Infante back in lineup after missing three games
Second baseman was in Venezuela for grandfather's funeral
MIAMI -- A major piece of the Marlins' lineup has returned.
Omar Infante, who began the day batting .326 with six home runs and 20 RBIs, was back in action on Wednesday in the series finale against the Rockies.
The 30-year-old had missed three games due to the death of his grandfather. Infante returned to Venezuela for the funeral on Sunday, and his flight was delayed coming back to Miami on Tuesday.
Infante got to the ballpark at about 6 p.m. ET on Tuesday, and manager Ozzie Guillen had already decided to give his second baseman a break.
But on Wednesday, Infante was ready to go.
"The team has been playing good," Infante said. "We've got to keep it going."
Getting Infante back comes at a time Austin Kearns is now dealing with a tight right hamstring. Center fielder Emilio Bonifacio is on the disabled list with a sprained left thumb.
"We're missing a couple of guys," Guillen said. "A few guys are banged up, a little sore right now, especially Kearns. Infante is our second baseman. He's been our most consistent guy all year long. It's nice to see him back in the lineup."
Marlins remain cautious with Kearns
MIAMI -- For now, Austin Kearns is listed as day-to-day with a tight right hamstring.
The Marlins are cautious, hoping the injury isn't more serious.
"He's sore, very sore," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I hope it's nothing serious. We've got to wait one more day to see how he is. We'll go by ear."
Kearns tweaked his hamstring while running the bases in the third inning of Tuesday's 7-6 win over the Rockies. He scored from first on Giancarlo Stanton's RBI double. He pulled up a bit rounding third base.
Kearns went to left field for the top of the fourth inning. But he was moving slowly on Michael Cuddyer's double. At that point, he was replaced by Chris Coghlan.
Coghlan got the start in left field on Wednesday.
The Marlins already have center fielder Emilio Bonifacio on the disabled list with a sprained left thumb. Bonifacio is eligible to come off the DL on June 3.
Bonifacio says the swelling is going down and he remains hopeful of only needing the 15 days to recover.
Guillen, Marlins revel in Solano's first hit
MIAMI -- Donovan Solano appeared in 738 Minor League games, and he had 2,650 at-bats, before he stepped into the batter's box for the first time in the big leagues.
In his second game with the Marlins, Solano was given a pinch-hit opportunity in Tuesday's 7-6 win over the Rockies.
Solano singled to right in his first big league at-bat. The ball was retrieved for him to keep.
"That's mine," the 24-year-old said.
Solano was also given the official lineup card to remember the occasion.
Solano is the 12th MLB player ever from Colombia. His idol growing up was Edgar Renteria.
"Every time you see a kid come to the big leagues, get his first big league hit, or pitch well, it's special," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We know how hard it is just to get here. This kid works very hard. He had a great spring. Believe in yourself.
"I see everybody in the dugout was clapping for him. That's outstanding. ... With this kid, everybody, even the coaching staff, was clapping for this kid. I don't know why. Everybody loves the kid. Very professional. You name it. It was nice to see everybody on the ballclub see their teammate get their first hit."
Guillen was asked about his first big league hit, which was a bunt single off Ray Searage on April 9, 1985. Guillen was then with the White Sox, and Searage (now the Pirates' pitching coach) was with the Brewers.
"You remember when your kids are born, your mom's birthday and your first big league hit," Guillen said.
The ball, Guillen said, he gave to a church in Venezuela. The manager joked that the church had gifts like gold and diamonds.
"They had gold, diamonds and a little baseball," Guillen said. "That meant a lot to me."
Buehrle helping pitch in for pets at Marlins Park
MIAMI -- Marlins left-hander Mark Buehrle is making his pitch to assist pets.
On Saturday, the Buehrle's Buddies program will be outside Marlins Park taking donations for animals in need.
Before the Marlins face the Giants on Saturday, Buehrle's Buddies will be working in partnership with the Big Hearts for Big Dogs.
Fans interested in assisting the cause are encouraged to bring toys, pet food, flea preventatives, dog beds and collars/leashes.
"Whatever the shelter needs, whether it is food, toys, collars, it all helps," Buehrle said. "They'll be out there with a couple of rescue dogs, trying to get these dogs adopted. We will take on whatever people have; it could be money. If people think about it, go to the pet store beforehand, even if it's a gift card to help out with that shelter."
The goal of Buehrle's Buddies is to increase awareness for pet adoptions, as well as educate people about assisting dogs in need.
Each month during the 2012 season, Buehrle's Buddies will partner with a different Miami-area shelter/rescue. The featured organization will have the opportunity to share their mission at Marlins Park.
"You can imagine all shelters are going to need the same things," the veteran pitcher said. "Whether it's food, pills, money for dog beds. If people want to adopt a dog, there will be few dogs out there for adoption."