(Sports Network) - Needless to say, its been a pretty good trip to San Juan, Puerto Rico so far for the Florida Marlins. They've won back-to-back games and will try to sweep the New York Mets for the second time this season in tonight's conclusion of a three-game series at Hiram Bithorn Stadium.
Hanley Ramirez hit a grand slam and Dan Uggla connected on a two-run homer during a six-run third inning, but closer Leo Nunez failed to hold a ninth- inning lead when he gave up a run-scoring ground out to Jeff Francoeur and an RBI single to a pinch-hitting Josh Thole with one out.
Uggla took his closer off the hook in the bottom of the frame, as he followed Jorge Cantu's two-out double off New York's Pedro Feliciano with a single that plated the winning run.
"I tried to go in and then throw my changeup away, but the ball came back and he hit it," Feliciano said about Uggla's game-winning hit, which gave New York its fourth loss in six games.
"It's always good, coming back," Cantu told Florida's website. "First them. Then us. It's huge. Just a great win for us. Hopefully, we keep building on that."
Uggla's hit made a winner out of manager Edwin Rodriguez, who had his interim tag removed on Tuesday. The 49-year-old became the first Puerto Rican-born manager in league history when he replaced Fredi Gonzalez a week ago and is 3-4 since taking over.
The Marlins have won eight of 12 versus the Mets this year and swept their National League East rivals over four games in Florida on May 13-16. They would love to turn the trick again tonight, but 10-game winner Mike Pelfrey stands in their way.
Pelfrey, though, has struggled in his career against the Marlins, with the 26- year-old going just 1-6 against them with a 5.63 earned run average in 10 career starts. He hasn't beaten them since winning his major league debut on July 8, 2006 and faces Florida for the first time this season tonight.
Pelfrey, who has already matched his win total from a season ago, suffered just his second loss of this season on June 19 versus the Yankees, but rebounded to hold the Twins to just a pair of runs on six hits over six innings on Friday in a 5-2 victory. It marked the sixth time in his last eight starts that he has allowed two runs or fewer and the 26-year-old is pitching to a 2.71 ERA this season.
Though Friday's 3-0 loss to the Padres marked Chris Volstad's first setback since May 28, the Marlins right-hander has still lost five of his last six decisions and is 4-7 on the season with a 4.40 ERA.
Volstad allowed three runs on seven hits over six innings against the Padres and aims to have better luck tonight versus the Mets, a club the 23-year-old is 1-2 against lifetime with a 2.70 ERA.