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Miami Marlins (9-8) at San Diego Padres (8-11)
Sunday, April 23 - 4:40 PM EST
Petco Park, San Diego, California
Miami Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton proved during last season's Home Run Derby and this year's World Baseball Classic that he can make Petco Park - among the most pitcher-friendly parks in the majors - look small, and he's doing it yet again. The three-time All-Star attempts to go deep for a fourth consecutive game Sunday, when the Marlins visit the San Diego Padres for the rubber match of their three-game series.
Stanton slugged 61 home runs during last summer's exhibition at Petco Park to win the competition going away and hit an important shot against the Dominican Republic to propel the United States into the semifinals of the WBC last month. Although his two-run blast in Friday's opener went for naught in a 5-3 loss, he homered twice in Saturday's 6-3, extra-inning victory, including a two-run blast to cap a four-run 11th inning. Stanton's power display, along with a career-high 14 strikeouts from Dan Straily on Saturday, was enough to put a stop to San Diego's modest three-game winning streak during which it allowed only four runs. Austin Hedges nearly has matched Stanton homer for homer by going deep once in each of the last three games and five times over his last seven contests.
TV: 4:40 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), FSN San Diego
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Tom Koehler (0-1, 5.40 ERA) vs. Padres RH Luis Perdomo (0-0, 8.44)
Koehler has struggled with home runs against left-handers this season, giving up two blasts among the five runs and seven hits he allowed over four innings in a loss at Seattle on Monday. The Stony Brook product is among the league leaders in homers surrendered (five) - four of which have come against left-handers, who are hitting .400 in 25 at-bats against the New York native. Koehler has fared very well against San Diego in four appearances (three starts), however, going 3-0 with a 2.14 ERA.
Perdomo is expected to bump Jarred Cosart from the rotation and be activated from the disabled list in time to start Sunday after exiting his season debut on April 7 with shoulder inflammation. The 23-year-old Dominican settled for a no-decision in that outing against San Francisco despite surrendering five runs on seven hits and a walk over 5 1/3 innings. Perdomo won both of his starts versus the Marlins as a rookie last season, including a six-hit, complete-game victory against them on Aug. 28.
1. The Marlins haven't won consecutive series in San Diego since 2009-10. Miami won two of three in Petco Park last season.
2. Hedges is 10-for-32 with seven extra-base hits since beginning the season 0-for-24.
3. Miami OF Marcell Ozuna, who is tied with Washington's Bryce Harper for the league lead with 20 RBIs, has driven in only two runs five games into the team's nine-game road trip.
PREDICTION: Marlins 5, Padres 3