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The Philadelphia Phillies are one loss away from matching their total from last season, but have to like their chances of delaying that fate a bit longer Monday for the first of three home games against the Miami Marlins. The Phillies (69-80) are on the verge of following up last year’s 81-81 campaign with their first losing season since 2002. Philadelphia has won six of its last nine and will send red-hot Cliff Lee to the mound against Sam Dyson, who will make his first major-league start.
The Phillies have won five straight versus the Marlins and are 9-4 overall against their National League East rival in 2013. After starting September off with four wins in five games, Miami has dropped eight of its next 10 thanks to its league-worst offense. The Marlins have averaged 2.4 runs over that span and were shut out for 17th time this season in Sunday’s 1-0, 12-inning setback against the New York Mets.
TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, FSN Florida (Miami), CSN (Philadelphia)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Marlins RH Sam Dyson (0-0, 4.50 ERA) vs. Phillies LH Cliff Lee (13-6, 2.97)
Dyson, a September call-up, tossed three scoreless frames in relief during Thursday’s 6-1 loss to Atlanta. The 25-year-old University of South Carolina alum has appeared in only five major-league games and earned his promotion by carrying a 2.67 ERA over three different minor league stops this season despite a 4-11 record. Dyson went 1-3 with a 2.61 ERA in five August starts with Triple-A New Orleans.
Lee won his third consecutive decision, allowing two runs and striking out nine over eight innings during Wednesday’s 4-2 home victory over San Diego. The four-time All-Star has fanned 19 batters in two September outings and owns a 3-0 record with a 2.00 ERA over his last five turns. Lee posted his only shutout of the season against Miami on May 22 and is 4-1 with a 2.30 ERA in nine all-time outings versus the Marlins.
1. With his next homer, Philadelphia SS Jimmy Rollins will become the 19th player to have 400 doubles, 100 triples and 200 home runs.
2. Miami closer Steve Cishek has allowed one run in his last 15 appearances and converted 25 straight save opportunities.
3. Lee has yielded one earned run over 23 innings in his last three meetings with the Marlins.
PREDICTION: Phillies 5, Marlins 1