MLB: Another pitchers’ duel on tap for Marlins vs. Padres?

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Pitching has dominated the headlines in the first two games of the series between the San Diego Padres and visiting Miami Marlins.

The series finale on Wednesday afternoon should be no different.

Left-hander Braxton Garrett is scheduled to start for the Marlins, five days after throwing a four-hit shutout against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Garrett (1-0, 5.30 ERA) needed only 95 pitches to complete the shutout, joining Dontrelle Willis as the only left-handers in franchise history to throw a complete game in less than 100 pitches.

“For him to do a complete game this year just shows you where he’s at, and how much better he’s gotten since maybe the first day I met him in spring training last year,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said.

Garrett, the No. 7 overall pick in 2016, was making his third start after missing the first six weeks of the season with a shoulder impingement, followed by a dead-arm period. His ERA after the first two games was 10.24 ERA.

“I did expect to start trending upwards,” said Garrett, 26. “The lines in my (first) two (starts) weren’t great, obviously, but I felt like there was a lot of good in them in the middle of those games, so just trying to put it all together.”

Garrett threw 71 of 95 pitches for strikes against the Diamondbacks, and 77.4 percent of his first pitches were in the zone.

“He’s a dog,” Marlins third baseman Jake Burger said. “Every time he has a ball in his hands, we feel really good about it.”

Garrett is 1-0 in three career starts against San Diego, with a 4.60 ERA.

The Padres received seven shutout innings from knuckleballer Matt Waldron in a 4-0 win over the Marlins on Tuesday night. Jeremiah Estrada also struck out the side in the ninth inning, giving him 13 consecutive strikeouts over his past three appearances, an expansion-era MLB record.

“You’re talking about a significant, historic achievement right there,” San Diego manager Mike Shildt said. “We need to celebrate it.”

In the 2-1 win over the Marlins in the series opener on Monday, the Padres received five solid innings from starter Michael King, followed by two shutout innings from Adrian Morejon before Robert Suarez pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 16 opportunities.

Morejon and Suarez should be available for the series finale behind scheduled starter Yu Darvish. The veteran right-hander (4-2, 3.04 ERA) brought a 25-inning scoreless streak into his most recent start on Friday against the New York Yankees and then produced his worst outing of the season, allowing seven runs and nine hits, four of them home runs, in an 8-0 loss.

“Shoot, this guy’s thrown the ball as good as anybody in the league the last month,” Shildt said. “But good lineup, and clearly they had a good idea of what they were looking for.”

Darvish is 3-2 in seven career starters against the Marlins, with a 5.59 ERA.

–Field Level Media

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