The Miami Marlins are beginning to look like a serious contender coming out of the National League East.
Monday's 5-3 win against the Philadelphia Phillies marked the Fish's 13th win on the road already this season, having dropped only seven away from Marlins Park in the first month and a half of the season.
Miami hopes to keep their hot streak alive as they find themselves in the midst of a long division-rival stretch of games.
After salvaging a four-game series split against the division-leading Nationals, the Marlins now close out the road trip with a three-game series against the Phils.
In game one, Marcell Ozuna and Justin Bour each homered to provide some pop for Don Mattingly's squad. It is certainly much-needed "pop" with the bat of Giancarlo Stanton being in a very quiet state of hibernation.
On the mound, the Fish continue to get quality starts from their young guns as Adam Conley put together six innings of just one-run ball.
Miami's reliable trio of Kyle Barraclough, David Phelps and A.J. Ramos each provided an inning of relief, holding onto the lead and closing things out.
Ozuna's big fly got things started for the Fish in the early going. He hit a ball deep into the left-center bleachers off of Philly starter Jerad Eickhoff.
Tyler Goeddel brought the Phils right back in it with an RBI single in the fourth, knotting things at one.
It didn't stay that way for long as the Fish gave themselves a good cushion with single runs in the fifth and sixth, and a two-spot in the seventh to make it a 5-1 lead.
Martin Prado kept his incredible start to 2016 alive as he knocked in a run during the only at-bat where he didn't reach base in the game -- a sac fly. Prado finished 2-for-3 on the day.
In the sixth, it was Bour's turn to flex his muscles as he belted an eye-level pitch the opposite way for a long solo shot.
A sac fly by Derek Dietrich and yet another double off the bat of Christian Yelich gave the Marlins a comfortable 5-1 cushion.
The Marlin relievers would wobble but not break, as they held things together for the eventual two-run win.
We are still very early in the season, but the impressive Fish find themselves just two games out of first, and just half a game out away from the Phils. They see the Phillies two more times in the series, and then face the Nationals once again for a three-game set.
Heading into June, the Marlins could be sitting atop the NL East. When was the last time you saw that?
I think the most impressive part about this is that the Marlins are doing this without their spark and lead-off man Dee Gordon (suspended 80 games), their strong arm Carter Capps (out for the year with Tommy John) and any lefty relievers out of the 'pen (Mike Dunn on the DL). Let's not talk about the recent woes of Stanton at the plate. He is a combined 4-for-25 in his last seven games. He has knocked in just one run and struck out eight times in that span.
What will the Marlins look like with a healthy pitching staff, a hot-hitting Stanton, after Gordon's return, when wins roll in at home and if Adeiny Hechavarria figures things out? I hope we get to see.
The Fish are going to need to keep doing whatever it is their doing as they find themselves in fourth place in the most competitive division in baseball -- even with a 15-6 record in their last 21 games.