Kansas City Royals (65-60) at Miami Marlins (65-60)
Wednesday, August 24 - 7:10 PM EST
Marlins Park, Miami, Florida
Miami Marlins right-hander Jose Fernandez hopes a return to South Beach will be just what doctor ordered in a bid to cure what has become his worst stretch of the season. Fernandez looks to snap a four-game winless run on Wednesday as the Marlins attempt to even their three-game home series against the red-hot Kansas City Royals.
Lorenzo Cain had an RBI single in Tuesday's 1-0 triumph to cement his fourth consecutive multi-hit performance. The 30-year-old is 18-for-34 with nine RBIs during his nine-game hitting streak for the Royals, who have won nine straight and 14 of their last 16 while permitting just nine runs over their last eight contests. While the reigning World Series champions are rounding into form by moving within four games of Baltimore for the second wild card in the American League, the Marlins saw their three-game winning streak halted to reside 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis for that same spot in the National League. Dee Gordon, who had three hits in the series opener, is 8-for-14 in four career encounters with Kansas City and 4-for-10 lifetime versus Wednesday starter Dillon Gee.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, FSN Kansas City, FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Royals RH Dillon Gee (5-6, 4.52 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Jose Fernandez (12-7, 3.05)
Gee answered a disastrous start with a strong one on Thursday, as the 30-year-old allowed just a solo homer among five hits over seven innings in a 8-1 rout of Minnesota. The Texas native surrendered four homers in his last two starts after permitting just three in both June and July. Gee has fared well versus the Marlins dating back to his days with the New York Mets, posting a 3-1 mark in eight career encounters.
Fernandez fell to 0-3 with a 6.00 ERA in his last four outings on Thursday after allowing five runs on seven hits in a season-low four innings of a 5-4 setback at Cincinnati. The 24-year-old Cuban has been blitzed for 14 runs on 27 hits in 21 innings during that stretch. Marlins Park traditionally has been a safe haven for Fernandez, who owns a 9-2 mark with a 2.07 ERA and 0.99 WHIP at home while limiting the opposition to a .202 batting average.
1. Kansas City relievers are riding a 32-inning shutout streak.
2. Marlins OF Marcell Ozuna is questionable to play on Wednesday after exiting the series opener in the eighth inning because of a family emergency.
3. Royals 1B Eric Hosmer, who is a Miami native, has nine hits in his last seven games despite going 0-for-3 in the series opener.
PREDICTION: Marlins 2, Royals 1