(AP) — A week ago, the Miami Marlins were considered one of the biggest disappointments in baseball.
Now, they’re one of the hottest teams and on the brink of their longest single-season road winning streak in almost eight years.
The Marlins look for a seventh straight win as they arrive for the last stop of their nine-game trip Monday night against Wandy Rodriguez and the Houston Astros.
Miami (14-14) was reeling last Monday with eight losses in nine games, as the club was struggling to live up to its lofty expectations after spending big in free agency and bringing in former White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen.
It’s only taken a week for that to begin changing.
The Marlins have won the first six games of this trip after beating San Diego 6-3 on Sunday. Giancarlo Stanton drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the go-ahead run in a four-run eighth inning.
“From where we came from, we are actually catching a lot of breaks,” Guillen said.
Miami last won seven in a row as the visitor bridging 2008 and ’09, but hasn’t put together a streak that long during a single season since Aug. 21-Sept. 10, 2004.
Matching those streaks might not be easy with Rodriguez (3-2, 1.64 ERA) on the hill. Rodriguez is 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA in five starts against the Marlins at Minute Maid Park since they beat him there Sept. 13, 2005.
Miami missed the left-hander while taking two of three at home April 13-15.
He’s allowed four total runs over his last four starts and has won each of his past three. Rodriguez – who won a career-high four straight starts from July 2-21, 2009 – yielded one run and six hits in seven innings of an 8-1 win over New York at Minute Maid on Wednesday.
While the Marlins are putting their disappointing first month behind them, the Astros (13-15) are trying to keep a surprising start going. Their season-high five-game winning streak was halted with Sunday’s 8-1 loss to St. Louis, but Houston has shown some major improvement after going 56-106 last season to set a club record for futility.