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MIA@PHI: Kevin Slowey fans seven in seven innings

His win-loss record doesn't indicate it, but Kevin Slowey (1-3) has been a steady force in the Marlins' rotation this season.

In his first seven games, Slowey never allowed more than three runs on the way to a 1.81 ERA. Slowey's last start, in which he went just 4 2/3 innings while allowing five earned to the Dodgers on Saturday, was the lone letdown of his 2013 season to date, and when he takes the mound on Friday at home against the D-backs, he'll look to put that one bad game behind him.

"Slowey has been great," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said after Saturday's game. "Today, you could tell he was battling from the start. But he went out there and continued to compete and tried to keep us in the game. That's what he's done. He's done a great job for us. Today was a little bump in the road. Offensively, we didn't really get anything going either."

A lack of support has been the main issue facing the 29-year-old right-hander throughout his first season in Miami. Slowey allowed a combined three runs in his first two starts, but the Marlins failed to score in each game. Excluding his only win, when Miami hung 14 runs on Philadelphia, the Marlins have scored more than two runs in just one of Slowey's starts -- a 4-3 loss to the Cubs on April 25.

Slowey's counterpart on Friday has gone through similar struggles at times this season. Trevor Cahill (2-4) will take the hill for the D-backs on Friday at Marlins Park hoping for more help than he received in his last start on Saturday, when he allowed one earned run in a 3-1 loss to the Phillies.

Cahill had his own problems, though, walking four batters in five innings, and he said that was the result of losing control of his best pitch, the sinker.

"I couldn't get it over, I couldn't get it anywhere close," he said. "I think it was a mechanical thing. My finish and my follow-through was different every single time. I think that contributes a lot to it."

The D-backs and Marlins head into the weekend series trending in different directions. Despite a quick three-game losing streak, Arizona is 8-6 this month after beating Atlanta on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Miami has lost 11 of 14 games in May after being swept by Cincinnati at Marlins Park.

D-backs: Chavez continues to heat up
The month of May has been good to third baseman Eric Chavez this season, as he reached base safely for the sixth time in his last seven games Wednesday. The one time he didn't reach was on Monday, when he had one at-bat in the ninth inning of a 10-1 loss to the Braves.

Chavez enters the weekend batting .433 (13-for-30) with seven RBIs on the month. He boosted both of those numbers to where they stand on Wednesday, going 2-for-3 while driving in three runs. It was his second three-RBI game of the season, with the first coming against his former team, the Yankees, in New York on April 23.

The 35-year-old Chavez, who battles back problems, credited that trip to the Big Apple -- when Yankees trainers worked with D-backs strength and conditioning coach Nate Shaw -- for turning his season around.

"They spent an hour showing him certain things that help me out, and we've done it ever since," Chavez said. "Thank goodness he's been able to duplicate it, and it's kept my back healthy. It's been feeling good, the fact that I can do it with someone here daily, it's a really huge factor for me."

Marlins: Hitless streak done, Webb still on scoreless tear
Before Wednesday night's action, right-hander Ryan Webb had set himself apart from any other pitcher coming out of the bullpen this season. Webb entered the game against the Reds having not allowed a hit in 10 1/3 innings, the longest such streak by a reliever in Major League Baseball in 2013.

But Webb would allow his first hit since April 23 against the Twins. However, he limited the damage and continued his career-best 14 1/3-inning scoreless streak. The stretch covers 10 appearances and dates back to April 17, when he allowed one earned run on two hits against the Nationals.

Webb has surrendered more than one run in just one outing this season, and he carries a 1.64 ERA into the weekend.

Worth noting
• Friday marks the first meeting of the season between Arizona and Miami. The D-backs took three of four games in their first trip to Marlins Park last season.

• The series in Miami concludes a stretch of 10 straight games vs. the NL East for the D-backs. After beating the Braves on Wednesday, Arizona is 4-3 in the first seven games.

• The Marlins will look to improve on their 1-5 record against the NL West.

• Heath Bell, who put up career-worst numbers last season as a Marlin, will return to Miami for the first time as the D-backs' closer this weekend. Comments