Arizona Diamondbacks (24-18) at Miami Marlins (11-31)
Saturday, May 18 - 7:10 PM EST
Marlins Ballpark, Miami, Florida
When the Arizona Diamondbacks gave Paul Goldschmidt a five-year contract extension on March 30, it might have been the best $32 million they ever spent. Arizona visits the Miami Marlins on Saturday, and its 25-year-old first baseman is on a roll. Goldschmidt hit a pair of two-run homers and matched a career high with four hits in the Diamondbacks' 9-2 victory over Miami on Friday. He is second in the major leagues with 12 home runs - three in his last four games - and is near the top with 35 RBIs.
The Diamondbacks have won eight of their last 11 games and appear to be the top threat to the San Francisco Giants for National League West supremacy. The Marlins, who have lost nine of 10, are tied with Houston for the worst record in the majors at 11-31. They have by far the least effective offense in the majors at 2.7 runs per game and desperately miss slugger Giancarlo Stanton, who hasn't played since April 30 due to a hamstring injury. Stanton said Friday he could be back prior to the All-Star break.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN (Arizona), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Diamondbacks RH Brandon McCarthy (0-3, 5.63 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Tom Koehler (0-1, 3.31)
McCarthy is winless in eight starts since joining Arizona over the winter. He appeared ready to break through in his last start as he tossed eight scoreless innings against Philadelphia on Sunday. McCarthy, though, was lifted after throwing 88 pitches, and the bullpen blew the lead in a 4-2 loss. "Sometimes you make decisions and it doesn't work out. That was my decision,'' Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson told reporters. McCarthy has recorded his only two quality starts in his last two turns.
Koehler lost his first start of the season - and second of his career - when he yielded two runs over five innings in Miami's 5-3 loss at Dodger Stadium on Sunday. The 26-year-old rookie from the Bronx had made six relief appearances since being called up from Triple-A New Orleans on April 19. Koehler, who replaced Wade LeBlanc in the rotation, was predominantly a starter in the minors. He went 16-2 for Double-A Jacksonville in 2010 and 24-19 with New Orleans since.
1. Arizona's Eric Chavez also recorded four hits Friday and Goldschmidt scored a career-high four runs while falling a triple shy of the cycle.
2. Miami reliever Ryan Webb hasn't allowed a run in a career-best 15 1/3 innings over his last 11 appearances.
3. The Marlins designated RHP Jon Rauch for assignment following Friday's game and recalled LHP Duane Below from New Orleans.
PREDICTION: Diamondbacks 3, Marlins 2