After all, fresh off a four-game sweep of the Mets, the Marlins are 11-5 against their division and just 9-13 against everyone else.
But they'll try to improve on their non-divisional record when they host the D-backs in a rare two-game series that begins Monday at Sun Life Stadium. Florida right-hander Chris Volstad gets the start opposite Arizona righty Edwin Jackson.
"We've always played well in our division," Volstad said. "If we can win those other games, we should be all right. We always play the Mets well and the Phillies well. Those are tough teams in our division. So if we can do better out of our division, we will be right there."
Volstad, who is 3-3 with a 4.37 ERA this season, said the reason why his team has so much success against its division rivals is because of the familiarity with the clubs. It's certainly worked that way for Volstad, as he is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA against NL East opponents and 1-3 with a 5.83 against teams outside the division.
"Since we see the teams a lot in our division, we know how to pitch against those hitters," Volstad explained. "The good thing is we can look at those other teams on video and see what they're doing."
Jackson, who has struggled with a 1-5 record and 7.43 ERA, will look to get the D-backs out of their recent rut, as they have lost eight out of their past nine games.
Jackson has started to turn it around a bit, however, as he has pitched into the seventh inning in his last two starts, with 15 strikeouts in 13 2/3 innings. And although he was 0-2 in those two starts, it's still impressed D-backs manager A.J. Hinch.
"I like how aggressive [Jackson] has been," Hinch said. "It's two outings in a row that he has been real aggressive with his fastball. He's not backing down at all, he's not easing into his outings and his tempo is getting a little bit better."
D-backs: Buckner to join rotation
Right-hander Billy Buckner will be recalled from Triple-A Reno on Tuesday to start against the Marlins, Hinch announced on Sunday. Buckner, who was 3-1 with a 3.53 ERA in seven starts for Reno, replaces Cesar Valdez, who had started in that spot in the rotation the last two times around. "We just think that Valdez's combination of the sinker -- getting the ball on the ground -- and his changeup against lefties gives us a little more versatility in the bullpen and a potential pitch maker down there to come in and troubleshoot whenever needed," Hinch said.
Marlins: Two the magic number
It's a strange week for the Marlins with back-to-back two-game series, as they travel to St. Louis for a two-game set after hosting the D-backs. Florida has just one other two-game series this season, but it doesn't come until Sept. 21-22 against the Mets. "A two-game series, that's kind of weird," Volstad said. "But any time you start off a series, you want to get the momentum. If you take that first game, you've got that momentum going into the next one."
The D-backs were 5-3 against the Marlins last year, and Florida was 7-2 against Arizona in 2008. The D-backs lead the all-time series between the two clubs, 49-39. ... Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez is 0-for-6 lifetime against Jackson, while Dan Uggla is 0-for-4. ... Marlins first baseman Gaby Sanchez has hit in a career-best six straight games, batting .423 over the streak, after going 2-for-5 with a RBI single on Sunday.
Mon, 5/17 7:10 PM ET
Dirty dozen: Jackson strikes out 12 Marlins
Right-hander Edwin Jackson turned in his best outing of the season, shutting out the Marlins with a career-high 12 strikeouts over eight innings to lead the D-backs to a victory in the opener of a two-game set.
|Johnson, K, 2B||4||0||0||0||1||1||2||.265|
|Jackson, C, LF||3||1||1||1||1||0||1||.260|
|Drew, S, SS||5||0||1||1||0||1||3||.307|
|Upton, J, RF||4||0||2||0||0||0||0||.252|
|LaRoche, Ad, 1B||4||1||2||0||0||2||2||.262|
|Young, Ch, CF||3||1||0||0||1||1||3||.282|
|Abreu, T, 3B||4||1||2||0||0||0||2||.328|
|Jackson, E, P||2||0||0||0||1||2||1||.176|
|Sanchez, G, 1B||3||0||0||0||1||2||2||.288|
|Ramirez, H, SS||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.293|
|Ross, C, RF||3||0||2||1||0||1||0||.305|
|Paulino, R, C||4||0||0||0||0||2||3||.297|
2B: Jackson, C (3, Volstad), Hester (3, Leroux).
3B: Upton, J (2, Meyer).
TB: Jackson, C 2; Drew, S; Upton, J 4; LaRoche, Ad 2; Abreu, T 2; Hester 3.
RBI: Drew, S (14), Hester (3), Jackson, C (5).
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Jackson, C; Drew, S 2; Abreu, T.
SF: Jackson, C.
Team RISP: 3-for-10.
Team LOB: 7.
SB: Hester (1, 2nd base off Volstad/Paulino, R).
DP: (Drew, S-Johnson, K-LaRoche, Ad).
2B: Coghlan (2, Jackson, E), Cantu (11, Heilman).
TB: Coghlan 3; Cantu 3; Ross, C 2.
RBI: Ross, C (19).
2-out RBI: Ross, C.
Runners left in scoring position, 2 out: Sanchez, G.
GIDP: Ramirez, H.
Team RISP: 2-for-5.
Team LOB: 6.
SB: Coghlan (5, 2nd base off Jackson, E/Hester).
E: Ramirez, H (6, fielding).
Outfield assists: Maybin (Drew, S at 2nd base), Coghlan (Abreu, T at 2nd base).
Pitches-strikes: Jackson, E 114-76, Heilman 21-13, Volstad 80-54, Pinto 33-17, Meyer 19-13, Leroux 20-10.
Groundouts-flyouts: Jackson, E 4-5, Heilman 0-2, Volstad 3-5, Pinto 1-1, Meyer 1-1, Leroux 1-0.
Batters faced: Jackson, E 29, Heilman 5, Volstad 21, Pinto 9, Meyer 4, Leroux 5.
Umpires: HP: James Hoye. 1B: Wally Bell. 2B: Laz Diaz. 3B: Manny Gonzalez.
Weather: 73 degrees, overcast.
Wind: 6 mph, In from CF.
T: 2:48 (:32 delay).
Compiled by MLB Advanced Media