The Miami Marlins may own the worst record in baseball, but Marcell Ozuna and Jose Fernandez are giving them some hope for the future.
Ozuna looks to extend the longest active hitting streak in the majors while Fernandez tries to rebound from the worst outing of his rookie season when the Marlins host the New York Mets on Saturday.
The calendar may be flipping to June, but Miami (14-41) seems headed for a third straight season with a losing record. Ozuna and Fernandez (2-3, 3.78 ERA), however, have been rare bright spots.
Ozuna, 22, leads the Marlins with a .330 average since being recalled from Triple-A Jacksonville after Giancarlo Stanton went on the disabled list due to a strained right hamstring April 30.
Stanton is still out, and Ozuna is making the most of his opportunity. The rookie right fielder is batting .356 during a 16-game hitting streak, the team's longest since Jose Reyes' 26-game run last year. It's also the second-longest by a Marlins rookie behind Edgar Renteria's 22-game hit streak in 1996.
"I feel good because I'm enjoying my game," Ozuna said. "The manager and coaches give me confidence and always stress that I remain calm and also have fun."
Ozuna seems to enjoy facing the Mets (22-30), going 6 for 11 in three meetings after collecting three hits and an RBI in Friday's 5-1 win. The Marlins snapped a nine-game skid behind seven shutout innings from Jacob Turner, another of their top prospects.
Fernandez will try to make it two straight in the middle game of this series by bouncing back from his shortest outing of the season in Monday's 10-6 loss at Tampa Bay. The 20-year-old right-hander was roughed up for a season-high seven runs - four earned - with six strikeouts and three walks in 3 1-3 innings.
He had been 2-0 with a 2.16 ERA over his four previous outings.
"The most important part is I'm learning from it," Fernandez told the team's official website.
Facing an NL East rival may be just what Fernandez needs. He has a 1.33 ERA in five starts within the division but is 1-0 since he's been backed by eight runs.
Fernandez has yet to receive a decision while allowing three runs with 12 strikeouts in nine innings over two starts against New York.
"He's got one of the better arms in the entire league," Mets manager Terry Collins said.
Collins would like to see his club get back on track after its season-high five-game winning streak was halted in the series opener.
Daniel Murphy may play a role in that since he's hitting .389 over his past 18 games after getting two hits Friday, including an RBI double. He has a .333 average in his last 13 visits to Miami, getting at least one hit in 12 of them.
Collin McHugh is expected to get a spot start after Jonathon Niese was ruled out of at least one outing with left shoulder tendinitis.
McHugh has made two relief appearances since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on May 14. The right-hander has allowed four runs and two homers in three innings, last pitching against Cincinnati on May 21.
McHugh went 0-3 with a 7.16 ERA in four starts last year, and this will be his first against the Marlins. He surrendered a walkoff single in the 11th inning in Miami on Oct. 2.
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