« Gutsy pinch-hit by Infante started Marlins rally | Main | Marlins option Coghlan, Dunn to Triple A New Orleans; recall Petersen, Jennings »

After ending slump and losing streak, Hanley Ramirez feels like he can smile again

Hanley Ramirez was all smiles in the Marlins clubhouse Sunday morning.

Hanley RamirezAfter driving in the winning run Saturday night and putting an end to both an 0-for-26 slump and the Marlins six-game losing streak, Ramirez said he feels like he can finally smile again.

"It's not easy when you're losing," Ramirez said of enjoying the game. "You don't want to be smiling out there. People are going to be thinking you don't care about the game. It's different when you're winning."

If you haven't noticed by now, having fun is important for Ramirez's psyche. After the Marlins were shutout Friday, the first thing manager Ozzie Guillen said he was worried about was that his team wasn't having any fun and putting too much pressure on themselves.

Ramirez, 28, has been around long enough where a losing streak or a slump shouldn't have such an affect on him. But it's apparent it still does.

"Good players stay at the same level all year long. You can't get down when you're not good. You have to be the same guy all the time," Guillen said Saturday when asked if he though Ramirez's game-winning RBI would break him out of his funk.

"Hopefully, he stays like that and gets going."

Ramirez said he plans to start having fun "from the first inning" on Sunday.

"I think everyone is relaxed now," Ramirez said. "It was a good win, good for our confidence. Maybe we'll come back with that confidence and enjoy the game."

As for his 0-for-26 slump, Ramirez said: "What can I say? I've been hitting balls right at people. It's not like I was striking out. I was putting the ball in play. I've just got to keep improving and keeping my swing down."

For the record, Ramirez struckout nine times during his 0-for-26 skid and grounded into a double play once.

According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Ramirez's game-winner Saturday marked the longest hitless streak that ended in a walk-off since the Phillies Charlie Hayes ended an 0-for-31 streak in a 10-inning victory over the Rockies on July 25, 1995. Ramirez, by the way, now leads the majors with walk-off hits this season with two. He also hit a game-winner April 15 vs. Houston.

INFANTE BACK IN LINEUP

Despite still feeling tightness in his sore left hamstring, second baseman Omar Infante is back in the lineup Sunday for the Marlins. "I feel better," Infante said before Sunday's game.

Guillen said Saturday his plan was to give Infante two days off to rest because he "didn't like the way he was moving." But it now appears Infante, the team leader in batting average and home runs, is going to try and play through the pain as much as he can and this could end up being a day-to-day situation whether he's in the lineup or not.

As for the pain, Infante said he feels it most when he tries to stop running and when he swings. Every morning, he says, he comes in for extra therapy and stretching. Between how feels and what Guillen thinks ultimately determines whether or not Infante is in the lineup.

TODAY'S LINEUPS

> Marlins (8-12): 1. Emilio Bonifacio CF, 2. Jose Reyes SS, 3. Hanley Ramirez 3B, 4. LOgan Morrison LF, 5. Omar Infante 2B, 6. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 7. Gaby Sanchez 1B, 8. John Buck C, 9. Josh Johnson P.

> Diamondbacks (10-11): 1. Willie Bloomquist SS, 2. Gerardo Parra CF, 3. Justin Upton RF, 4. Jason Kubel LF, 5. Miguel Montero C, 6. Cody Ransom 3B, 7. Lyle Overbay 1B, 8. Aaron Hill 2B, 9. Wade Miley P.<.p>

Comments