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May 18 D-Backs at Marlins


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Tuesday, May 18 Tickets Sun Life Stadium | 1:10 PM ET

ARI Billy Buckner, RHP (0-0, -.--)

D-backs (16-23) @ FLA Josh Johnson, RHP (3-1, 3.06)

Marlins (20-19)


D-backs: Buckner will be recalled from Triple-A Reno to make this start. This is the spot in the rotation that Cesar Valdez occupied the past two times through it. With the bullpen scuffling, though, the team elected to use Valdez in relief. Buckner lost out to Rodrigo Lopez for the final spot in the rotation during Spring Training. He was the front-runner going into camp but pitched poorly in his last few outings. In seven starts for Reno, Buckner is 3-1 with a 3.53 ERA. He has gone at least six innings and allowed three or fewer runs in his past five starts. Buckner has a very good curveball, and the club told him at the end of the spring that he should throw it more and his cut fastball less.


Marlins: Johnson is his old ace self lately. The 26-year-old hasn't given up more than three earned runs since Opening Day, sports a 2.25 ERA in his last four starts and hasn't walked a batter in his last two outings -- a span of 13 innings. His last time on the mound, Johnson got the no-decision after matching Mets ace Johan Santana pitch for pitch for seven innings. He gave up just one run, scattered three hits and struck out seven. But in a 1-1 game with runners on first and second and two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez was forced to pinch-hit for Johnson, so his outing finished after 95 pitches (71 strikes). In three career starts against the D-backs, Johnson is 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA.

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