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MIA@SF: Sanchez fires seven innings of one-run ball

Right-hander Jeff Karstens will help the Pirates try to complete the sweep against the Marlins when he takes the mound Sunday afternoon at PNC Park.

Karstens, who will make his fifth start since a two-month stint on the disabled list, just has to be cautious of one thing in the series finale -- giving up a big inning. In five of the six starts in which the righty has been scored on, all of the runs have come in one inning.

"I know I can get guys out, against anybody," Karstens said. "It's just a matter of making pitches; the frustration is when I know the pitch I want to throw, and don't execute it, and they end up getting hits that play into a bigger inning."

Avoiding the big inning and securing the three-game sweep could come a bit easier for Karstens, who has gone at least seven innings in his last three outings, against a Marlins team that has struggled to produce with runners in scoring position.

Miami is hitting just .224 (169-for-756) in those situations this season after a 1-for-6 effort Saturday.

With the team struggling to string together a big inning, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen hinted that his team may employ more small-ball strategies to produce runs. The strategy would make sense, since the Marlins are the Majors' most aggressive team on the bases.

"That's what we're doing," Guillen said of playing small ball. "The last couple of games, we had a couple squeezes, safety squeezes. We tried to run a little bit more. ... It's tough. ... The only thing we're not doing is hitting with men in scoring position, and that's what's killing us."

Marlins: Hanley expected to miss finale
• Third baseman Hanley Ramirez was out of the lineup for the second game in a row Saturday, and manager Ozzie Guillen said it would be "very optimistic" to expect Ramirez back in the lineup when the Marlins return to Miami on Monday against the Braves.

Ramirez was hospitalized Friday with an infection in his right hand, which he first injured July 8 at Busch Stadium when he hit a cooling fan in frustration. The swelling subsided some Saturday, but Ramirez said he still could not grip a bat or a ball.

• Anibal Sanchez gets the start for the Marlins in the series finale. The righty pitched seven innings last time out, giving up two runs (one earned) on nine hits while striking out seven. He is 2-2 with a 2.17 ERA in four career starts against the Pirates.

Pirates: Meek recalled as Cruz hits DL
• Reliever Evan Meek was recalled from Triple-A Indianapolis on Saturday as the Pirates placed Juan Cruz on the disabled list with inflammation in his right shoulder -- something he has dealt with since late June.

Meek spent the last two months in the Minors after the club optioned him in mid-May. Since being sent down, Meek is 3-2 with a 2.27 ERA in 27 games and 36 2/3 innings. He also picked up one save. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle plans to use Meek in front of set-up man Jason Grilli.

Worth noting
• The Pirates have a record of 19-11 in final games of series entering Sunday.

• Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes extended his hitting streak to nine games on Saturday. Comments