just dove and landed a little funny right there. But the rest of the game was fine. I haven't had the opportunity to dive too much."

Rojas said he is positioning himself a little more up the middle to avoid diving to his left, which has caused him the most trouble.

UP NEXT
Jose Urena, the Marlins' Opening Day starter, will be making his fifth start on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET at Miller Park, and the right-hander seeks his first win. This also is his first road start. This will be his second start, and sixth appearance, against the Brewers. Milwaukee counters with lefty Brent Suter.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Trevor Richards

Marlins lose reliever Despaigne to DL

Wittgren recalled to bolster beleaguered bullpen
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- For the second straight day, a Marlins reliever has been placed on the disabled list. On Friday, Odrisamer Despaigne was placed on the 10-day DL with a right forearm strain, and right-hander Nick Wittgren was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans.

The transaction was expected after Despaigne was replaced in the sixth inning of Miami's 12-3 loss on Thursday to the Brewers at Miller Park. Miami currently has nine players on the disabled list.

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MILWAUKEE -- For the second straight day, a Marlins reliever has been placed on the disabled list. On Friday, Odrisamer Despaigne was placed on the 10-day DL with a right forearm strain, and right-hander Nick Wittgren was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans.

The transaction was expected after Despaigne was replaced in the sixth inning of Miami's 12-3 loss on Thursday to the Brewers at Miller Park. Miami currently has nine players on the disabled list.

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On Thursday, reliever Chris O'Grady also went on the DL with a left shoulder strain.

"It's good to get Nick back," manager Don Mattingly said. "We felt like we'd get him back at some point. We were trying to get him built to multiple innings down there, and were taking that slow. But, obviously, with Odrisamer going down last night, he was really the guy."

Wittgren projects to help bridge innings from the starter to the Marlins' late relief and throw multiple innings.

Despaigne started the season as the Marlins' No. 3 starter, but he made just one start before going to the bullpen. The right-hander hadn't been sharp in his last three outings, giving up five runs over 3 2/3 innings. For the season, he has a 6.14 ERA in 14 2/3 innings.

Wittgren, 26, opened the season at New Orleans after he was building up in Spring Training from surgery to remove a bone chip from his throwing elbow last September.

"We brought him slowly, because we wanted to build him slowly, from the medical department," Mattingly said. "Obviously, with the surgery, and the rehab all winter, really there were no issues all the spring. It was a matter of building him up. There's no days in there you had to stop him or shut him down. We feel like he can compete here."

In seven appearances at New Orleans, Wittgren has had his struggles, posting a 10.13 ERA in 5 1/3 innings, including two home runs.

"I've been working on command and off-speed stuff," Wittgren said. "My Spring Training was a lot shorter than other guys. I'm getting back in the swing of things."

Wittgren last pitched in the big leagues on July 26 at Texas, working two-thirds of an inning, and he went on the disabled list the next day.

"I'm ready, and I'm ready to help out," Wittgren said. "I have almost 100 innings up here, I know what it takes. I know what I have to do up here to help out, and pitch for these guys. When I get out there, I just have to execute."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Odrisamer Despaigne, Nick Wittgren

Brinson hits 1st 2 Marlins HRs vs. former club

Milwaukee sent outfielder to Miami in January deal for Yelich
MLB.com

MILWAUKEE -- All Lewis Brinson needed to snap out of his slump was a matchup against his former club. In his first two at-bats at Miller Park on Thursday, Brinson crushed a pair of home runs, but it wasn't nearly enough in the Marlins' 12-3 loss.

Back in Milwaukee for the first time since being traded in the Christian Yelich deal in January, Brinson connected on his first two home runs of the season, both off right-hander Chase Anderson to center field. The first was a solo shot in the third inning, and the second a two-run drive in the fifth.

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MILWAUKEE -- All Lewis Brinson needed to snap out of his slump was a matchup against his former club. In his first two at-bats at Miller Park on Thursday, Brinson crushed a pair of home runs, but it wasn't nearly enough in the Marlins' 12-3 loss.

Back in Milwaukee for the first time since being traded in the Christian Yelich deal in January, Brinson connected on his first two home runs of the season, both off right-hander Chase Anderson to center field. The first was a solo shot in the third inning, and the second a two-run drive in the fifth.

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"I came back to a place I played last year," Brinson said. "I had a little chip on my shoulder, a little bit. I wish we could have gotten the win, but that feels good. I was in a good place tonight, and hopefully, I can keep it going."

Brinson's second home run temporarily gave the Marlins a 3-2 lead, but the Brewers responded quickly off Dillon Peters. Lorenzo Cain ho