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Series Preview 6/5-7: Marlins vs. Cardinals

The Fish come to Busch meet the Birds

MLB: Chicago White Sox at St. Louis Cardinals Joe Puetz-USA TODAY Sports

After taking three of four in their series against the Pirates and an off day on Monday, the 32-25 Cardinals welcome the 20-39 Marlins to town for a three-game series.

In Tuesday’s series opener, Carlos Martinez will return from the disabled list and make his first big-league start since May 8. First pitch of the game is scheduled for 7:15 PM Central time. Martinez was placed on the disabled list after that start with a right lat strain. Martinez made a rehab start with the Springfield Cardinals on Thursday (5/31) and will look to continue the stellar campaign he has built in the Majors this year. In 50 innings across eight starts, Martinez has a 1.62 ERA with a .179 opponent’s batting average.

Martinez is expected to throw to Yadier Molina, who is also anticipating a return from the disabled list on Tuesday. Molina has been out since suffering a pelvic injury in early May. Molina is batting .272 with six home runs in 120 plate appearances in 2018.

Martinez will be up against Miami’s Jose Urena. Urena has been giving the Marlins innings over the last month, logging at least six innings in his last four starts. Urena has a 3.98 FIP with 58 punchouts in 12 starts for the Marlins this year. Molina has four hits (including a double) in seven at-bats against Urena, while Tommy Pham has fanned three times in five plate appearances.

Wednesday’s contest will feature a mound matchup of Jack Flaherty and Wei-Yin Chen at 7:15 PM. Flaherty has a 2.62 ERA in six starts for the Cardinals this season with a 9.44 K/9 rate. Flaherty has two quality starts and only seven of the 28 hits he has surrendered have gone for extra bases. Flaherty has no regular-season history against any of the Marlins.

Chen is in his third year of pitching for the Marlins after spending the first four years of his career with the Orioles. The left-handed Chen has a 1.52 WHIP in seven starts for Miami. Chen notably struggled in his last start; in just 1 23 innings against the Padres, Chen allowed four runs on as many hits and two walks. Dexter Fowler is 0-for-9 with four strikeouts facing Chen in the past.

In Thursday’s matinee to round out the series, Miles Mikolas will face Elieser Hernandez at 12:15 PM. Mikolas took his first loss of the season in his last outing, although he did not necessarily deserve one; facing the Pirates, Mikolas allowed two runs (one earned) over six innings. Now 6-1, Mikolas has a 2.49 ERA in 11 starts for St. Louis.

The 23-year-old Hernandez made his Major League debut on May 10th and has appeared in six games (four starts) for the Marlins this year. In his latest outing - a start in Arizona against the Diamondbacks - Hernandez allowed five runs on five hits (three of them home runs) in three innings.