Dodgers Preview: Brett Eibner Starts In Center Field, Kiké Hernandez Gets First...

Dodgers Preview: Brett Eibner Starts In Center Field, Kiké Hernandez Gets First Opportunity To Replace Justin Turner

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Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers took the opener of a four-game series against the Miami Marlins on Thursday, cutting the Colorado Rockies’ lead in the National League West to two games entering play Friday night.

Looking to push the Dodgers’ winning streak to three games is Alex Wood, who is making his seventh start of the season and ninth overall appearance. In his last outing against the Rockies at Coors Field, the left-hander tossed six shutout innings, striking out 10 while yielding just six baserunners.

It was the second consecutive start that Wood struck out at least 10 batters, which was a career first. The 26-year old earned NL Player of the Week honors as a result and looks to keep it going against the Marlins, a team he’s enjoyed success against over the duration of his career.

In 52.2 innings, Wood has pitched to a 3.42 ERA and 1.14 WHIP with an impressive 4.36 strikeout-to-walks ratio (48 punch outs to 11 free passes).

For the month of May, Wood leads the Majors in FIP (-0.02), xFIP (0.40) and strikeouts per nine (16.1), while ranking second in WAR (1.1) among qualified pitchers. Overall this season, Wood is 4-0 with a 2.27 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.

Taking the mound for the Marlins is fellow southpaw Justin Nicolino for just his second start of the year. Nicolino made his season debut on Monday against the Atlanta Braves, allowing one run in six innings despite putting 11 runners on base.

In two career starts against the Dodgers, Nicolino owns a 3.97 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in 11.1 innings pitched, with four strikeouts to three walks.

Yasiel Puig hit his eighth home run of the season on Thursday, and his second in the last seven days. During that span, Puig is batting .263/.391/.632 in 23 plate appearances.

Brett Eibner, who was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City in a corresponding move to the Dodgers placing Justin Turner on the 10-day disabled list, starts in center field and bats eighth.

Dodgers lineup:

2B: Chris Taylor
SS: Corey Seager
LF: Franklin Gutierrez
3B: Kiké Hernandez
C: Austin Barnes
RF: Yasiel Puig
1B: Cody Bellinger
CF: Brett Eibner
P: Alex Wood

Marlins lineup:

2B: Dee Gordon
CF: Christian Yelich
LF: Marcell Ozuna
RF: Giancarlo Stanton
1B: Justin Bour
C: J.T. Realmuto
3B: Christian Colon
SS: J.T. Riddle
P: Justin Nicolino