In a couple of weeks, Kevin Slowey will celebrate his 30th birthday, and the veteran right-hander is lined up to make his 105th career big league start on Sunday. Slowey's counterpart in the series finale on Easter is a right-hander set to make his 2014 debut. Slowey will oppose Seattle's Brandon Maurer as Miami goes for the sweep.
Henderson Alvarez celebrated his 24th birthday on Friday, and on Saturday night, the Marlins right-hander flirted with perfection. Alvarez threw a two-hit shutout, and he faced one above the minimum of 27 batters in the Marlins' 7-0 victory over the Mariners in front of 24,003 at Marlins Park.
No matter the opponent, all the scouting reports about the Marlins say the same thing: Don't let Giancarlo Stanton beat you. The Mariners were trying to avoid just that scenario on Friday night. They intentionally walked the Miami slugger twice. When they didn't, Stanton made them pay. The 24-year-old collected three hits, drove in five runs and ended the night with a walk-off grand slam in Miami's 8-4 win.
Late-inning letdowns have plagued the Marlins' bullpen over the past 12 games. In Friday night's 8-4 walk-off win over the Mariners, a one-run lead was erased in the seventh inning. Prior to that, there have been several crushing home runs allowed by Miami's relievers.