On June 10, A.J. Burnett's strong start helped the Phillies win just their second game in 10 previous tries. After that slump, they turned it on, winning nine of next 11.
The final win of that stretch came when Burnett threw a one-run complete game Friday against the Cardinals. He's posted a 2.22 ERA, .205 batting average against and 1.15 WHIP over his last three starts.
On Wednesday, Burnett will take on the Marlins, with whom he made his Major League debut in 1999.
Miami's Henderson Alvarez, who has quietly had one of the most successful seasons of any pitcher in baseball, will pitch oppose Burnett.
The 24-year-old Alvarez has an MLB-leading three shutouts, a 2.39 ERA and 3.39 K/BB ratio. His 1.8 Wins Above Replacement, according to FanGraphs, ranks ninth among National League pitchers.
Over his last six starts, Alvarez has allowed just three earned runs in 39 2/3 innings. He's struck out 26 batters and walked four in that time.
"It was a good start," Alvarez said of his latest effort, 6 1/3 scoreless innings against the Mets on Friday. "All my pitches were working well. That's good to see. Now it's just about going forward."
Phillies: Sizemore signed, will report to Triple-A Lehigh Valley
The Phillies signed outfielder Grady Sizemore to a Minor League deal Tuesday after the Red Sox let him go last week. He will start off with Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
It's no secret the Phillies outfield needs help. According to FanGraphs, its -0.4 WAR ranked 14th in the National League entering Tuesday. Its OPS of .662 among outfielders also ranks 14th.
Sizemore was an All-Star from 2006-08 with the Indians, establishing himself as one of the game's stars during that time. Ever since, though, he's been hampered by a litany of injuries and surgeries. In 2014, after Sizemore finally felt healthy enough to play again, the Red Sox gave him a one-year deal.
But things didn't work out in Boston; the 31-year-old batted .216/.288/.324 in 52 games. The club designated him for assignment on June 17.
Marlins: Errorless streak snapped
The Marlins hadn't made an error in 10 games entering Tuesday, but catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia's throwing error in the first inning ended that streak. It was the longest in franchise history.
"We went through a little spell there where we weren't picking it up and throwing it consistently. But we've done a nice job [since]," manager Mike Redmond said. "We have to play good defense to keep ourselves in games, and we've been able to do that for a nice stretch, so hopefully we can keep it going."
Miami entered Tuesday 12th in the National League in fielding percentage. The club had committed 52 errors.
• Phillies lefty Cliff Lee threw about 40 pitches in a bullpen session Tuesday. He felt fine and said he could throw a simulated game this weekend. The 35-year-old has been on the disabled list with a strained left elbow since May 20.
"No bad news," Lee said. "Feel fine. There's still barely something there, but it's not getting any worse. It's continuing to get better. I continue to do more and it's not going backwards, so that's a good thing."
It's possible Lee could return before the All-Star break, if not shortly after.
• On Tuesday, an MRI on Marlins shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria's right arm revealed a triceps strain. Redmond called the injury a "day-to-day thing" and hopes a few days off will allow the shortstop to avoid a trip to the disabled list.
Steven Petrella is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.