Lowrie makes season debut in new Marlins Park

Greetings from Marlins Park, where the Astros and Marlins will play the second regular season game in the new ballpark tonight at 6:10 CT. Astros right-hander Lucas Harrell will be on the mound for the first of a three-game series. Shortstop Jed Lowrie will make his debut for the Astros, batting second (lineup at bottom):

Here are some pre-series tidbits for Astros and Marlins:

  • The Astros have won just two of their last 11 games against the Marlins, and just two of the last 16 games in Miami. In that 16-game stretch, the Astros have averaged 3.6 runs per game and have posted a 6.67 ERA against the Marlins, who have averaged 6.8 runs per game and posted a 3.08 ERA. Also, the Astros have been out-homered 18-10 and given up 67 walks, compared to just 40 for the Marlins.
  • The Astros are 3-3 to begin the 2012 season, including a perfect 3-0 when committing fewer errors than their opponents. The Astros have come out ahead in eight of their last 12 games with fewer errors than their opponents.
  • Carlos Lee began to get his offense back on track in late August of last season, and has continued that success in the first six games of 2012. Since Aug. 20 of last year, he’s hitting .340 with a .425 on-base percentage and .571 slugging percentage and averaging a homer every 19.5 at-bat (42 games).
  • J.D. Martinez is the fourth-youngest No. 3-hole hitter in the Majors at 24 years, 236 days. The only older No. 3 hitters are the Cubs’ Starlin Castro (22-20), the Royals’ Eric Hosmer (22-172) and the D-backs’ Justin Upton (24-232).
  • Astros starting pitcher Lucas Harrell is 2-1 with a 1.65 ERA in night games in his career, which includes three starts in 13 games. In day games, he’s 0-1 with an 8.82 ERA in three starts in five games.
  • Marlins starter Ricky Nolasco is closing in on a few franchise records. He’s second in games started at 149, trailing only Dontrelle Willis (162), second in wins (Willis, 68), second in innings pitched at 930 1/3 (Willis, 1022 2/3) and is already first in strikeouts with 791.

Here is the Astros’ lineup:

CF Jordan Schafer

SS Jed Lowrie

LF J.D. Martinez

1B Carlos Lee

RF Brian Bogusevic

3B Chris Johnson

C Jason Castro

2B Jose Altuve

RHP Lucas Harrell

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