MIAMI -- The Marlins began Sunday 22 games out of first place and with four rookies playing the field. But they aren't simply angling to earn some experience during the season's final two months.
They want to win.
"We're trying to win ballgames," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "We feel like, 'Hey, we have good enough players here to win ballgames.' And we've been able to show that over the last few weeks."
The Marlins have played much better after a dismal 13-41 start. Since May 31, Miami is 30-25, thanks to increased health and improved starting pitching.
"This really is a tale, to this point, of two seasons, really," Redmond said. "We all like the second half better than the first half, of course."
Recent success enjoyed by the Marlins has been largely due to the contributions of young players.
After earning an All-Star nod for his first-half performance, Jose Fernandez has looked even better in the second half with back-to-back games of 13 and 14 strikeouts, respectively.
Henderson Alvarez has also been stellar since returning from right shoulder inflammation that sidelined him until July. He has a 2.61 ERA in six starts.
Add in the improved bat to go with Adeiny Hechavarria's already impressive defense and the contributions of newcomers Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick, and Miami's glimpse of the future is bright.
Playing more than 20 games under .500 wears down a club, but Redmond is more focused on the development of his team for future seasons.
"I always look at the record, of course," Redmond said. "But I think we look at where we're headed and the improvement. Are guys getting better and are guys gaining experience? Are they learning?
"When we watch these guys, what's the vision for the future with these guys? And I think we all realize that it's going to be fun and it's going to be bright."
Redmond eager for MLB to move past PED talk
MIAMI -- With Major League Baseball's announcement of suspensions in connection with the Biogenesis investigation nearing, it can soon begin to move on from the latest incidents involving performance-enhancing drugs.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond is grateful for that opportunity.
"I would love to sit here and that I hope this is the end of it," Redmond said. "I think every time that a list has come out or a scandal with PEDs has come out, I think we all hope for the same thing that it's finally over with."
One positive Redmond has seen from the process is the tenacity of the players in disciplining the users. Closer Steve Cishek, Miami's union player representative, said on Tuesday that the players want "a level playing field."
Cishek believes the threat of suspension will deter future use of PEDs.
"I think the good thing is that the players, they're mad," Redmond said. "They're getting tired of it, and they should."
But current players are not the only ones concerned by the issue. Redmond, a former MLB catcher, is also eager to see the abuse of PEDs end.
"It concerns all of us," Redmond said. "It's our job. It's our livelihood. This is our reputation. I played. I played for 13 years. I have so much pride in this game, and it hurts that the game has been tainted. It hurts as a player, all of us. We want it to be clean."
For Redmond, the sooner MLB can move on from the Biogenesis scandal, the better. That's not what the teams want to talk about.
"It's too bad that with all these great races -- the Cardinals and Pirates -- that we're talking about the Biogenesis. We're not talking about the upcoming players. That's what we should be talking about. Hopefully, we finally get to that day when we're talking about baseball all the time. That's going to be the best part."
• Christian Yelich entered Sunday's contest with a career-best hitting streak of four games. He is batting batting .412 (7-for-17) with two doubles and four runs scored during the streak. He has reached base safely in 11 of 12 games.
Since taking over the leadoff spot on Tuesday, Yelich is batting .333 (7-for-21).
• Since beginning his MLB career with an .091 clip (2-for-22) in six games, Jake Marisnick is batting .350 (7-for-20) with a home run, three RBIs and three runs scored.
Marisnick has also shined defensively. He is tied for fourth on the Marlins with two outfield assists despite playing only 12 games.
• Entering Sunday, Cleveland was the only MLB team that reliever Chad Qualls has not faced during his career. Qualls is 2-1 with a 2.49 ERA in 43 1/3 innings this season.
• With a pinch-hit RBI single in the bottom of the ninth on Saturday, Greg Dobbs improved his batting average in Interleague Play this season to .341 (14-for-41) and upped his RBI total against American League opponents to nine.
Joe Morgan is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.