MIAMI -- If the Marlins are able to claw back to .500 and become contenders, they can look back at this 10-game homestand as a turning point.Showing no letdown after celebrating a no-hitter on Saturday, the Marlins had major contributions on Sunday from backups A.J. Ellis and Tyler Moore in
MIAMI -- If the Marlins are able to claw back to .500 and become contenders, they can look back at this 10-game homestand as a turning point.
Showing no letdown after celebrating a no-hitter on Saturday, the Marlins had major contributions on Sunday from backups A.J. Ellis and Tyler Moore in defeating the D-backs, 6-5, at Marlins Park.
How the club would respond following Edinson Volquez's historical no-hitter the day before was something manager Don Mattingly was eager to see.
"I was hoping we'd come out ready to play," Mattingly said. "Obviously, we can't afford to not, where we're at. We're playing good right now, but we've also dug ourselves a pretty good hole."
The Marlins endured a rough month of May, falling as many as 13 games under .500 in the standings. They were 15-28 on May 21.
After going 8-2 on the homestand, Miami is 24-31. It's still not an enviable spot, but there is time to reach .500 and above well before the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. Already, speculation is heating up that the club is primed to become a seller.
At this point, the Marlins are on the fence, seeing how these next few weeks play out.
"We built a little momentum to get ourselves back to respectability," Mattingly said.
Ellis had perhaps the best at-bat of the season in the seventh inning on Sunday, grinding out 14 pitches against hard-throwing Archie Bradley. Ellis won the showdown, lining a 99.8-mph fastball into center field to drive in the game-winning run.
Moore, starting at first base as Justin Bour got a breather, connected on a three-run homer in the first inning.
"We're starting to build a little bit of momentum," Mattingly said. "Today's game, in the middle, when it was tied up, I had already felt like we'd won. This was one after the no-hitter. We came out, and we had a good homestand."
Ellis said the Marlins started coming together after Giancarlo Stanton moved into the second spot in the order, which was May 23 at Oakland. In the 12 games since, the offense has scored 70 runs, the fourth most in the Majors.
"I think there's a lot to be said for the way the lineup has been constructed," Ellis said, "having G sitting in that two-hole. I know, being an opposing catcher, and the second batter of the game comes up and you're already on your heels. The danger already starts."
The Marlins hit 16 homers during the homestand.
"Having G sitting in that two-hole just changes the whole dynamic of what the opposing team is thinking," Ellis said. "It changes the whole dynamic in how our offense is responding. I think the numbers bear that out. I think the wins and the offensive output is definitely a byproduct of that."
The road doesn't get any easier. Miami opens a seven-game road trip beginning on Monday against the defending World Series champion Cubs.
"Hopefully we go on the road and hold our own out there and see where we're at," Mattingly said.
Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.