The Marlins and the Padres each hope to carry some of the momentum from a strong month into the finale of a four-game series Monday.
The Padres went on a seven-game winning streak in the middle of June that put them in contention in the National League West. They finished the month with a record of 15-13, the fifth time in the past six months they have finished .500 or better.
And while the Marlins still own the worst record in baseball, they are playing better as of late. After a walk-off grand slam Sunday, Miami has won seven of nine and back-to-back games against the Padres.
The Marlins had a winning record (15-10) for the month and are optimistic about their starting rotation, which seems to finally be coming together after being stalled by injuries.
Sunday, in his third start of the season, Nathan Eovaldi scattered four hits in six scoreless innings. That came just one day after Jacob Turner turned in the club's first complete game of the season in a 7-1 victory.
On Monday, the Marlins turn to starter Jose Fernandez, their best pitcher this season (4-4, 2.98 ERA) and a likely All-Star representative, as they try to take three games out of four from the Padres in this series.
"I think it's exciting," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said about the rotation. "We talk about pitching and defense. Up until now, we haven't been able to put it all together because those guys have been banged up. We're starting to see the rotation and how good these guys are."
Against the Twins in his latest start, Fernandez struck out three and allowed one run in five innings but did not factor into the decision.
Padres starter Jason Marquis is hoping for a bounce-back performance after lasting just 4 1/3 innings in a loss against the Phillies. He had won eight consecutive decisions in 11 starts before that, so the Padres are hoping it will prove to be only a bump in a strong season.
Marquis is 9-3 with a 3.99 ERA and will hope to earn the Padres a series split. He said he had been working on the timing of his delivery leading up to this start.
"Get everything in sync so the ball comes out clean and crisp like I want it," he said. "I did not have that feeling last game, but things like that are going to happen. Just go to work and try to get it right, and I felt like I did that."
Padres: Gyorko runs the bases
Jedd Gyorko will return to the field Monday to run the bases and test out his strained right groin.
The Padres second baseman has been on the disabled list since June 9. On Wednesday, his leg tightened while running the bases, forcing Gyorko out of a rehab game.
"There's no definitive plan for Jedd playing any games soon with the next handful of days," Padres manager Bud Black said. "We've got to get the leg back to feeling obviously 100 percent, because we don't need to see what happened last week. We don't need to see that happen again."
Marlins: Positive signs for Redmond
The Marlins are playing much better baseball than they were during the first two months of the season, earning praise for manger Mike Redmond from all-time Marlins great Charles Johnson.
The catcher on the 1997 World Series title team was at Marlins Park on Sunday to celebrate the club's 20th anniversary.
"It was a rough start definitely to the season," Johnson said. "But I've got a lot of confidence in Redmond. ... I'm sure he is hanging tough with them. I'm pretty sure that Redmond is going to do very well."
• Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez threw a between-starts bullpen session at Marlins Park on Sunday morning. He has been on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation and is expected to be reinstated in the next couple of days.
• Padres shortstop Everth Cabrera went through a light workout Sunday and will join Class-A Fort Wayne for a rehab assignment this week. If all goes well he could join the team during its series in Boston.
• Jeff Mathis' walk-off grand slam was the 3,000th home run in Marlins history.
• Miami's Marcell Ozuna has hit safely in nine straight games.
Jamal Collier is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.