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  W: P. López (3-5)   L: S. Matz (3-3)   S: A. Conley (2)
1:10 PM PT2:10 PM MT3:10 PM CT4:10 PM ET16:10 ET20:10 GMT4:10 1:10 PM MST3:10 PM EST3:40 PM VEN0:10 UAE (+1)3:10 PM CT, May 18, 2019
Marlins Park, Miami, Florida  Attendance: 13,474

Marlins' Lopez looks to improve on dismal outing vs. Mets

Miami Marlins right-hander Pablo Lopez is set to make his 19th career major league start on Saturday. The two outings he had against the New York Mets likely stand out as the most memorable.

Lopez (2-5, 5.93 ERA) will get another look at the Mets when he takes the mound on Saturday afternoon in the middle game of the three-game series in Miami.

The Marlins won the series opener 8-6 on Friday to end a seven-game losing streak.

Lopez won his major league debut against the visiting Mets on June 30, 2018, allowing two runs in six innings of a 5-2 victory.

He faced them for the second time in his latest outing on May 10, but the experience went a lot differently. He gave up a career-high 10 runs and a career-high 10 hits in three innings during an 11-2 loss at New York.

The Mets scored eight runs in the first inning off Lopez, their highest-scoring opening inning since 1989.

The sub-par performance was particularly unexpected considering Lopez had thrown six shutout innings in his previous start, when he got a no-decision in Miami's 3-1 loss against the visiting Atlanta Braves on May 5.

Miami's offense hasn't treated Lopez well either, scoring one run or none in five of his eight starts this year.

Lopez won't have to face Mets right fielder Michael Conforto, who left the team's Thursday loss at Washington after colliding with second baseman Robinson Cano. Conforto, a 2017 All-Star, was diagnosed with a concussion and placed on the seven-day injured list.

The Mets recalled veteran Carlos Gomez from Triple-A Syracuse, and he started in Conforto's spot on Friday, going 0-for-3 with a strikeout.

New York second baseman Jeff McNeil also left the Thursday game due to an abdominal strain, but he pinch-hit on Friday night and struck out in the eighth inning.

The Mets are expected to take left-hander Steven Matz off the injured list and start him on the mound Saturday.

Matz (3-2, 3.86 ERA) missed the past two weeks because of nerve irritation in his left forearm, something he's dealt with his entire career.

"It's a hard thing to put your finger on in the first place," Matz said of the discomfort. "It's just the way I am, I guess. It has come up in the past, but it's not always there."

Matz threw a 45-pitch bullpen session on Wednesday and came out with no issues.

In nine career starts against the Marlins, Matz is 3-2 with a 2.70 ERA.

One Marlins batter he has yet to face is Garrett Cooper. The Opening Day starter in right field the past two seasons for Miami, Cooper subsequently appeared in just one April game in each of those seasons.

Cooper was hit on the wrist by a pitch in the third game last season and ended up playing just 14 games all year. He strained his left calf in the third game this season, then got hit by a pitch on his left hand in his first game back on April 30, and he returned to the IL with a contusion.

Finally back in action this week, Cooper drove in his first runs since last July with a two-run single in the third inning on Friday, giving the Marlins the lead for good.

"It's been good the last couple days, just seeing pitches, getting back into the rhythm of everything," Cooper told Fox Sports Florida after the win on Friday. "It's definitely a mental grind when you're not playing the past year and a half."

--Field Level Media

Updated May 18, 2019

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