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Marlins Look To Stay Hot, Continue Climb Towards Wild Card

MILWAUKEE (CBSMiami/AP) – The Miami Marlins have been a streaky team this season.  They are getting hot at the perfect time as Miami has been playing against the teams they're chasing in the standings.

After taking two of three from the Atlanta Braves last weekend, the Marlins have won the first two games of a four game set in Milwaukee against the struggling Brewers.

As Milwaukee tries to find a way to end their latest slide, pitcher Wily Peralta hopes to halt a skid of his own.

In danger of losing a fourth straight start, Peralta looks to help the reeling Brewers avoid their fifth consecutive defeat Wednesday night against the visiting Miami Marlins.

Casey McGehee and Marcell Ozuna delivered the latest blow to Milwaukee's playoff chances, hitting back-to-back homers off Francisco Rodriguez in the ninth inning of Tuesday's 6-3 defeat to Miami. Losers in 13 of 14, the Brewers (74-71) had the bases loaded with no outs in the bottom of the eighth but failed to score.

In third place and six games behind first-place St. Louis in the NL Central, the Brewers are 1 1/2 games out of the final wild-card spot and trying to stay confident through the frustration.

"We're playing hard, we're working hard, those guys are putting everything they can into it," manager Ron Roenicke said. "We'll be at it again (Wednesday) and hopefully things go well."

Peralta (15-10, 3.84 ERA) had gone 6-1 with a 1.59 ERA in seven starts before his current slide and had been tagged for 14 runs in eight innings while losing his final two August starts. The right-hander was better during a 3-2 loss to St. Louis on Thursday, giving up two first-inning runs and three overall while striking out seven in six innings.

He last dropped four in a row May 12-27, 2013.

Peralta gave up two hits and struck out seven in eight innings of a 1-0, 13-inning victory in his only previous home start versus Miami (71-72) last season. He yielded one run in six innings of a 2-1 road defeat to the Marlins on May 24.

Ex-Brewer McGehee is 2 for 3 against Peralta and 3 for 7 with three RBIs in this series.

Ozuna has homered in consecutive games and is 11 for 20 with eight RBIs in the last five.

"I'm just getting patient at the plate," said Ozuna, who is 1 for 9 versus Peralta.

Winners of three straight and 3 1/2 games out of the second wild-card spot, the Marlins hand the ball to Jarred Cosart (4-1, 1.99 ERA) as he looks to win a fourth straight start for the second time this season.

The right-hander gave up four runs in 5 1-3 innings of a 5-2 loss to Cincinnati on Aug. 1 in his first outing since the Marlins acquired him from Houston, but he has conceded only five over 35 1-3 innings to go 4-0 in his next five. He yielded three of those runs over 7 2-3 innings of an 11-3 win over Atlanta on Friday.

Cosart, who also reeled off four straight wins from June 9-26, has pitched into the eighth inning in each of his last three starts and is eager to take the next step.

"I've came out the same way the last three games so that's wearing on me a little bit," he said. "It might be that I'm looking ahead because I really want to finish the game."

The only Brewer to face Cosart, Gerardo Parra has a hit and a walk in three plate appearances against him.

Parra is batting .394 in his last nine games.

A sore thumb and hand that kept Ryan Braun out of the Brewers starting lineup Tuesday has contributed to him batting .171 and striking out 16 times over his last 12 contests.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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