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  • Jan 4

    BALTIMORE — The young Miami Marlins are coming off a tough 16-inning loss to
    the San Francisco Giants on Thursday.
    However Russell
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    , the Marlins did take three of four games in that home

    But the Baltimore Orioles have been on another skid. They’ve lost seven in a
    row, and the Boston Red Sox swept a three-game series in Baltimore this week.
    The Orioles had a day off Thursday but will somehow need to find some offense
    when they face Miami to begin a weekend series at Camden Yards Friday.

    Jose Urena (1-8, 4.59 ERA) starts for Miami. Urena won 14 games last year but
    dropped his first seven this season despite not pitching too badly.

    This will be the right-hander’s first career appearance versus the

    Kevin Gausman starts for Baltimore. He is 3-5 with a 4.58 ERA this season and
    has been very effective on several occasions. Home runs have hurt the
    right-hander this year, though, as Gausman has allowed 14 homers in 76 2/3

    This will also be Gausman’s first appearance against Miami in his career.

    The biggest problem for Baltimore right now is that anemic offense. After
    Wednesday’s 5-1 loss to the Red Sox, the Orioles ranked last in the American
    League — and next-to-last in the majors — with a .226 batting average.

    Chris Davis is hitting .150 with four homers and just 15 RBIs so far this
    season for Baltimore, and has been getting more and more time off, especially
    against left-handed pitchers. Trey Mancini is struggling, along with Jonathan
    Schoop and others.

    To make things worse, even though the Orioles just got back closer Zach
    Britton — he had been sidelined following Achilles tendon surgery in the
    offseason — the team has just lost Richard Bleier. The left-hander has been one
    of the most consistent pitchers coming out of the bullpen but suffered what
    might be an injury to the latissimus dorsi muscle. And those take a long time to
    heal. Bleier was scheduled for a Thursday MRI.

    “It’s got the characteristics of a lat, so we’ll see,” Orioles manager Buck
    Showalter said in The Baltimore Sun on Wednesday. “Hope for the best. Obviously,
    he was in a lot of discomfort, so we’ll see. He never had anything like that
    before. I didn’t get a chance to talk to him for very long. He was pretty down
    as you can imagine.”

    Miami will be coming to town after that nearly five-hour loss to the Giants
    on Thursday. The Marlins tied it in the ninth but the Giants got three in the
    16th for a 6-3 win.

    The Marlins played tough while winning the first three games of that series
    against San Francisco. Manager Bruce Bochy joked to the media that he was very
    happy to get his Giants out of Miami.

    “For four straight games we’ve been fighting, clawing, getting back into it,”
    Marlins outfielder JB Shuck told the Miami Herald. “We didn’t give up.
    Unfortunately Daryl
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    , we weren’t able to win that one.”

    Also, for the Marlins, pitcher Caleb Smith has left the team because of a
    funeral and will apparently go on bereavement list.

    No-hitter or not, Mike
    Soroka knew the Braves would be cautious and not let him overexert his right

    ”The first time I even thought about what was going on was going out for the
    sixth,” he said. ”It was happening so quickly. You get into a rhythm that way,
    and that wasn’t bad as well.”

    Soroka did not allow a hit until the seventh inning, Freddie Freeman homered
    and drove in both runs, and the Atlanta Braves beat the struggling New York Mets
    2-0 on Wednesday.

    Soroka, the youngest pitcher in the major leagues and one of baseball’s top
    prospects, returned from a shoulder strain that sidelined him since May 17 to
    outpitch NL ERA leader Jacob deGrom in a game that lasted only 2 hours, 12

    Making his fourth career start, Soroka (2-1) gave up one hit, one walk and
    struck out four in 6 1/3 innings . He had a simple game plan.

    ”Pitch my game and let them adjust to my game as opposed to the other way
    around,” Soroka said. ”I think we did a really good job of that.”

    Freeman, the NL batting leader, has hit safely in 23 of his past 24 games. He
    drove in the first run with a single in the fourth off deGrom (4-2). He homered
    off Jeremy Blevins in the eighth .

    Freeman has five homers in his past seven games and 14 overall.

    Atlanta manager Brian Snitker said that Soroka would be on a pitch count, so
    it was no surprise when he replaced him with A.J. Minter after Michael Conforto
    singled to begin the seventh after 74 pitches.

    The Mets have lost 10 of their past 11 and 17 of their past 21. They went 3-6
    at SunTrust Park this season against the NL East-leading Braves.

    DeGrom (4-2) allowed seven hits and one run and struck out seven in seven
    innings and threw 86 pitches. He began the game leading with majors with a 0.81
    ERA since April
    21 Christian
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    , but trailed 1-0 in the fourth when Dansby Swanson
    doubled with one out and scored on Freeman’s single.

    The punchless Mets have scored 10 runs in their past 87 innings. They’ve lost
    deGrom’s past five outings even though he’s allowed only five runs over that

    ”He threw seven really stressful innings, especially the last couple of
    innings,” New York manager Mickey Callaway said. ”He had to grind thorough there
    and did a great job of keeping us in the game and giving us a chance to win like
    he does every time.”

    Conforto moved to second on a wild pitch by Soroka in the seventh, but didn’t
    advance when Minter struck out Brandon Nimmo and Jay Bruce popped up. Soroka’s
    other base runner was Bruce, who walked to begin the second and was erased on a
    double play.

    Arodys Vizcaino earned his 12th save in 14 chances in a shaky ninth. Nimmo
    doubled with two outs, advancing Conforto to third, before Bruce popped up to
    end it.

    DeGrom said he wasn’t blaming teammates for the lack of run support, but
    third baseman Todd Frazier summed up the state of the Mets’ offense.

    ”After the game, I said, `Dude, I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s going on. I
    don’t know why we’re not producing for you,’ ” Frazier said. ”We talk about
    trying too hard. Maybe we’re trying too hard when he’s pitching, but a guy
    throws like that, he works fast. He was just dominant.”


    Facing a shift in the fourth, Freeman hit an opposite-field single, improving
    his average since the start of 2013 with runners in scoring position to .361,
    best in the majors over that span.

    He’s hitting .413 against the Mets in 12 games this year and has a .318
    average Curtis
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    , 22 homers and 94 RBIs in 134 games against the Mets, but
    his thoughts were mostly on his mother. Wednesday marked the death of Rosemary
    Freeman, who passed away from skin cancer when Freddie was 8 years old.

    ”I don’t know if I’ve ever done well on this day,” he said. ”It’s hard to
    keep my emotions in check. We lost her way too young. I hit that really high, I
    know I hit it good, but I think she pulled that one over for me today.”


    Mets: RHP Noah Syndergaard has been prescribed more rest after getting a
    second opinion on a strained ligament in his index finger. Callaway said
    Syndergaard’s right finger is ”tender to the touch.” Syndergaard, on the
    disabled list retroactive to May 26, was examined Tuesday in New York. There is
    no immediate timetable for his return.

    Braves: RHP Julio Teheran, out since June 5 with a right thumb contusion, is
    eligible to come off the disabled list Friday, but the Braves have yet to
    announce their rotation for the weekend.


    Mets: LHP Steven Matz (2-4, 3.53 ERA) threw a season-high 105 pitches in his
    previous start, a no-decision against the Yankees. He’ll face Matt Koch (4-3,
    4.20) as the Mets open a series against the Diamondbacks.

    Braves: RHP Anibal Sanchez (2-0, 2.37 ERA) will try for his first victory in
    six starts against San Diego against the Padres’ Tyson Ross (5-3, 3.43).