The Los Angeles Dodgers, who have the best record in the major leagues, will open a six-game homestand on Friday night trying to regain their sense of invincibility after a bumpy trip to the Midwest.
The Dodgers, who went 4-3 during visits to Kansas City and Milwaukee, now will host the Miami Marlins in a three-game series. Los Angeles fell 5-3 to the Brewers on Thursday to split a four-game series.
Now comes a run of seven meetings against the Marlins over a stretch of 10 games, with another series scheduled for South Florida next weekend. Los Angeles is on a six-game home winning streak.
At 81-36, the Dodgers are 5 1/2 games up on the team with the next-best record in baseball, the Houston Astros. Los Angeles also owns a comfortable 17-game lead over the San Diego Padres in the National League West as it gears up for another playoff run.
An offensive juggernaut while scoring an average of 7.6 runs per game during a recent 12-game winning streak, the Dodgers have averaged just 2.6 runs per game while losing three of their last five. They managed just 13 runs in the four games at Milwaukee.
"(The Brewers) do a great job at preventing runs, and every ballgame was essentially pretty close," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "I'm not going to overanalyze how many runs we scored (at Milwaukee). We have some good arms coming (from the Marlins). It doesn't get any easier."
The Dodgers will send left-hander Tyler Anderson (13-2, 2.81 ERA) to the mound on Friday. Anderson was handed just his second loss of the season Sunday against the Royals when he gave up three runs over six innings.
Anderson is 1-3 lifetime against the Marlins with a 4.15 ERA in six starts, earning that lone victory in 2017.
The Marlins are expected to counter with left-hander Jesus Luzardo (3-5, 3.72), who matched a season high by allowing four runs in a loss against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday. He yielded seven hits and two walks while striking out six in five innings.
In three starts since returning from a forearm strain, Luzardo is 1-2 with a 3.18 ERA and has gone at least five innings in each outing.
With injuries to Jazz Chisholm Jr., Avisail Garcia and Jorge Soler, the Marlins are in a forced youth movement, but they are getting support from their pitching staff with Luzardo back to join All-Star Sandy Alcantara.
"The encouraging part of even going through this stretch is you kind of feel at least like we're going to be competitive (each game), and that we're not going to be down nine runs in the second and just try to get through the game," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. "You feel like if we can put some runs together, catch the ball, don't make mistakes, we're going to be in a game. That's a positive."
Luzardo's first-career start against the Dodgers came last season as a member of the Oakland Athletics when he gave up two runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings of an April 7 outing. He has no decisions and a 5.40 ERA in two career appearance against Los Angeles.
The Marlins took two of three games from the Padres at home this week but went just 2-5 on their homestand that also included a visit from the Atlanta Braves.
--Field Level Media