Sat Jun 3 3:16am ET
Field Level Media
Miami's Eury Perez and Oakland's Luis Medina are a pair of rookie right-handers from the Dominican Republic. That's where the similarities end, however.
Perez is tall at 6-8 -- towering seven inches over Medina.
Perez (2-1, 2.84 ERA) has two victories in his first four career starts, while Medina (0-4, 6.83 ERA) is winless in five appearances, including four starts.
And Perez is on a contending young Marlins team (30-28), while Medina toils for the losingest team in the majors (12-47).
But that's the matchup for Saturday afternoon as the Miami Marlins are set to host the Oakland A's.
Oakland has lost all five games started by the 24-year-old Medina, although he has compiled two quality starts.
Miami is 2-2 when starting Perez, who is just 20 years old and has never gone longer than five innings.
Oakland, which has lost 13 of its past 15 games -- and 12 straight on the road -- lost the series opener 4-0 on Friday.
One bright spot for Oakland was outfielder JJ Bleday, who was Miami's first-round pick in 2019.
Bleday is hitting .217 with a .714 OPS this season after going 1-for-3 with a double on Friday. His hit was one of only five for Oakland.
After the game, Bleday -- who was on a championship-level program every year at Vanderbilt -- was asked about the challenge of playing well even while his A's team is on track to be historically bad.
"It's tough," he said. "You just have to keep doing your thing. Trust the process."
In 65 career games with the Marlins, Bleday, 25, hit just .167 with five homers and a .586 OPS. It wasn't what the Marlins were expecting out of the fourth overall pick in 2019.
So, the Marlins traded Bleday for lefty reliever A.J. Puk, who is on the injured list with nerve irritation in his pitching elbow after a solid start (3-1, 3.07 ERA).
Bleday said baseball is a constant game of "catch and mouse," especially in the majors.
"In Triple-A, I made some adjustments -- hitting the fastball, hitting line drives, cutting down on strikeouts and keeping my plate discipline up," he said. "Now, I'm trying to adjust to how pitchers are attacking me lately."
The Marlins, who have won five of their past seven games, are powered by second baseman Luis Arraez, who leads the majors with a .374 batting average.
Right fielder Jesus Sanchez did a lot of the heavy lifting for the Marlins on Friday, going 3-for-4, including a two-run, opposite-field homer to left field off a 98 mph fastball.
But Marlins manager Skip Schumaker took the time to praise left fielder Bryan De La Cruz, who went 2-for-4 with one run and one RBI.
For the season, he is hitting .299 with an .807 OPS.
"Sometimes the box score doesn't reflect how good some of the at-bats are," Schumaker said. "De La Cruz has been taking good at-bat after good at-bat."
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