Streaking Marlins go for sweep of struggling Tigers
Brian Anderson has unearthed his power stroke in Detroit. The Miami Marlins third baseman will try to do more damage in the series finale against the Tigers on Thursday afternoon.
Anderson entered the series with two homers. He's doubled that total with a homer in the first two games of the series. He also had a double in an 11-inning victory on Tuesday.
His two-run shot in the eighth inning Wednesday solidified a 6-3 victory, stretching the Marlins' winning streak to five games, their longest streak since winning five straight in April 2016.
"I think that's the way baseball is," Anderson told MLB.com. "Sometimes you start off slowly, and come on strong. I think, for me, I just need to keep making adjustments. They're going to be adjusting to me, and I've got to keep making adjustments."
In his first full season in the majors a year ago, Anderson batted .273 with 11 homers and 65 RBIs. He also scored 87 runs in 156 games. He now has four homers and 16 RBIs with a .234 average this season. His other two home runs also came in back-to-back games in April against the Phillies in Miami.
"Water reaches its level," manager Don Mattingly said, according to MLB.com. "He's hit everywhere he's been. Those guys are going to hit."
The Marlins need Anderson to provide thump from the No. 3 slot in the batting order. Neither Anderson nor Starlin Castro are typical middle-of-the-order batters.
"Getting to find some barrels is a good sign for me," Anderson said. "I feel like I'm kind of getting back to where I need to be."
The Tigers are mired in a deep slump. They've lost eight straight, all at Comerica Park. Their offense has generated just 19 runs during the slide.
On Wednesday, they gave up a three-run lead.
"It's just a really rough stretch right now," manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Nothing really going too awful well. We'll think back to this day somewhere down the road and say, 'Man, that was brutal. Let's not do that again.'"
Detroit ace left-hander Matthew Boyd (4-4, 3.41 ERA), Thursday's scheduled starter, has lost his past two starts. In his most recent outing on Saturday, he gave up four runs on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings against Oakland. Boyd struck out eight in that game but also gave up two home runs in the 4-1 loss.
The Tigers have scored a combined three runs in Boyd's four losses this season.
"You never know what run is going to win or lose a game," Boyd said. "If it's 1-0, keep it 1-0. If it's 2-0, keep it there. You just keep going with that. You can't put too much thought into what's going on with the offense. Just put up zeroes as often as you can and keep going forward attacking."
Boyd will be pitching against Miami for the first time.
The Marlins will counter with right-hander Trevor Richards (1-5, 4.44 ERA), who recorded his first victory of the season on Friday in his ninth start. He held the New York Mets to three runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings, matching his longest start of the season.
Richards will be facing Detroit for the first time in his two-year career.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 23, 2019