The Miami Marlins are struggling offensively, and it may be tough to snap out of a slump against Jeremy Hellickson and the Tampa Bay Rays.
The Marlins attempt to snap their four-game losing streak to the visiting Rays on Friday night, when they face Hellickson for the first time in the opener of a three-game Citrus Series.
Miami (31-26) batted .172 average and got outscored 21-3 while losing all three home games this week to Atlanta, culminating in Thursday's 8-2 defeat. It marked the first time getting swept in their new ballpark for the Marlins, who had entered the series winners of seven of nine.
"We're in a little slump right now," Thursday's starter and loser Mark Buehrle said. "That's what happens when you face good teams and good pitching."
Facing the Rays (32-25) may only continue the Marlins' offensive woes.
Miami went 2-4 against Tampa Bay last season, and batted .159 while losing the last four meetings. Still, Rays manager Joe Maddon is wary of the Marlins.