Led by a surprisingly potent offense, the Florida Marlins look to move over .500 for the first time in nearly three weeks when they continue their three-game series with the San Diego Padres on Saturday night.
Florida has hit 35 homers this season—tying it with Milwaukee and Tampa Bay for second most in the majors—and seven Marlins are on pace to hit 18 homers.
“It’s throughout the lineup,” Willingham said. “That’s what we need to do to be successful as a team.”
Miguel Cabrera had a double and RBI single in the win, and is batting .472 (17-for-36) with seven RBIs during a season-high nine-game hitting streak. Hanley Ramirez, meanwhile, broke out of his slump with a career-high tying four hits after an 0-for-10 slide in his last two games.
The Marlins have won three of four and eight of 12 after a season-high six-game skid. Florida has not been over .500 since April 15, when it was 6-5.
San Diego (15-14), meanwhile, has dropped three straight on the road, and six of its last nine overall.
The Padres managed just four hits for the second time in three games on Friday, and are batting .188 (39-for-207) in their last six.
Khalil Greene is batting just .148 (4-for-27) in his last eight games following a career-high 10-game hitting streak from April 14-25 when he hit .364 (16-for-44).
Greene is 3-for-7 with two home runs in his career against Sergio Mitre (0-2, 3.97 ERA), who will be activated from the disabled list and start for Florida.
Mitre hasn’t pitched since April 17, when he tore a blister on the middle finger of his pitching hand and left after just 13 pitches.
In his first two starts of 2007, the right-hander has allowed nine runs - five earned - in 11 innings with a .320 opponent batting average.
Mitre lost his only start against the Padres last season, allowing five runs and seven hits in six innings of a 9-3 defeat on April 11, 2006, and is 1-2 with a 7.02 ERA in three career starts against them.
San Diego’s David Wells (1-1, 6.23) will make his first appearance at Dolphin Stadium in nearly 12 years when he starts for the Padres.
Wells is coming off another short outing after allowing four runs and nine hits in five innings of a 5-4, 17-inning loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. The 43-year-old left-hander has pitched five innings or less in three of his five starts this season.
In two road starts this season, Wells has allowed 10 runs and 16 hits in 7 1-3 innings.
The 21-year veteran has only faced the Marlins twice in his career, and hasn’t pitched against them since a complete-game 6-1 victory on July 17, 1999 while with Toronto. In his only career start at Dolphin Stadium on Aug. 13, 1995, he gave up five runs in five innings of a 6-4 loss with Cincinnati.