Dodgers at Marlins
Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has been a constant thorn in the side of the Los Angeles Dodgers, as he has hit safely in all 21 career encounters in which he has participated. After collecting five hits in the first series this season, Realmuto has four more in this set heading into Thursday afternoon's finale at Marlins Park.
Realmuto answered a three-hit performance in the series opener with a go-ahead homer in the sixth inning of Wednesday's 6-5 triumph. The 27-year-old has hit safely in all but four of his 24 games this season and is 4-for-9 with two homers in his career versus Thursday starter Kenta Maeda. While Miami (16-26) has won the first two contests of this series after dropping six of its previous seven, Los Angeles (16-26) is mired in a six-game losing skid and has just one win in its last 10. Yasmani Grandal homered for the second time in three outings to improve to 4-for-10 with three RBIs in that stretch after going 3-for-27 in his previous 10 games.
TV: 12:10 p.m. ET, MLB Network, SportsNet LA, FS Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers RH Kenta Maeda (2-3, 4.75 ERA) vs. Marlins LH Caleb Smith (2-4, 3.63)
Maeda fell to 0-2 in his last four outings on Friday after allowing a season high-tying five runs on nine hits in 4 2/3 innings of a 6-2 setback versus Cincinnati. The 30-year-old Japan native was taken deep for the fourth straight outing after keeping the ball in the park in each of his previous four. Maeda owns an 0-2 career mark versus the Marlins, but settled for a no-decision on April 24 despite permitting just one run on four hits while striking out seven in six innings.
Smith answered a pair of stellar scoreless outings with another fine performance on Thursday, albeit in a hard-luck loss versus Atlanta after yielding just two runs in 5 1/3 innings. The 26-year-old has kept the ball in the park in each of his last three trips to the mound after surrendering a homer in four of his previous five contests. Smith will make his 18th career appearance on Thursday and is meeting the Dodgers for the first time.
1. Los Angeles 1B Cody Bellinger has two homers, two RBIs and four runs scored during his five-game hitting streak.
2. Miami 3B Brian Anderson, who is riding a five-game hitting streak, is 4-for-8 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the series.
3. Dodgers 2B Chase Utley is 1-for-12 in his last three games and 5-for-28 in his last nine.