(SportsNetwork.com) - It's been over six weeks since Henderson Alvarez has been scored upon while pitching at Marlins Park. The 24-year-old right-hander tries to continue the amazing streak Sunday when Miami aims to avoid being swept in a three-game set by the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Alvarez has pitched 25 consecutive scoreless innings at home since the Braves scored in the sixth inning of a May 1 contest. He departed his last start a week ago at Wrigley Field due to a strained hip. Alvarez is 1-0 over his last five starts since a May 11 loss at San Diego.
Alvarez is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA in two career starts against the Pirates.
Vance Worley makes his return to the majors today for Pittsburgh. The righty, who will have his contract selected from Triple-A Indianapolis, went 3-2 with a 4.30 ERA in seven minor league starts this season, striking out 43 and walking only four hitters. He was acquired in a trade with Minnesota in March.
Worley, the Opening Day starter for the Twins in 2013, went 1-5 with a 7.21 ERA in 10 starts a year ago. He's 1-1 with a 1.80 ERA in three career games (2 starts) versus Miami.
The Pirates have won five of their past six games and can move above .500 for the first time since April 14 and complete their first series whitewash of the year. They already have posted their first series win in Miami since June 26-28, 2007 and today can complete their first three-game sweep in Miami since Sept. 14-16, 1993.
In three games with Gregory Polanco, Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen at the top of the order, the threesome has combined to go 21-for-47 (.447) with two doubles, two homers, 12 RBI and 11 runs scored.
Yesterday, McCutchen smacked a three-run homer and the Pirates defeated the Marlins, 8-6. Jordy Mercer belted a solo shot and an RBI double to go with two runs scored for the Pirates, who have won five of their last six games. Charlie Morton (4-7) struck out six and surrendered two runs on five hits and three walks over seven innings to notch the victory.
"We've been making pitchers come to us, laying off some of the close stuff," Mercer said. "We've been doing damage when they make mistakes. It's a lot of fun right now."
Jason Grilli recorded the final out in the ninth to notch his 11th save after Stolmy Pimentel allowed four runs in the frame. This was after Pittsburgh's bullpen imploded on Friday night, giving up four runs on six walks and just one hit to allow Miami to tie the game.
Marcell Ozuna and Jeff Baker each hit two-run homers, while Randy Wolf (1-3) allowed five runs on nine hits and two walks for Miami, which has dropped three straight.
"It's really frustrating to physically feel good and just not execute out there," said Wolf. "It's embarrassing to go out there and not have the command that you should."
The Pirates have won nine of the last 11 head-to-head meetings against Miami.