After the long wait without baseball, the Miami Marlins will be getting a heavy dose of it on Wednesday.
Miami's pitching was well rested and brilliant on Tuesday night at Orioles Park at Camden Yards -- the Marlins' first game since July 26 -- and the club gets right back at it with a doubleheader against Baltimore on Wednesday. The first game's first pitch is set for 5:05 p.m. ET.
The teams will take a 30-minute break between games before playing again. The Orioles will be the home side for Game 1, and the Marlins will be home in Game 2 in the two seven-inning games.
The four-game series was originally scheduled as a two-game set in Miami on July 27-28 and two more in Baltimore on July 29-30. But after an outbreak of COVID-19 swept through the Marlins' clubhouse following their season-opening series in Philadelphia, Miami was forced to take the next week off.
The Marlins are currently playing without starting position players Garrett Cooper, Jorge Alfaro, Miguel Rojas and Harold Ramirez. Starting pitchers Sandy Alcantara, Jose Urena and Caleb Smith are also out.
On Tuesday night in a return that must have felt like starting all over again, Miami watched starting pitcher Pablo Lopez and four relievers combine on a three-hit shutout in a 4-0 victory over the Orioles.
The staff struck out a season-high 11 and allowed just four baserunners.
Marlins chief executive officer Derek Jeter said the organization should learn a lesson from the severity of its COVID-19 outbreak.
"The entire traveling party is responsible for not following the protocols as is instructed," Jeter said on a Zoom call on Monday. "That includes coaches, staff and players. Everyone has seen the impact. They've seen their teammates get sick. I know they all have a new level of appreciation (for the virus' danger).
"Hopefully, this has been a wakeup call for everyone. Not only on our team, but the rest of baseball and sports, in general."
Baltimore produced very little offense in losing for the first time in four games.
Center fielder Austin Hays snapped an 0-for-15 slump with a slow grounder up the left side in the second inning. He had been 3-for-30 before that hit and added another single and a stolen base in the fifth.
Left fielder DJ Stewart went 0-for-2 with a pair of strikeouts and a walk, leaving him hitless on the season and mired in an 0-for-14 skid with eight whiffs.
"I think he's pressing," Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said of Stewart. "I think he's trying a little too hard. It just seems like every swing he's trying to hit the baseball on top of the warehouse."
Miami's Elieser Hernandez will make his season debut and first career appearance against the Orioles opposite Alex Cobb (1-0, 2.89) in a duel of right-handers.
Cobb earned a win over the Red Sox in Boston on July 25 and will be making his third start. The Florida native is 3-2 with a 2.78 ERA in five career starts against the Marlins, allowing just 10 runs on 21 hits in 32 1/3 innings pitched.
While Miami didn't announce a starter for Game 2, Baltimore will send out righty Asher Wojciechowski (0-1, 7.20), who fanned seven in five innings but allowed three homers to the New York Yankees on July 29 in his 2020 debut.
Wojciechowski will make his first career start against Miami, sporting no record and a 0.00 ERA in two relief appearances totaling 3 2/3 innings.
--Field Level Media