For Miami to have a shot at reaching .500 for the first time since July 29, Tom Koehler will have to get over the 8.00 ERA he has in two career starts against Arizona. Koehler and the Marlins wrap up a four-game set and their season series with the D-backs and Josh Collmenter on Sunday at Marlins Park.
On July 7, Koehler turned in his worst performance of the season at Chase Field in Arizona. The D-backs jumped all over him for seven earned runs on eight hits in just three innings.
Since then, however, Koehler has taken the hill six times, and three of them have been quality starts. He's posted a 3.50 ERA in his last 36 innings.
But Koehler wasn't at his sharpest in his win on Monday against the Cardinals. Outside of a span in which he recorded six straight outs, the righty had to pitch in and out of trouble throughout his five-plus innings. The fourth inning was his most difficult, as the Cards put together four two-out hits and tied the game.
"That just shows a young starter," manager Mike Redmond said. "Win two, lose two, four innings one night, seven innings the next. That's just part of the process. We don't all expect these guys to come out and throw eight innings every single night."
Collmenter's most recent start was on Tuesday in Cleveland, but because the game was rained out in the fourth, he pitched just three innings in which he allowed one run.
Not counting Tuesday, Collmenter has a 5.57 ERA since the All-Star break, so a game against the Marlins, against whom he has a 0.64 ERA in three career games, couldn't come soon enough.
His last start before the break was actually against the Marlins on July 9. He held them to one run in seven innings, the only run he's allowed against them in 14 career innings.
Marlins: Hand or Penny to 'pen eventually
Brad Hand threw seven innings Friday, but he and fellow starter Brad Penny are in the bullpen for now while the Marlins figure out which one will keep a spot in the rotation.
With the return of Henderson Alvarez on Saturday, one will have to move, but Redmond needs more time to make a decision. He'll take advantage of the team's two off-days next week to use them in long-relief roles.
Out of the bullpen this year, Hand has a 4.58 ERA in 14 games.
Penny has been used in relief in 26 contests throughout his 343-game career, posting a 7.26 ERA in them.
D-backs: Montero will start every game through Wednesday
Despite manager Kirk Gibson recently saying that he wanted backup catcher Tuffy Gosewisch to play more often, Miguel Montero will play his second of five consecutive games on Sunday. By catching all games through Wednesday, Montero will have the opportunity to go through the entire rotation once.
"He wants to play," Gibson said of Montero. "You guys know that, it's no secret. It's hard for him to not play. I've given him more time off recently than he's used to. He wants to play."
• The first three games in this series have each been decided by one run.
• Miami's Donovan Solano tied a franchise single-game record with nine assists at second base on Saturday. Dan Uggla was the last to do that on Aug. 25, 2007, in Cincinnati.
• Mark Trumbo has reached base safely in 15 consecutive games. Against the Marlins this year, he's 4-for-11.
Maria Torres is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.