The Marlins entered Saturday's game at Minute Maid Park with a 16-2 record when scoring seven or more runs. They also were 4-9 when their starter completes exactly five innings.

Both situations occurred. Not exactly an immovable object and unstoppable force scenario, but in this case offense trumped the shaky start. The Marlins blitzed Jarred Cosart for five runs through two innings and the bullpen preserved the 7-3 win for Tom Koehler.

Winners of six of seven, the Marlins (50-53) improved to a National League-best 10-4 in interleague play. Their 11th win in 13 games against the Astros dating back to 2011 clinched a second consecutive road series for the Marlins and brought them within seven games of the first-place Nationals.

Jordany Valdespin's first homer as a Marlin – a ninth-inning, two-run opposite-field shot off Chad Qualls – was huge. It meant the Marlins didn't have to use closer Steve Cishek in a save situation for the sixth time in seven days.

Four relievers, including Chris Hatcher in the ninth, combined on the final four scoreless innings.

For the sixth time this season a Marlins starter pitched exactly five innings and departed in line for the win. Saturday was the third time the bullpen preserved it. On June 4 and July 22 the relievers recorded the final 12 outs to clinch victories for Koehler and Jacob Turner, respectively.

The Marlins through the first 10 innings of the series hadn't lacked baserunners, but they weren't capitalizing. Finally in the second, they loaded the bases with one out and put up a crooked number.