MIAMI (AP) — Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna are red-hot at the plate, and that’s a big reason why the Miami Marlins have turned around their sluggish start.READ MORE: Parkland Mom Remembers, Honors Memory Of Hero Son, Peter Wang, Who Sacrificed Self To Save Others
Gordon and Ozuna will try to continue pacing the Marlins on Saturday against the Philadelphia Phillies.
Miami (11-12) is hitting .307 and averaging 5.3 runs while winning eight of nine games after batting .243 with 3.8 runs per game through its first 14.
Gordon has been superb from the start, and he leads the majors with a .423 average. He’s gone 17 for 28 (.607) over the past seven games.
Ozuna, however, was batting .194 (6 for 31) through his first nine games before hitting .405 over the past 12.
The center fielder’s hot stretch continued Friday, when he went 4 for 4, and his third double was a walkoff that drove home Giancarlo Stanton from first in a 4-3 come-from-behind win over Philadelphia (8-16).
“It continues to show the character of this team,” manager Mike Redmond said. “Things don’t go our way, but we keep battling.”
Things certainly aren’t going in favor of Cole Hamels (1-2, 3.19 ERA) when he takes the mound against the Marlins. The left-hander owns a 2.50 ERA over his last 11 starts, but he’s 1-4 since he’s been backed by three runs or fewer in 10 of those games.
Run support was again an issue versus Miami on April 22, when the left-hander allowed an unearned run in six innings while not figuring in the decision of a 6-1 home loss.READ MORE: Former BSO Employee Julio Chang Faces Charges In Capitol Attack
Hamels finally got enough help with a three-run seventh Monday, as he allowed one run with nine strikeouts and left after the inning in a 4-1 victory against St. Louis.
“I think personal wins aren’t something I really focus on that much,” Hamels said. “It’s more for the team. You want to set the tone no matter what.”
Hamels is pitching amid rumors he’ll be traded to a playoff contender since Philadelphia is rebuilding, and that’s been clear with its .221 average and 2.8 runs per game, which rank last in the NL.
“I’m living in the moment, and that’s kind of all I can do,” Hamels told MLB’s official website. “In order to be accountable for what I have to do, I can’t think in the future or the past. I’ve got to be here in the present.”
His past is impressive against Gordon, who is 0 for 9 with five strikeouts against Hamels. Ozuna, though, has homered on three of his seven hits in 23 at-bats.
The Marlins will counter Hamels with Dan Haren (2-1, 3.38), who is 1-6 with a 4.64 ERA in 11 career starts against the Phillies. He was charged with a 7-3 loss to them April 21, giving up four runs and two homers with seven strikeouts and three walks in six innings.
The right-hander, though, followed that up with an improved effort five days later, yielding two runs and three hits in five innings of a 6-2 win over Washington.
Haren has struggled with Grady Sizemore, who is 11 for 23 (.478) with three homers off him. The right fielder, however, is hitting .158 with one RBI on the season.MORE NEWS: Florida Fire Rescue Chief Fired For Not Forcing Firefighter Vaccinations
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