Mattingly working to keep Marlins upbeat

First-year manager's team off to 3-7 start and is winless at home

Mattingly working to keep Marlins upbeat

MIAMI -- They're not in a critical stage by any means, but the Marlins have created a mess for themselves that has manager Don Mattingly monitoring to make sure his club is staying together and upbeat.

The Braves added to the Marlins' frustration on Sunday, prevailing 6-5 in 10 innings, after Miami rallied from five down to force extra innings, at Marlins Park.

"I don't want us to get caught in a trap of like, 'Same old thing,'" Mattingly said. "We've just got to continue to get better."

The message Mattingly is preaching is the season is just 10 games old. The Marlins are 3-7 after being swept in three games by an Atlanta team that was 0-9 heading into the series.

"The reason our record isn't better is because we haven't done enough to win," Mattingly said. "I think it's as simple as that."

What Mattingly is aiming to avoid is finger pointing.

"You can't sit and go, 'It's this or that,' or one person blames the other, or one section of the team blames the other section of the team," said Mattingly, who is in his first year as the team's manager. "We just haven't been good enough as a team to get those wins."

As an organization, the Marlins haven't had a winning season since 2009. Mattingly is the club's eighth manager since 2010.

"It's kind of what we've been the last three years," left fielder Christian Yelich said. "We've got to battle out of it. We've dug it, so now it's time to get ourselves out. Really, it's not too big right now. Just keep grinding."

During their four-game losing streak, the Marlins have struggled all across the diamond.

They've had some spotty starting pitching, and inconsistent performances from their bullpen. They've also lacked the big hit on occasion.

On Sunday, Jarred Cosart was tagged for four runs in the first inning, yet he regrouped and worked 5 2/3 innings, allowing just one more run.

Giancarlo Stanton, meanwhile, had a tough series, going 2-for-13 with seven strikeouts. For the season, the slugger's slash line is .205/.319/.678.

Marcell Ozuna was dropped from second to sixth in the lineup, and is batting .190.

"There's been a little combination of everything," Mattingly said. "I think our defense has been a little shaky. That's one of the things I thought we'd be really, really good, and I still think we will. But we've made mistakes that give people extra bases. We're giving people extra outs."

The schedule doesn't get any easier, with the Nationals coming to Miami on Monday to open a four-game set.

"No one is going to feel sorry for you," Yelich said. "You've got to go out there and win. Everyone says the Braves came in here 0-9, but they're a Major League team. We can't take any games for granted. We're just in a rough spot right here, but we've still got a long ways to go."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.