San Francisco Giants' 2nd baseman Joe Panik. File photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
The San Francisco Giants will be out to avenge a series defeat on the road last week when they get a rematch with the Miami Marlins in a three-game set that begins Monday night.
The Marlins' Caleb Smith (5-6, 3.75 ERA) and the Giants' Andrew Suarez (2-4, 4.92), two young left-handers who dueled Wednesday in Miami, will square off again in the series opener.
Neither pitcher was part of the decision in the Marlins' 5-4 win on Wednesday, a game in which the Giants blew 2-0, 3-2 and 4-3 leads en route to a walk-off defeat.
Brian Anderson's sacrifice fly off Giants closer Hunter Strickland ended the game, which was the Marlins' third straight narrow victory to open the series.
The Giants salvaged a game in the finale Thursday, prevailing 6-3 in a 16-inning affair started by San Francisco's Dereck Rodriguez and Miami's Dan Straily, who are scheduled to hook up again Tuesday.
Smith allowed three runs and eight hits in 6 1/3 innings in his outing against the Giants last week. It was the first time he faced San Francisco in his career, leaving him with a 0-0 record and 4.26 ERA against them.
The 26-year-old left the team for personal reasons and was placed on the bereavement list later in the week, but he is expected to be reinstated to the active roster in time for Monday's start.
The second-year major-leaguer has struggled on the road in his career, going 3-5 with a 5.68 ERA. He has never pitched in San Francisco.
Among the eight hits he allowed Wednesday was a two-run homer by Andrew McCutchen, who had quite a series against the Marlins, going 7-for-20 with two doubles, two home runs, five runs scored and five RBIs in the three games.
Nick Hundley and Brandon Belt homered for the Giants in their 4-1 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday, which allowed San Francisco to complete a 4-6 trip.
The Giants have won seven of their last eight home games.
San Francisco played Sunday without third baseman Evan Longoria, who suffered a broken hand Thursday. The Giants also are expecting to be without shortstop Brandon Crawford for the series against the Marlins.
Crawford is scheduled to go on paternity leave Monday, with the birth of his fourth child considered to be imminent.
It's possible Giants fans will get to see Pablo Sandoval at shortstop in the series. It's a move San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy indicated could be in the cards after Sandoval was pressed into emergency duty at second base when Joe Panik was injured last month.
"That decision hasn't been made, until we take a look at Pablo taking a few ground balls at short." Bochy said recently with a laugh,
Suarez was in line for his third win of the season when he was pulled from last week's game after five innings with a 3-2 lead. He allowed two runs and five hits in his five innings.
It was the rookie's first outing against the Marlins. He's 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA against them.
Smith had two of the Marlins' five hits off Suarez. He's now 3-for-20, one of just 30 pitchers to have three or more hits this season.
The Marlins opened a nine-game trip by winning two of three at Baltimore, giving them five wins in their last six games They'll play three at Colorado later in the week.