The Marlins will send right-hander Tom Koehler to the mound for his second start of the season and the third start of his career when they play the second game of a three-game set against the D-backs at Marlins Park on Saturday.
The 26-year-old Koehler was pitching out of the bullpen before manager Mike Redmond decided a change needed to be made to his rotation and slated the rookie for a start on Sunday. Koehler only threw 79 pitches in the outing, but proved he could capably handle a starting job, lasting five innings and allowing two runs on seven hits. His performance was enough to earn him another crack at starting, and he'll seek his first Major League win on Saturday.
"I try to throw the ball the same way," Koehler said. "Whether it comes out differently when I'm out of the 'pen, I don't really know. The key really is just going to be to try to get ahead. First-pitch strikes is going to be really huge and trying to minimize mistakes."
In his only start last season, Koehler took the hill for Miami's final game of the season against the Mets. The Mets tagged him for two home runs, but only managed three runs off Koehler, who worked his way into the bullpen this year and impressed with a 3.18 ERA in 11 1/3 innings of relief.
Saturday will be just the third appearance for Koehler at Marlins Park this season, but he still hasn't surrendered a run in four innings of work at home.
"It's going to be more important to get out there, get ahead early and try to limit the pitch count and try to get outs as quick as possible," Koehler said. "And watch how the game goes [Friday] with [Marlins starter Kevin] Slowey, so I can get kind of an idea of how to attack."
Slowey's start didn't prove to be the best example on how to attack the D-backs' lineup. He lasted three innings and allowed six runs, four off a pair of Paul Goldschmidt home runs, on seven hits in Arizona's 9-2 win over the Marlins on Friday.
The D-backs will counter Koehler with right-hander Brandon McCarthy, who held the Phillies scoreless over eight innings of work on Sunday before Arizona's bullpen allowed the lead to slip away. But McCarthy has struggled with consistency this season and still hasn't won a game since joining the D-backs this offseason.
Marlins: Pierre has strong history against D-backs
Entering this weekend's series, Juan Pierre was hitting .346 for his career against the D-backs. Pierre's lifetime .362 mark against the Rockies is his only average against a team that tops his numbers against Arizona. But Marlins third baseman Placido Polanco has actually hit for the most success against the D-backs as of late. The 15-year veteran had a .467 average over his past nine games against the D-backs, while Pierre was hitting .409 over the same stretch.
D-backs: Hudson on the mend
Right-hander Daniel Hudson threw against non-D-backs hitters for the first time since he underwent Tommy John surgery last summer. He pitched four innings in an extended spring training game on Friday, allowing two earned runs on five hits against Minor Leaguers from the Angels' organization.
Hudson threw 53 pitches in the outing and is a bit ahead of schedule in his rehab program, which targeted a return date around the All-Star break.
• Marlins reliever Ryan Webb has thrown a career-best 15 1/3 consecutive scoreless innings. The two hits he gave up against the Reds on Wednesday broke a 10 1/3-innings hitless streak, which was the longest run by any pitcher this season.
• With his 4-for-5 performance on Friday, Eric Chavez is now hitting .463 over his past 13 games. He's now hit safely in 11 of those 13 and seven of his past eight to raise his average from .229 on April 28 to .337 entering Saturday.
Ethan Asofsky is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.