(SportsNetwork.com) - The Oakland Athletics hope to continue what has been an incredible offensive surge of late when they open a three-game series versus the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park.
Oakland, which leads the majors with 398 runs scored, has won eight of its last 11 games and the American League West leaders have scored at least four runs nine times in that span.
That could be bad news for Miami rookie Anthony DeSclafani, who has given up 16 earned runs in 15 1/3 innings since allowing only two in his big league debut. DeSclafani was rocked on Sunday by the New York Mets to the tune of seven runs in just 3 2/3 innings, as he fell to 1-2 to go along with a 7.59 ERA.
"That's not the start I wanted," DeSclafani said after the loss. "You're not going to get the results you want pitching like that. I didn't give my team a chance to get outs or get a win. That falls on me, for sure. Being up here, you have to be consistent. That's pitch to pitch, locating all your pitches and keeping hitters off balance. If I want to have success up here, that's what I have to do -- locate and get ahead, get more balls on the ground, and I didn't do that today."
Miami has lost four of its last six, but the young Marlins find themselves just 2 1/2 games back in a surprisingly competitive NL East. A big reason for the Marlins' success has been the play of slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who leads the NL with 21 home runs and 59 RBI.
Stanton is just one of six Marlins to hit 20 or more homers and notch 50 or more RBIs before the All-Star break. Mike Lowell was the last one to do it, accomplishing the feat both in 2003 and '04. Lowell's 28 home runs and 76 RBIin 93 games prior to the 2003 All-Star break are a franchise record.
Trying to slow Stanton down on Friday for Oakland will be righty Jesse Chavez, who is 6-4 with a 2.71 ERA. Chavez pitched well enough to win on Saturday versus Boston and took a no-hitter into the sixth before scattering three hits over seven scoreless innings. However, he did not get a decision in his team's 2-1.
Chavez has yielded two earned runs or fewer in 11 of his starts this season.
The Marlins have won 13 of their last 14 interleague games.