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PHI@MIA: Koehler fans seven over six shutout innings

Something will have to give on Monday, when the Marlins and the D-backs begin a three-game set in Phoenix.

The Marlins enter the series tied with the Padres for the fewest road wins (15) in baseball. Meanwhile, the D-backs have struggled to win at home, putting up a Major League-worst 15-30 record in Chase Field.

Shouldered with the responsibility of turning their teams' luck around are Marlins starter Tom Koehler and Arizona rookie Chase Anderson.

Koehler had a hectic five days. He beat the Phillies with six shutout innings on Wednesday, was placed on the paternity list after the game and welcomed his first child to the world the next day when his wife gave birth to a girl.

Koehler will rejoin his team in time to open the series on Monday at Arizona.

He has been a steady performer in the rotation, logging 103 1/3 innings in 17 starts and posting a 3.48 ERA. If he continues on this track, manager Mike Redmond expects him to have no problem throwing 200 innings. In his first full Major League season last year, Koehler made 29 starts (143 innings) and recorded a 4.41 ERA.

"I've said it all year and even last year, this guy, I thought, was our most improved pitcher from last year to this year," Redmond said.

Koehler struggles with his command, especially when it comes to the sixth inning, in which he's allowed 12 runs on 13 hits in 13 starts when he's made it that far. He didn't have those issues last week, though. He put the Phillies' first two batters on base, but was able to get the next three in order.

Last Wednesday wasn't nearly as good for Anderson, however. He surrendered three runs in just 3 2/3 innings against the Pirates. Good news is that, despite allowing 11 baserunners, he was able to limit the damage. But he still allowed himself to get behind too many hitters, many of whom drove up his pitch count with long at-bats. When he was removed from the game in the fourth, he had 88 pitches on the board.

It's been a month since Anderson pitched deep into a game. On June 8 against the Braves, he tossed 100 pitches in seven innings and allowed two runs on five hits.

That start was the last in which he received a victory. Since recording wins in each of his first five big league starts, the rookie starter entered Monday with a four-game losing streak.

Marlins: Second base by matchups
With Adeiny Hechavarria (right triceps strain) returning from the disabled list, second base becomes a position to keep an eye on. Ed Lucas and Donovan Solano had been splitting time at shortstop and second base, but now that Hechavarria will man short, Solano and Lucas will platoon at second base.

Pitching matchups will factor into which one gets the nod. On Sunday at St. Louis, Lucas started at second because he has better numbers against lefties.

At Arizona, the D-backs are throwing three straight right-handers.

"They've both done nice jobs," Redmond said. "They've both got big hits in big situations. We're able to mix and match with those guys, and they've come up big."

D-backs: Leadoff a good look for Inciarte
Arizona rookie Ender Inciarte has gotten into a groove since being penciled into the leadoff spot on June 22 in a 4-1 loss to the Giants.

He enters Monday having hit safely in 10 of his past 12 games since being moved from the eight-hole. He even hit his first career homer on Saturday against the Braves. But with Arizona mired in a 4-7 stretch at the time, he couldn't really enjoy it.

"It felt good that I hit my first home run, but you can enjoy it more if you win the game, you know?" Inciarte said. "I talked to [hitting coach Turner Ward] and asked him if he wanted me to take a pitch, and he said, 'No, be aggressive at the plate,' so I say thanks to him because he wanted me to be aggressive and when I was aggressive, I hit my first home run."

He went 0-for-3 with a walk in the D-backs' 3-1 win on Sunday.

Worth noting
• Kirk Gibson considered letting new acquisition Vidal Nuno start on Monday, his scheduled day, but elected to push him back to Tuesday and let Anderson make his scheduled start. Nuno's acquisition makes him the 11th rookie for Arizona this year.

• Despite having the fewest number of road wins, the Marlins have done well away from home of late. Entering Sunday, Miami was tied for first with the Dodgers in the National League and for third-best in the Majors with a 12-8 record on the road since May 14. Comments