PHILADELPHIA -- A pinch-hit home run in the eighth inning, followed up by a single in the ninth inning on Friday night has earned Justin Ruggiano a closer look.
The Marlins acquired Ruggiano from the Astros in a Minor League trade on May 25, and the 30-year-old was immediately promoted to the big leagues. He chipped in with two hits in Friday's 6-4 loss against the Phillies.
On Saturday, Ruggiano made his first start with the Marlins, playing left field. But he can also play right field, which gives manager Ozzie Guillen an option when Giancarlo Stanton needs a day off.
"I like the kid, Ruggiano," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He might be getting more playing time. I like the way he is swinging the bat. I like the way he's running the bases. He's a pretty good athlete. You might see him against righties, too."
In the past, Ruggiano played in the Rays' system. He was drafted in the 25th round by the Dodgers in 2004, and in '06, he was sent to Tampa Bay along with Jae Seo and Dioner Navarro for Mark Hendrickson and Toby Hall.
"I like his approach," Guillen said. "We might see him a little more in left field and right field, if Stanton needs a day off.
"If you play for Tampa Bay, under that manager, [Joe] Maddon, you know how to play the game. We've seen him in the past. I think this kid has a great idea at the plate. I like what I see."
Ruggiano projects to play in left field against lefties. But he also could get playing time against right-handers, as well.
"I figured that was kind of my role to face lefties here," Ruggiano said. "I kind of expected it. It was nice to know ahead of time to kind of prepare and relax."
Scuffling with RISP, Miami eyes help for Stanton
PHILADELPHIA -- A season-long problem surfaced again in Friday's 6-4 loss at Philadelphia.
The Marlins were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
Manager Ozzie Guillen pointed out that the team is looking for Hanley Ramirez and Logan Morrison to improve in those situations.
Ramirez on the year is batting .206 with RISP, while Morrison is .146.
Ramirez hits third in the order, and Morrison hits fifth behind Giancarlo Stanton, who is hot.
"I just checked a couple of numbers," Guillen said. "[Morrison] struggles with men in scoring position. Hanley, too, is struggling with men in scoring position. In the meanwhile, we've got to get somebody to start swinging the bat a lot better behind Stanton."
Guillen noted he is not considering flip-flopping Omar Infante, who bats second, with Morrison.
"My third hitter is struggling with men in scoring position. My fifth hitter is struggling with men in scoring position," the manager said. "That's something we have to get better.
"I think the main thing for us is, LoMo has to get hot. I need someone to protect Stanton. We have a lot of confidence in him. We think he will come around."
Marlins reach rare pinch-hit feat
PHILADELPHIA -- Something relatively uncommon occurred for the Marlins in Friday night's 6-4 loss to the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park.
Nothing that would fall into the breaking news category. Still, in the big leagues, where everything is charted, broken down, analyzed and re-analyzed, the feat is worthy of mention.
The Marlins had three pinch-hit hits in one game. Donnie Murphy delivered a single in the sixth inning. And in the eighth, Justin Ruggiano connected on a pinch-hit home run and Donovan Solano added a pinch-hit single.
"I've been studying the guys I might be facing," Ruggiano said. "My mindset is, if I get a fastball to hit, that's what I'm looking for."
Miami nearly had a fourth pinch-hit, but in the ninth, the final out came when Greg Dobbs lined a drive to deep center field. John Mayberry Jr., racing straight back and turning a couple of different ways, reached and robbed Dobbs of extra bases.
You have to go back to July 9, 2009, to find the last time the Marlins had three pinch-hit hits in the same game. Against Arizona that day, Andy Gonzalez tripled in the seventh inning. And in the eighth inning, Hanley Ramirez had a single and Brett Carroll belted a home run.
That was a memorable game at Arizona, because the Marlins trailed, 7-0, entering the sixth inning, and they won 14-7, scoring 10 runs in the eighth.