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MIAMI — Jarlin Garcia has been the surprise of the season for the Miami Marlins.
Garcia, a 25-year-old left-hander from the Dominican Republic, will start on Tuesday night when the Philadelphia Phillies visit Marlins Park for the middle game of a three-game series. In Monday’s game, the Marlins beat the Phillies 8-4 for their fifth win in their past six outings.
The Phillies have lost three straight games.
As for Garcia, in five appearances and 27 innings this year, he is 1-0 with a 1.00 ERA. But he has been even better than that in his three starts, posting a 0.53 ERA in 17 innings. Opposing batters are hitting just .114 against him.
Garcia is not overpowering — his fastball averages 92 mph, and he strikes out just 6.7 batters per nine innings.
“It’s one of those things where outs are outs,” Garcia told The Miami Herald. “You get them wherever you can.”
Garcia made his major league debut last year, when the Marlins used him exclusively as a reliever. His career numbers against the Phillies are poor — an 8.18 ERA — but this will be his first time facing Philadelphia as a starter.
Even so, the Marlins rotation — which one week ago ranked last in the National League with a 5.45 ERA — is much improved of late.
Rookie left-hander Caleb Smith pitched a combined shutout on Sunday and has 19 strikeouts and just one walk in his past two starts.
Wei-Yin Chen came off the disabled list, made his season debut and earned a win on Saturday, allowing just one run.
Jose Urena lost 1-0 in his most recent start on Friday. And veteran Dan Straily, who won 24 games the past two years, made his season debut on Monday after starting the year injured (right forearm).
“A fashionably late arrival to the season,” Straily joked.
Meanwhile, the Phillies will start right-hander Zach Eflin on Tuesday. Eflin takes the rotation spot of Ben Lively, who was placed on the disabled list due to a strained lower back.
Eflin was 2-2 with a 4.05 ERA in four starts at Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Another injury figures to impact Tuesday’s game as the Phillies on Sunday placed shortstop JP Crawford on the disabled list due to a strained right forearm. There is no ligament damage , but he could be out about two weeks.
The Phillies have replaced him with rookie Scott Kingery, who signed a six-year, $24 million contract before the start of the season.
Kingery has bounced around this year, playing six positions — everything except pitcher, catcher and first base.
“It’s challenging to be bounced around like this,” Kingery told mlb.com. “I’m used to playing second base and leading off most of my professional career. I didn’t even have to look at a lineup card.
“This year has been different. I don’t know what the plan is from here, but if I get consistent time at shortstop, that will give me a chance to get more comfortable.”
Tuesday’s game could mark the return of Marlins first baseman Justin Bour, who has missed three consecutive games due to a back injury.
A lefty bat, Bour had 18 doubles, 25 homers, 83 RBIs and .902 OPS last year. He could be used on Tuesday against the right-handed Eflin.