The Florida Marlins look to do their part to move into a tie for first place in the National League wild-card race as they continue a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks at Pro Player Stadium.
On Monday, the Marlins beat the Diamondbacks 3-2 for their fourth straight win and seventh in eight games.
The victory moved Florida to within one game of Philadelphia for the NL wild card lead. The Diamondbacks remained two games behind the Phillies, who lost 6-5 to the Cincinnati Reds.
Miguel Cabrera homered, doubled and drove in three runs, and Luis Castillo went 2-for-4 for Florida, which is eight games above .500 for the first time since the end of the 1997 season. The Marlins went 92-70 that season and went on to win the World Series.
The Marlins came into Monday’s game off a three-game sweep of the Phillies. After the Arizona series, they conclude their pivotal homestand with three games against the NL Central-leading Houston Astros.
“If we take care of our business, then after this homestand we should be sitting good,” center fielder Juan Pierre said.
Florida first baseman Derrek Lee left Monday’s game in the eighth inning after partially dislocating a joint in his right shoulder.
“There’s no tears, there’s good muscle strength, so we’ll just have to see how it feels in the morning,” Lee said.
Lee, who called the injury “just a scare,” will treat his shoulder with ice overnight. He has played in 315 consecutive games, the longest streak in the National League and third highest in the majors.
STANDINGS: Diamondbacks - 2nd place, 11 1/2 GB, NL West. Marlins - 3rd place, 12 1/2 GB, NL East.
DIAMONDBACKS PROBABLE STARTER: Brandon Webb (7-3, 2.43 ERA). On Thursday, Webb gave up two earned runs and four hits in eight innings of Arizona’s 3-2 loss to the San Francisco Giants, but he did receive a decision. The 24-year-old rookie, who has won four of his last five decisions, has never faced the Marlins.
MARLINS PROBABLE STARTER: Brad Penny (8-8, 4.44 ERA). Penny gave up five earned runs and eight hits in five innings of Thursday’s 5-2 loss to the Atlanta Braves—his second loss in as many starts. In four career starts against the Diamondbacks, he is 1-0 with a 1.57 ERA—his second-best mark against any NL team.
OFFENSIVE LEADERS: Diamondbacks - Hillenbrand, .328 avg.; Gonzalez, 18 HRs, 69 RBIs and 69 runs; David Dellucci, 9 SBs. Marlins - Castillo, .314 avg.; Mike Lowell, 29 HRs and 86 RBIs; Castillo and Juan Pierre, 69 runs; Pierre, 50 SBs.
SEASON SERIES: Marlins, 4-2.
STREAKS AND NOTES: Diamondbacks - LF Luis Gonzalez committed just his second error of the season on Monday. … The Diamondbacks have scored just scored only nine runs in their last seven games and have been held to two runs or less nine times in their last 10 games. … RHP Webb is 3-2 with a strong 1.61 ERA in nine appearances, including eight starts, on the road this season. Marlins - RHP Tim Spooneybarger, on the DL since June 17 with tendinitis in his pitching elbow, was cleared to begin a throwing program on Tuesday. … OF Cabrera has gone 11-for-25 (.444) with nine RBIs and seven runs during his current six-game hitting streak. … C Ivan Rodriguez went 0-for-4 Monday, snapping his nine-game hitting streak. During the streak, he went 18-for-34 (.529) with five doubles and 11 RBIs.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Diamondbacks - 26-28 on the road; Marlins - 32-21 at home.
INJURIES: Diamondbacks - RHP Mike Koplove (shoulder), 15-day DL. Marlins - RHP Kevin Olsen (concussion), 15-day DL; RHP Tim Spooneybarger (arm), 15-day DL; RHP Toby Borland (appendicitis), 60-day DL; RHP A.J. Burnett (elbow), 60-day DL; 1B Lee (shoulder), day-to-day.