Venue: Chase Field
The Arizona Diamondbacks do not want to make a big deal about being alone atop the NL West for the first time since September 2008.
Looking to win seven in a row for the first time since that 2008 season, the surging Diamondbacks open a three-game home set with the Florida Marlins on Monday night.
Arizona (29-24) was in fourth place, 5 1/2 games out of first, and mired in a season-high five-game skid May 13 before winning 14 of 16 to take a one-half game division lead over San Francisco.
"It's been nice," outfielder Chris Young told the Diamondbacks' official website. "But you don't let your head get too big."
The Diamondbacks took over sole possession of first place Sunday after they scored three runs in the eighth to beat Houston 4-2 and conclude a seven-game road trip with six consecutive victories. Xavier Nady had a two-run double during the rally, setting the stage for J.J. Putz to convert his 16th straight save to start the season - the longest active streak in the majors.
Arizona has not won seven straight since an eight-game run April 4-12, 2008. The Diamondbacks have also won six in a row at Chase Field, where they haven't posted seven straight victories since their final seven home games of 2008.
"We just need to remain humble and we'll go to work this homestand," said manager Kirk Gibson, whose club is averaging 5.1 runs and has posted a 3.04 ERA in its last 14 games. "We'll just keep seeking out and searching out to be better and better and to be able to handle more situations that are ahead of us."
First baseman Juan Miranda singled Sunday and is batting .364 with 10 RBIs in his last nine games. Nady is hitting .333 with six RBIs in his last seven, and .353 with three homers and nine RBIs in his last 12 games versus Florida.
Joe Saunders (1-5, 4.65 ERA) takes the mound for Arizona seeking a second straight win. The left-hander allowed two runs on solo homers in eight innings to earn his first win in a 5-2 victory at Colorado on Tuesday.
"I feel like I got the monkey off my back for sure," said Saunders, who has limited opponents to three runs in 14 innings over his last two outings.
Saunders makes his first appearance against Florida (30-21), but might not have to face shortstop Hanley Ramirez. The three-time All-Star left Sunday's 8-0 loss at Los Angeles with stiffness in his lower back.
"It's been bothering me," Ramirez told the Marlins' official website. "But it got a little bit worse. It's day to day."
Ramirez is batting a disappointing .210 with four homers and 17 RBIs this season, but has hit .365 in 14 career games at Chase Field.
Logan Morrison and Omar Infante had the only two hits off Los Angeles' Clayton Kershaw on Sunday as the Marlins dropped two of three to the Dodgers after sweeping a three-game set at San Francisco.
Morrison is batting .450 in his last five games.
Chris Volstad (2-3, 5.40) looks for his first win in more than a month when he takes the mound for the Marlins. The right-hander is 0-2 with a 5.46 ERA in five starts since beating the Dodgers on April 26 but pitched effectively Wednesday, allowing two runs in six innings of a game Florida won 7-6 in 12 innings at San Francisco.
Volstad is 1-2 with a 5.51 ERA in three starts against Arizona.
The Marlins and Diamondbacks split their six-game season series in 2010.
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