Manager Mike Redmond is confident in the Miami Marlins' young starters, and another meeting with the Houston Astros may reinforce his convictions.
Jacob Turner gets another chance to justify his recent inclusion in the youngest rotation in baseball as he tries to help the Marlins continue their dominance of the Astros on Sunday.
Miami (50-53) has a 4.12 ERA from its starters on the season, ranking 13th in the NL. However, they've put together a 2.93 ERA during a 6-1 stretch.
The Marlins' rotation is the youngest in baseball with an average age of 24 years, 317 days, with the 23-year-old Turner joined by 24-year-olds Nathan Eovaldi, Henderson Alvarez and Brad Hand along with elder statesman Tom Koehler (28).
"I think we believe in the guys that we have in our rotation," Redmond told MLB's official website. "We've all seen them pitch great. We know that it's in there. With young guys, you've got to stay with them. You've got to let them pitch, and let them work through it."
Facing the Astros (42-62) also helps since Miami has won 15 of the last 19 meetings behind a 2.17 ERA from the starters. Plus, Houston has lost seven of eight at home overall while batting .203 and averaging 2.1 runs.
Hand opened this three-game series by allowing three hits in 7 1-3 innings of a 2-0 win Friday, then Koehler needed some help after giving up three runs in five innings to earn a 7-3 win Saturday.
"To come here and to keep going and to keep competing and keeping that good feeling going, I'm very happy," Redmond said.
He'd be even happier if Turner (3-6, 6.03 ERA) can complete the sweep in his first meeting with Houston and second game since returning to the rotation.
The right-hander got his first victory since June 5 on Tuesday, allowing two runs in five innings while being limited to 82 pitches in a 6-5 win at Atlanta.
"We talked before the game about him stepping up and getting another opportunity to go into the rotation and he did exactly that," Redmond said.
Turner's performance was an improvement after he went 2-4 with a 6.38 ERA in nine starts before being moved to the bullpen last month.
Giancarlo Stanton is 5 for 11 during Miami's three-game win streak and had a three-run double Saturday. Christian Yelich had two hits, two runs and one RBI, giving him a .354 average in his past 19 games.
The Astros are a season-high 20 games under .500 and on a four-game slide thanks largely to a 7.41 ERA.
Collin McHugh (4-8, 3.28) will try to bring that down as he returns from the disabled list. A fingernail issue forced him to leave his most recent start July 6, allowing three runs in four innings of a 6-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels.
The right-hander is 0-5 with a 4.45 ERA over his last six starts, but he allowed one run in five innings of a rehab start with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
"He threw the ball very well," general manager Jeff Luhnow told MLB's official website. "The pitches were sharp and he felt good."
That hasn't been the case in McHugh's two meetings with the Marlins, losing both - one start - while allowing five runs with five walks in 4 1-3 innings as a member of the New York Mets.
The Associated Press News Service
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