Losers of seven straight and 10 of their past 11, the Marlins have led in a game just once since May 10, when they scored in the first inning on Thursday against the Reds only to fall in extra innings.
Averaging just 1.5 runs per game since May 6, Miami will try to avoid being swept for the third time over its past four series Sunday when the club hosts the red-hot D-backs.
Not expected to compete this season, the Marlins have been bit hard by the injury bug over the first couple months with players like Giancarlo Stanton and Logan Morrison sidelined. The club hopes, however, the time given to the replacements will eventually pay off down the road.
"We know that we've got guys coming, and believe me, the guys know that too. Like I said, there's a lot at stake for them," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Obviously, guys understand positions of where guys are going to be coming off the DL and the situation there. So, there's a lot at stake for those guys to go out there and show what they can do and produce. But at the same time, too, the competition is good. Usually when you have competition, it makes your team better. And that's what we're hoping for."
On the mound for Miami on Sunday will be Ricky Nolasco, who is 0-3 in May. After taking a hard-luck loss on May 8 in San Diego when he only allowed one run in seven innings, the right-hander was pounded by the Dodgers his last time out, giving up six runs in five frames.
Opposing Nolasco for the D-backs, who have won four straight, will be left-hander Wade Miley. For just the second time in his career, Miley allowed seven runs in a start, losing to the Braves in a five-inning outing on Monday. Walks have been a problem this season for Miley, who has issued 19 free passes in 48 innings.
"You don't want to walk people, period. It's uncharacteristic of him," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "We'll have to work with him and clean it up."
Marlins: Club sending first-base trio to Jupiter
The Marlins are expecting Morrison to begin his rehab assignment with Class A Jupiter on Monday. A day or two later, Casey Kotchman and Joe Mahoney are projected to join him there.
Morrison, who opened the season on the 60-day disabled list, has been playing in extended spring training games. The left-handed-hitting first baseman is recovering from right knee surgery.
"LoMo, they're planning on him going out in rehab on Monday," Redmond said. "We'll see how that goes."
Kotchman strained his right hamstring in the second game of the season, and on May 8 he was transferred to the 60-day DL. Mahoney went on the 15-day disabled list on April 30 with a strained right hamstring.
By rule, position players can spend a maximum of 20 days on rehab assignment.
Morrison is eligible to be reinstated on May 30, but June 1 is a more realistic date.
D-backs: Multiple players on the mend
Outfielder Adam Eaton (elbow) is getting closer to returning after he played in the outfield Friday night for the first time on his rehab stint. He could be back by the end of the month.
Right-hander Daniel Hudson faced opposing hitters for the first time Friday and it appears he may be able to return from Tommy John surgery sooner than the original target date of the All-Star break.
Shortstop Willie Bloomquist (intercostal) could also be back by the end of the month, as he is getting ready to join a Minor League affiliate for a rehab stint.
There's no set timetable yet for second baseman Aaron Hill, whose broken left hand is healing slower than hoped, and closer J.J. Putz, who is dealing with a strained right elbow.
• According to Stats Inc., 40 players have appeared with both the Marlins and D-backs. Heath Bell and Cody Ross are with Arizona currently after spending time in Miami.
• Gerardo Parra hit his third career leadoff home run Saturday against the Marlins. All three game-opening long balls have come this season.
• Ryan Webb pitched a scoreless inning in relief on Saturday for the Marlins, extending his streak of scoreless innings to a career-best 16 1/3.
Tyler Emerick is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.