The Marlins go for their seventh win in eight games as they close out their season series with the Dodgers on Sunday.
The Marlins (50-44) are tied with New York for second place in the AL East, one-half game behind Philadelphia. They haven’t held the top spot in the division since May 31.
To get back into first, Florida will need to complete a sweep of the Dodgers (45-49) for the first time since beating them in three straight home games from Sept. 6-8, 1999. The Phillies face Arizona on Sunday, while the Mets host Colorado that night.
The Marlins have won six of their last seven games at Dodger Stadium, but have never swept a series there. The teams have split six meetings this season, with the road team winning each time.
On Saturday, Dan Uggla doubled home the go-ahead run in the 11th inning and Florida went on to a 5-3 victory.
To help them complete the sweep, the Marlins will look to Andrew Miller (5-8, 5.09), who’s seeking his second win in 10 starts.
The 23-year-old left-hander is 1-5 with a 4.84 ERA in his last nine outings. His only win in that stretch came at Seattle on June 16, when he gave up one run and six hits in seven innings of a 6-1 victory.
Miller hasn’t been nearly as effective over his last four starts, going 0-3 with a 5.91 ERA. On Tuesday, he gave up four runs and six hits with five strikeouts in five innings of a 10-1 loss at San Diego.
Miller didn’t fare well in his only career start against the Dodgers on April 29, allowing six runs and nine hits in three innings. He didn’t get a decision in the 7-6 loss.
The Marlins hope to have shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who’s scheduled to start Tuesday’s All-Star game, back in the lineup after a sore right shoulder forced him to exit Saturday’s contest in the second inning. He suffered the injury throwing out Nomar Garciaparra at first base in the opening inning.
Ramirez is 9-for-15 with two homers in his last four games. He leads the Marlins with a .311 average and 80 runs, while tying Uggla with a team-high 23 homers.
The Dodgers have lost four of their last six, hitting .193 and scoring 16 runs in that span, and they may need a big pitching performance from Chad Billingsley (8-8, 3.38 ERA), who has dominated Florida.
The right-hander, who leads the team in wins, is 3-0 with a 1.73 ERA and 32 strikeouts in 26 innings over five games - four starts - against the Marlins.
He beat them again April 30, yielding one run and three hits with eight strikeouts in seven innings of a 13-1 victory.
Billingsley was pitching another gem Tuesday, allowing no hits through four innings, but was pounded for six runs and six hits in the next 1 1-3 before being pulled in a 9-3 loss to Atlanta. He had eight strikeouts and four walks in the game after posting a 1.37 ERA in winning each of his previous four starts.
“Chad’s stuff was great early,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre told the team’s official Web site. “He got into some bad counts, had a couple walks. Sometimes he rushes himself and gets out of rhythm.”