With a key series against a fellow playoff contender looming, the Marlins try to salvage a win against the Padres on Sunday afternoon.
The Marlins (67-62) dropped their third straight Saturday, 7-4 to the Padres after losing 9-5 in the opener the previous night. Florida has not been swept at home by San Diego since losing three games from Aug. 11-13, 2000.
“We can’t sit here and just hang our heads and be frustrated about it,” right-hander Ricky Nolasco(notes) said. “We have to do something about it, come back and get the game tomorrow. The season’s not over yet.”
The Marlins are one game behind Atlanta and 4 1/2 behind Colorado for the wild card.
Florida needs to avoid looking past the Padres to next week’s four-game set with the Braves. In the nine games following that series, Florida faces last-place Washington six times and the injury ravaged New York Mets three times.
The left-hander is 4-2 with a 3.50 ERA in eight starts at Land Shark Stadium, and 3-0 with a 2.82 ERA in his last four outings there.
West won at home again Tuesday, yielding one run in six innings of a 2-1 victory over the Mets.
Last-place San Diego (56-75) appears to be embracing the role of spoiler, having taken series from the Chicago Cubs, Atlanta and Florida this month.
“We’re trying to salvage the year the best way we could, and that was to knock these guys who have a chance off,” center fielder Tony Gwynn(notes) Jr. said after hitting a two-run triple in the eighth Saturday.
The right-hander, who will face Florida for the first time, allowed two hits in seven scoreless innings while throwing 89 pitches in a 2-1, 12-inning victory at Atlanta on Tuesday. That was a major improvement from his previous two outings, both of which he lost while posting a 14.09 ERA.
“He’s hanging in there,” manager Bud Black told the Padres’ official Web site. “I know we’ve talked about what we want to do with him in September. We’re taking it day-to-day. Tonight at critical times, I saw the velocity get there. The slider and the changeup were much more effective (tonight) than the last two outings.”