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Marlins Vs. Astros: Miami Holds First Full Series At New Ballpark

The Marlins have struggled a bit out of the gate. Can they right the ship and earn their first win at Marlins Park against the Houston Astros?

April 1, 2012; Miami, FL, USA;  Miami Marlins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco (47) pitches in a game against the New York Yankees in the third inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE
April 1, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Marlins starting pitcher Ricky Nolasco (47) pitches in a game against the New York Yankees in the third inning at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Robert Mayer-US PRESSWIRE

The Miami Marlins have had a rocky start to the season beginning 2-5 including a loss in their first game at the new Marlins Park. Their manager Ozzie Guillen also stuck his foot in his mouth with his comments about Fidel Castro, earning him a five-game suspension. The Marlins can start fresh on Friday night as they welcome the Houston Astros to Miami for a three game series.

Ricky Nolasco will be the starter for the Marlins in this series opener. In his start on April 7 against the Cincinnati Reds, Nolasco pitched 8 innings and allowed three earned runs en route to a win. He will match up against the Astros' Lucas Harrell. Harrell pitched 7 shut out innings on April 7 against the Colorado Rockies in his first start of the season, earning him a victory.

If Miami is going to start fresh on the season they have to get better with runners in scoring position. They are a paltry 1-for-13 with runners on second or third base. However, the Marlins have won 14 of their last 16 games against the Astros at home. Nolasco has also pitched 20 strikeouts and has a 1.73 ERA in his last three starts against Houston.

The game is scheduled for a 7:10 p.m. first pitch. Television coverage will be provided by MLB Network with Radio coverage on 790 WAXY and 710 WAQI.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.