Owners of one of the worst home records in baseball, the Marlins have just eight games remaining at Sun Life Stadium before moving into a new ballpark for the 2012 season.
Florida will try to close out the park in a winning style and can win four straight at home for the first time in two months this evening in the middle contest of a three-game series with the New York Mets.
Sun Life Stadium, and its many other previous names, has been home to the Marlins since 1993 and Florida captured one of its two franchise World Series titles at the stadium when it bested the Cleveland Indians in seven games in 1997. The winning tradition hasn't been a part of the farewell 2011 campaign as the Marlins are just 28-42 at home this season.
Monday's 9-3 victory over the Mets did give the Fish their third straight victory as the host and another win tonight would mark their longest home winning streak since reeling off five straight from July 6-10.
Javier Vazquez pitched seven innings to win last night's game, allowing a run on six hits while striking out seven. He pushed his career strikeout total to 2,507, passing Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson (2,502) for 29th place all- time. He to would like to see the Marlins finish strong.
"Even though we're out of it, as a professional as an athlete, you want to be good every time out," Vazquez said. "It's important for everyone to try and finish as strong as we can."
Emilio Bonifacio and Gaby Sanchez both finished with three hits and two RBI, while Jose Lopez homered for Florida, which lost four of five to the Mets last week but still owns a 9-7 advantage in the season series.
Jason Bay made the final score look a little closer when he launched a two-run homer in the ninth inning for the Mets, who had won eight of 10 prior to the opener.
Chris Capuano turned in a rare short start, lasting just four innings and giving up six runs.
"He's pitched so well all year long," Mets manager Terry Collins said of Capuano. "It's the first time he hasn't given us five or six innings all year. Every mistake he made was belt high in the middle of the plate and they hammered him."
Miguel Batista will try to win his second straight start with the Mets after making his debut with the club on Thursday.
The 40-year-old, who began the season with the Cardinals before being released, limited the Marlins to a pair of runs over six innings to pick up his 100th career victory in what was his first major league action since June 21. He worked around six hits and three walks, moving to 4-2 with a 4.33 earned run average overall this season.
"I'm very proud of my career. I'm very happy I got it out of the way," Batista said about his milestone.
The right-hander also pushed his career mark against the Marlins to 3-4 with a 3.11 ERA.
Taking the hill for the Marlins tonight will be Chris Volstad, who has lost a career high-tying four straight starts even though he pitched a decent outing on Wednesday versus the Mets.
The right-hander allowed three runs -- two earned -- on seven hits in 6 1/3 innings of work, but dropped a 3-2 decision and hasn't won since July 10. He is 5-12 with a 5.48 ERA on the season.
Volstad, 24, is 1-3 with a 3.40 ERA in his career when facing the Mets.