Injuries have played a key role in the Marlins' troubles in the second half of the season thus far.
Three of their now "healthy" players contributed in a narrow 4-3 win over the first-place Washington Nationals on Monday.
Wei-Yin Chen did it with his arm, Giancarlo Stanton did it with a big fly, and Justin Bour did it with his base-running -- yes, I said "base-running". I'll explain.
Chen, making his first start since July 20, pitched a solid 4.1 innings. He began to look like the Chen the Marlins hoped he would be early in the season.
Stanton, making just his second start since returning from his groin injury, demolished a solo shot to left to begin the scoring at 1-0.
Meanwhile, Bour bunted against the shift for an infield single in the all-important sixth inning. His heads-up base-running kept him out of a couple of potentially inning-ending double plays. He eventually came home to score the game-winning run on an Ichiro ground ball RBI.
The game started with a pretty good match-up between starters Chen and A.J. Cole. Cole gave up the bomb to Stanton and a ground-rule, run-scoring double to Christian Yelich in his own four innings from the hill.
The bullpens took over from that point.
Each team took advantage of the expanded rosters from the beginning of the month, using a combined eight relievers.
Right before Chen exited, he gave up a big fly of his own to Washington's Danny Espinosa. It was a three-run shot, pulling the Nationals ahead 3-2.
In the sixth, the Marlins played some much-needed small ball. Stanton walked on four pitches right before Bour's instinctive bunt single put the Fish in business.
Bour had to dive back to first to avoid being doubled off on a line drive to Ryan Zimmerman. He then held up at third on the game-tying double to center by Derek Dietrich. His most important contribution came on the jump he got on a ball off the bat of Ichiro. He didn't hesitate and scored easily, giving Miami a 4-3 lead they would not relinquish.
Both teams had opportunities to score in the coming innings, but failed to do so. In fact, A.J. Ramos gave up a lead-off double in the ninth to Wilson Ramos, but pinch-runner Michael Taylor was caught on the base paths when he was thrown out at third by Dee Gordon on a chopper up the middle.
Ramos had to then face the dynamic duo of Bryce Harper and Daniel Murphy for outs two and three, but he did just that to earn save number 38.
The Marlins still find themselves between four and five games out of a potential Wild Card spot after this win, but as Ramos said in the post-game coverage, "You never know!".