Series preview: Cardinals vs Marlins


The Cardinals and Marlins, who play seemingly every other day in spring training in Jupiter, Fla., haven’t met at all in the regular season but then will play their entire complement of seven games in the next two weeks. The Marlins, perhaps hoping to capitalize on the fact the Cardinals are 12-14 in games started by opposing lefthanders, will use two southpaws in the series, Wei-Yin Chen and Adam Conley. All-Star Jose Fernandez will not pitch in the series, having worked 1 1/3 innings in the All-Star Game.

Miami leads the National League in batting average at .273 and has five .300 hitters in Martin Prado, J.T. Realmuto, Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna and Derek Dietrich, who also leads the lead in being hit by pitch at 17. … Giancarlo Stanton, who won the All-Star Game Home Run Derby, has hit five homers in his last five regular-season games.

The Marlins are 76-0 in games they lead after eight innings dating to July 21 of last year and have improved that bullpen with the addition of righthander Fernando Rodney from San Diego. Hazelwood West product David Phelps has 21 “holds” and has fanned 56 while walking just 14 in 42 games in relief for Miami. … Ichiro Suzuki will enter the series 10 hits from becoming the 30th player to have 3,000 hits for his career. TNS


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