With their longest losing streak of the season finally behind them, the Florida Marlins can focus on making a run in a positive direction.
The Marlins try to win consecutive games for the first time in two weeks when they host the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.Florida (32-30) matched its run total from the previous four contests and snapped an eight-game skid with a 6-4 win in this series opener Friday. Logan Morrison and Mike Stanton each hit two-run homers as the Marlins won for the third time in 14 games."Whether it's the games themselves, the losing streak, the lack of driving in runs. All of it seems long. It's finally good to break through a little bit," said Morrison, 5 for 30 over his last eight games.The Marlins' 13 hits Friday were their most since a season-high 14 against the Los Angeles Dodgers on May 28."I think they're more relaxed out there," manager Edwin Rodriguez said. "Little by little, I'll take (Friday's) game."After suffering through a 1-for-14 slump, Stanton has homered in back-to-back games and is 4 for 10 with five RBIs over his last three. He's hit .357 with three home runs and seven RBIs in eight career games against the Diamondbacks (34-30).The Marlins will now face Arizona ace Ian Kennedy (6-2, 3.01 ERA), who fell to 1-1 with a 4.35 ERA against the Marlins after allowing three runs in five innings of a 5-2 loss May 31.The right-hander gave up one run in seven innings of a 9-4, 11-inning loss to Washington on Sunday.Florida counters with Javier Vazquez (3-5, 6.50), who looks to bounce back from his latest rough outing.The right-hander was 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA in his previous three starts before allowing six runs and eight hits in four innings of a 7-2 loss to Milwaukee on Monday."This is a long season," Vazquez said. "The good news is we still have a lot of baseball left."Vazquez, who went 11-15 with a 4.42 ERA for Arizona in 2005, didn't receive a decision after giving up four runs in six innings of a 6-5 loss to the Diamondbacks on June 1.Batting .417 (5 for 12) against Vazquez, Stephen Drew had two hits with an RBI on Friday as Arizona lost for the fourth time in five games. Miguel Montero and Xavier Nady each homered during a four-run seventh inning that helped the Diamondbacks get within a run."Some people probably think I'm crazy, but I think we're coming out of it with our bats," manager Kirk Gibson said.Drew has batted .386 with eight RBIs in his last 12 games.While Florida closer Leo Nunez could miss this series with tightness in his lower back, J.J. Putz could be called on to lock down a save if needed for the Diamondbacks despite dealing with the same ailment.Florida rookie right-hander Steve Cishek recorded his first career save Friday and set a club record for most consecutive scoreless innings to start a career with 12 2/3 dating to last season.