Marlins-Phillies Preview

Publish date:

PHILADELPHIA -- The Miami Marlins were unable to get one of their struggling starting pitchers untracked Wednesday.

They will attempt to do it once again Thursday night when they wrap up a four-game series against the Philadelphia Phillies.

Wei-Yin Chen, 2-2 with a 6.12 ERA in his last eight starts, surrendered four runs and 11 hits in 5 1/3 innings en route to a 4-1 loss to the Phillies on Wednesday night and manager Don Mattingly pronounced the left-hander's start "OK."

On Thursday, right-hander Tom Koehler, 0-2 with a 7.36 ERA in his last five starts, gets the call. Koehler (6-8, 4.68 ERA) will be opposed by Jerad Eickhoff (6-10, 3.76).

The Marlins, in the thick of the National League wild-card race, are reportedly in the market for a starter to bolster their rotation behind All-Star Jose Fernandez, with Philadelphia's Jeremy Hellickson a possible target. Hellickson limited Miami to one run and five hits in eight innings on Wednesday, his longest outing of the season. But he said he did not consider it an audition.

"Like I've said before, I want to be here," he said afterward. "I want to win here. I really think we can. ... My focus is here right now."

In the meantime, Koehler will be attempting to shake his slump. He has not worked more than five innings in any of his last four starts. The last time out, against St. Louis, he lasted just four innings, allowing four runs and seven hits while striking out four and walking three.

Koehler is 0-1 with a 1.93 ERA in two career starts against the Phillies.

He will be facing a Philadelphia lineup that entered Wednesday's game hitting a major league-worst .218 at home, and one that had produced three runs and 10 hits while striking out 34 times in its three previous games, all losses.

The Phillies, however, produced 12 hits against Chen and two relievers.

Tyler Goeddel, a rookie left fielder making his first start since July 10 and his 43rd overall, went 2-for-4 with a homer and a career-high three RBIs.

"It was fun to be back out there and part of a win," he said. "I was a little concerned. I thought it would feel like the first day of spring training out there again, but I luckily got some pitches to hit and put some good swings on them, got some good results."

Cesar Hernandez had three hits for the Phils, and Carlos Ruiz and Maikel Franco had two apiece.

Eickhoff, who came over from the Texas Rangers in the Cole Hamels deal at last year's trade deadline, is winless in his last two starts, having been saddled with a no-decision on Saturday against the New York Mets despite allowing two runs and five hits in six innings. He struck out three and walked one.

One of the many young arms on which the Phillies have placed their hopes for a rebuild, Eickhoff lost his only start against Miami this season. In five career outings against the Marlins, he is 1-4 with a 2.81 ERA.