Major League Baseball
Preview
Miami at Pittsburgh
When: 7:05 PM ET, Monday, May 25, 2015
Where: PNC Park, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

After beginning their eight-game homestand in less than impressive fashion, the Pittsburgh Pirates received a near-historic effort from their strong starting pitching to sweep their last opponent. The Pirates eye a fourth straight victory in Pittsburgh on Monday when they open a three-game set against the Miami Marlins.

Pittsburgh lost at home to Minnesota on Tuesday and Wednesday before using the weekend to outscore the New York Mets 21-4 as Gerrit Cole and A.J. Burnett struck out apiece 10 on Friday and Saturday, respectively. Francisco Liriano fanned 12 more hitters Sunday, marking only third time since 1900 – and the first since September 1969 – that Pirates’ starting pitchers recorded three straight double-digit strikeout games. The Marlins snapped an eight-game slide to get Dan Jennings his first managerial win Saturday and earned their first series victory since May 3 on Sunday with a 5-2 triumph over Baltimore to wrap an abysmal 2-8 homestand in which they scored 28 runs. Some of the blame for the lack of offense can be pinned on struggles of Giancarlo Stanton, who went 6-for-39 during the 10-game stretch and is batting .174 in May.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, MLB Network, FSN Florida (Miami), ROOT (Pittsburgh)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH David Phelps (2-1, 3.21 ERA) vs. Pirates RH Charlie Morton (2014: 6-12, 3.72)

Phelps endured the worst of his seven turns Wednesday, taking his first loss after giving up four runs on five hits and three walks in five frames during a 6-1 home loss to Arizona. The outing snapped a string of five consecutive quality starts for the 28-year-old, who has posted a 2.41 ERA since joining the rotation in mid-April following two relief appearances. Phelps got the win in his only career start against the Pirates last May, yielding five hits over as many scoreless innings as a member of the New York Yankees.

Morton returns to the mound for the first time since undergoing surgery to repair the labrum in his right hip near the end of last season. The New Jersey native was impressive during three rehab outings in the minors, going 2-1 with a 1.33 ERA while striking out 22 over 20 1/3 innings. Morton is 5-3 with a 4.03 ERA in 10 starts against the Marlins and has struggled to retire Stanton (7-for-15), but enjoyed more success against Martin Prado (2-for-13) and Adeiny Hechavarria (3-for-12).

WALK-OFFS

1. Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen, who clubbed two-run homers Saturday and Sunday, is batting .386 with 11 extra-base hits (five home runs) and 14 RBIs over his last 16 contests.

2. Marlins LF Christian Yelich, who hit his first big-league home run at PNC Park on Aug. 8, 2013, is batting .375 with two homers and five RBIs in six career games in Pittsburgh.

3. Pittsburgh 3B Josh Harrison is batting .468 during an 11-game hitting streak.

PREDICTION: Pirates 5, Marlins 4
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Miami 18-27 W2 10-15 8-12 12-16 0-0 3-8 3-3
Pittsburgh 21-22 W3 12-9 9-13 5-2 12-16 3-0 1-4
Last Meeting
Miami Pittsburgh
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
8/7/14 MIA 2 PIT 7 .107 1 .408 .371 0 .891
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Miami N/A
Pittsburgh N/A
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Miami H. Alvarez 0 0 0
Pittsburgh P. Alvarez 0 0 0
Pitching ERA Avg K
Miami 0.00 .000 0
Pittsburgh 0.00 .000 0
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Miami D. Gordon .376 68 .860
Pittsburgh S. Marte .278 44 .838
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Miami G. Stanton 12 26 40
Pittsburgh S. Marte 9 22 30
Pitching ERA Avg K
Miami 4.02 .260 309
Pittsburgh 3.11 .246 367