MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – The Miami Marlins will face a pitcher on Wednesday making his final bid for a new contract.
Kyle Kendrick's last start of his eighth season with the Philadelphia Phillies will be his final audition for a ninth.
With free agency looming, Wednesday night's road outing against the Marlins could be the right-hander's last in a Phillies uniform as his season comes to a close in his bid for a third straight season of at least 10 wins.
Kendrick (9-13, 4.73 ERA) will hope for better than he showed in Thursday's 7-3 loss in San Diego, where he allowed three runs and six hits with five walks in five innings.
"I didn't have any command from the start really," Kendrick told MLB's official website. "I walked the first hitter. That's pretty rare for me, but I had to battle. I was pretty fortunate just to give up three runs there. I had no command. It's tough to pitch like that."
Games against the Marlins have been considerably more positive. He's 12-3 with a 3.45 ERA in 20 career starts versus Miami.
Kendrick is one of a few pitchers who might be disappointed to not be facing the injured Giancarlo Stanton as the slugger has gone just 3 for 26 with eight strikeouts in their matchups. Christian Yelich is 5 for 12 and Casey McGehee is 6 for 17 with a home run.
Kendrick will be opposed by Brad Hand, who will try to end his season by avoiding a third straight losing start. The latest was Thursday's 6-2 defeat to Washington as Hand (3-8, 4.59) surrendered six runs and eight hits in five innings.
The previous outing was in Philadelphia, where the left-hander lasted six innings and allowed two runs. He's 0-2 with a 4.03 ERA in four career starts against the Phillies.
The Marlins (75-81) opened the series with Tuesday's 2-0 win to snap a four-game losing streak, though they haven't scored more than two runs in five games.
"It's unfortunate we've come up short the last four games; we weren't able to win the close games," winning pitcher Henderson Alvarez said. "It was important to put a strong game out there and get the win."
Banged-up Miami is averaging 2.31 runs during a 4-9 stretch while batting .222 with runners in scoring position.
Already without Stanton, fellow outfielder Marcell Ozuna is unlikely to play again in the final week after suffering a high right ankle sprain on Sunday. He is second on the club with 23 homers and 85 RBIs.
"After losing (Stanton) and his production, now you got another guy with 20-plus homers and 85 RBIs (missing)," manager Mike Redmond said. "That's another pretty big blow out of our lineup."
The Phillies (71-86) have also suffered at the plate with 2.81 runs per game and a .214 batting average over a 5-11 stretch.
They got Domonic Brown back in the lineup for the opener, and the left fielder collected two hits after being held out of the lineup the past three games with a wrist injury.
Philadelphia is 9-8 against the Marlins this year and 2-5 in Miami. The Marlins haven't won a season series against the Phillies since 2008.
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