The Miami Marlins have finally hit their stride, and Dee Gordon was right in the middle of their latest win.
He won't be around for any that come over the next 80 games.
Mere minutes after the Marlins recorded their fifth straight victory, MLB announced an 80-game suspension for the reigning NL batting champion after he tested positive for performance-enhancing substances - starting with Friday night's series opener against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park.
Gordon hit a career-high .333 in 2015 and signed a $50 million, 5-year deal with Miami (10-11) in January. He was batting .266 with six stolen bases through 21 games this season.
''Dee Gordon is a very important part of our team, and we all love him and support him,'' Marlins president David Samson said. ''That said, I don't like or condone what he did. He is an important member of this organization and will be for many years to come. It's a huge, huge disappointment to the kids, to our fans, to his teammates and to everyone in our organization every single day."
Last year's Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger winner drove in the tying run in Thursday's 5-3 road win over the Los Angeles Dodgers before MLB announced his fate for the next three months.
''I'm shocked and surprised,'' manager Don Mattingly said. ''Obviously, it's two different ends of the spectrum for us. You would expect all these guys to be in here all excited - and then we get this news. So it's not quite the same feeling.''
While the news on their leadoff hitter was devastating, it has been the Marlins' pitching staff that is largely responsible for their turnaround.
Miami posted a 4.53 ERA during a 5-11 start, including a 5.23 mark from its starters. However, the Marlins have surrendered 11 earned runs over the win streak and seven during a four-game sweep of the Dodgers.
The Marlins haven't won six straight since July 24-29, 2014. Adam Conley (0-1, 5.12 ERA) will try to give them a shot to match that run while winning their third straight over Milwaukee (8-13).
Conley opened Miami's winning streak with Sunday's 5-4 victory at San Francisco, though for the second straight start he tired late. The left-hander was pulled with two outs in the sixth inning and two runners on, each scoring to leave four runs charged to him.
Conley tossed six scoreless innings his previous start against Washington but gave up four runs in the Nationals' seven-run seventh in a 7-0 loss.
There are far more pitching woes in the opposite dugout. Milwaukee holds baseball's worst ERA since April 17 at 6.43.
The Brewers walked 11 during Thursday's 7-2 road loss to the Chicago Cubs, the most issued by any club this season. They haven't held a team to less than two runs and have only limited three to fewer than four. Milwaukee also committed two errors Thursday, its fourth straight game with at least one.
"We got to play clean games to win," manager Craig Counsell told MLB's official website. "We didn't play well."
Zach Davies (0-2, 9.72) had a 3.71 ERA in six starts during his first season in 2015, but he has struggled through his first two in place of the injured Matt Garza.
After getting shelled for eight hits and six runs during a 9-3 loss at Pittsburgh on April 17, the right-hander allowed four more runs and nine hits in six innings of a 5-2 defeat to Philadelphia last Friday.
Davies won't have to face Gordon, but he will stare down two of baseball's hottest hitters.
Martin Prado and Christian Yelich have made up for Gordon's relatively slow start in the Nos. 2-3 spots in the lineup. Prado went 3 for 5 with a double and drove in the go-ahead run Thursday for his second straight three-hit game.
He's batting .381, second-best in the majors behind St. Louis' Aledmys Diaz's .446 average. Yelich is fourth at .365.