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Preview: Marlins at Giants

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

The Miami Marlins are the lowest-scoring team in the major leagues, just what the San Francisco Giants need to see as their struggling pitching staff rounds into form. The Giants began to turn things around on that staff by taking two of three from the San Diego Padres earlier in the week and will send out Chad Gaudin on Thursday for the opener of the four-game home series. The Marlins began their seven-game road trip by totaling six runs en route to dropping two of three in Arizona.

San Francisco has leaned on its pitching staff in its last two World Series runs but has had to spend a lot of time in the bullpen due to ineffectiveness and injury this season. The Giants have had four straight starters surrender two earned runs or fewer and are coming off a 4-2 win over the Padres on Wednesday. The Marlins could not touch Josh Collmenter during a 3-1 loss at Arizona on Wednesday and have been held to two runs or fewer in five of their last six losses.

TV: 10:15 p.m. ET, Fox Sports Florida (Miami), Comcast SportsNet Bay Area (San Francisco)

PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Tom Koehler (0-5, 5.09 ERA) vs. Giants RH Chad Gaudin (2-1, 2.83)

Koehler has gotten progressively worse since joining the rotation in May and bottomed out in his last start, allowing nine runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings to suffer a loss against St. Louis. After yielding three or fewer runs in each of his previous four turns, the rookie has been knocked around for 17 earned runs and five homers in his last three. Koehler is 0-2 with a 5.04 ERA in eight road games - four starts.

Gaudin was the last San Francisco starter to allow more than two earned runs, serving up four on eight hits in five innings at Atlanta on Saturday. Another converted reliever, the veteran right-hander held Arizona and St. Louis to two earned runs apiece over six innings in each of his first two starts. Gaudin, who pitched for the Marlins last season, will be making his first home start.

WALK-OFFS

1. Giants INF Joaquin Arias is enjoying a career-high 10-game hitting streak.

2. Marlins 1B Logan Morrison (back) was held out of the starting lineup on Wednesday as a precaution. He is expected back on Thursday.

3. San Francisco SS Brandon Crawford (sprained fingers) has been limited to pinch running.

PREDICTION: Giants 5, Marlins 3

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/thomson-reuters/130620/preview-marlins-at-giants