Marlins begin homestand after 11-game road swing

Marlins begin homestand after 11-game road swing

MIAMI -- Tough road trips have been the norm so far this season for the Marlins, who returned home Tuesday following a grueling 11-game road stretch to the West Coast in which they were 4-7, dropping them two games behind the National League East-leading Braves.

"Seems like we were on the West Coast for a month. It's nice to be back," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said Tuesday before a game against the Phillies to open a six-game homestand. "We had some opportunities to win some more games, but I was really happy with the way we played in San Francisco and the way we swung the bats."

The Marlins had a well-deserved Monday off following a stretch in which they played 20 games in 20 days.

The Marlins also learned on the road trip that they will be without ace right-hander Jose Fernandez, who last Friday had successful Tommy John surgery that is expected to sideline him for 12-18 months.

"It's a big blow for us," Redmond said. "But it's an opportunity for someone to step up, whether it be the starters we have or the bullpen. We've got to pick up the slack. Just go out there and keep fighting and keep battling.

"This is a resilient group, as I've said all along. I think you see that the way they go about their business and they fight. The key for us is going to be having other guys eat some innings up."

Steve Dorsey is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.