As the manager of a team well out of the playoff chase, Rockies skipper Walt Weiss has a lot of respect for the Marlins, who have stuck around in the National League Wild Card race despite losing ace Jose Fernandez to Tommy John surgery early this season.
Miami took three out of four from Colorado to begin the 2014 campaign, which has surpassed the expectations set by many outside of the organization. The Marlins also took the first game of their weekend series at Coors Field, and Weiss is impressed with what he's seen.
"They've got a lot of good young arms, and some guys have stepped up offensively to have good years for them," Weiss said. "But I think the biggest factor is their young arms and their ability to shut down the other team. I think that's why they're still a competitive club. ... Runs are going to be tough to come by with this staff this series."
One of those youngsters who's stepped up for Miami is Tom Koehler, who entered this year with just 24 career starts in the Majors, but has proven himself capable of being at least a back-end rotation piece.
Koehler has posted a 3.82 ERA in 25 starts. He's earned the win in his last two outings, including six innings of two-run ball and seven strikeouts against Arizona on Sunday.
He'll take the hill opposite Jordan Lyles, who hasn't performed well since returning from a broken left hand. The right-hander has recorded a 6.06 ERA in three starts since, none of which have been quality starts, though he hasn't suffered a loss in August yet thanks to the Rockies' offense.
Lyles lasted five innings against Cincinnati on Sunday, giving up five runs and five hits with two walks and four strikeouts. The Rockies saved him from being tagged with the loss, though, by rallying for five runs in the ninth to beat the Reds.
Marlins: Jones hopes to continue crushing Coors
With the way Garrett Jones has made himself at home at Coors Field during his career, Marlins manager Mike Redmond considered starting the lefty against southpaw Franklin Morales on Friday.
Redmond ended up playing the percentages and starting right-handed-hitting Jeff Baker at first base, but said Jones will be penciled into the lineup both Saturday and Sunday.
Jones has a career 1.286 OPS at Coors Field, his highest at any park and the second-highest among active players (minimum 45 plate appearances) in Denver. Entering Friday, Jones was 19-for-48 (.396) with eight doubles, a triple, four homers and 14 RBIs in 13 games there.
Coincidentally, the active player with the highest OPS at Coors Field is fellow Marlin Giancarlo Stanton, who homered in his first six games at Coors Field -- the only player to do so at any ballpark in baseball history.
Rockies: LaMahieu's slump showing signs of subsiding
DJ LeMahieu has had a rough August, as the Rockies second baseman entered Friday with just four hits in his last 61 at-bats dating back to July 29.
LeMahieu did have three hits in Friday's series opener, however, for just his second multi-hit game this month.
Weiss remains confident in LeMahieu, and thinks the 26-year-old is due for more of the same the rest of this season.
"The tendency is to overthink it and tinker with your stance and your hands and all those things," Weiss said. "But at the end of the day, the quickest way out of it is to simply get your at-bats. DJ is putting in a lot of time trying to grind his way through this. But I see him coming out of it."
• Baker was replaced at first base by Jones in the eighth inning of the Marlins' series-opening win, but the infielder said it wasn't because of anything serious. Baker has a sinus infection and the Colorado altitude made it worse.
• Brandon Barnes' ninth-inning triple Friday was his Majors-leading 15th pinch-hit this season. His three pinch-hit triples also are tops in the Majors.
• The Rockies have homered in 13 straight games, their longest such streak since a 16-gamer from July 28-Aug. 12, 2005.
• Rockies slugger Michael Cuddyer (left hamstring soreness) doesn't expect to play until Sunday at the earliest.
Will Laws is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.