The Miami Marlins beat the Houston Astros 2-0 on Friday to open up their three-game inter-league series.
The win was the fifth in six tries for the Marlins as they attempt to stay in the thick of the playoff race. At four games under .500, the Marlins find themselves within striking distance of both the division and wild card races.
Brad Hand turned in a second consecutive strong effort for his second win in a row. The left-hander went 7.1 shutout innings five days after picking up his first win of the year. Hand allowed no runs on three hits.
Bryan Morris entered the game and retired the only two batters he opposed to end the eighth inning. In the ninth, Steve Cishek picked up his 25th save of the year.
The two runs for Miami came in the seventh on a two-run double courtesy of Jeff Mathis. The backup catcher made the start behind the plate for Miami with Jarrod Saltlamacchia serving as the designed hitter. Saltalamacchia had a double of his own to give him three in the last two games.
Every player in the starting lineup for Miami had at least one hit in the game. The Marlins had 11 hits in all and were 4-17 with runners in scoring position.
The Marlins will send Tom Koehler to the mound on Saturday as they look to make it two victories in a row over Houston.