SAN FRANCISCO (CBSMiami/AP) – As the Miami Marlins look to win their fourth series out of the last five, the team could be getting back one of their key players.
The Marlins expect to get their hottest hitter back, but they took care of the reigning World Series MVP and the San Francisco Giants without Dee Gordon thanks to some unlikely contributors.
Now Miami looks to get back to the .500 mark behind Mat Latos in Sunday's series finale at AT&T Park.
Gordon, hitting .560 during a 12-game hitting streak and batting a major league-best .437 on the season, missed his second straight game because of a sore right hamstring but is expected to play Sunday.
Jeff Baker, Gordon's fill in at second, had an RBI during a three-run fourth inning against Madison Bumgarner. Baker left in the bottom of the inning with a tight right oblique and is day to day, but his substitute, Donovan Solano, drove in two runs as well in a 6-2 victory.
Marcel Ozuna also homered against Bumgarner, who had given up three runs over his previous three starts.
"That's what good teams have to do," said David Phelps, who recorded his fourth straight quality start, allowing one run in six innings. "I've been around the game long enough to know that the 25 guys who start the season usually aren't the only 25 guys you use. You need guys that step up when guys go down. That's how you win games."
The Marlins (15-16) can reach .500 for a second time. They lasted a day at the break-even mark after defeating Philadelphia on May 2.
San Francisco's pitching continues to be wildly inconsistent during a 4-3 stretch. The Giants (15-16), who are capping a 10-game homestand, recorded shutouts in each of those victories but have allowed 22 runs in the three losses.
Both teams are starting pitchers who hope to be on the right track after struggling early.
Latos (1-3, 5.60 ERA) ended a seven-start winless stretch Tuesday at Washington, limiting the Nationals to one run over 6 1-3 innings, though he matched a career high with five walks.
"That was probably the best I've felt all year," he said.
Latos' tenure in South Florida started tenuously as he posted a 10.24 ERA while losing his first three outings, but he has recorded quality starts in two of three since.
Things might be looking up for Ryan Vogelsong (1-2, 6.84) as well if he can parlay the success from his last outing. He yielded three hits over seven innings in a 6-0 victory versus San Diego Tuesday. The right-hander didn't allow a home run and walked two after surrendering eight homers and 11 walks in his first 19 1-3 innings.
"I think I was trying to force balls to locations instead of just getting after every pitch and letting it do what it wanted to," Vogelsong told MLB's official website regarding his earlier struggles.
Latos hasn't faced the Giants since 2012 when he won two meetings, allowing one run in 16 innings for Cincinnati. He's 4-3 with a 2.19 ERA in 11 career starts versus San Francisco.
Vogelsong is 3-3 in nine career appearances against the Marlins, and his 1.99 ERA is his lowest against an opponent he's faced more than three times.
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton is 2 for 12 with seven strikeouts in this series, but is 4 for 12 with two homers and two doubles against Vogelsong.
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