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Guillen: Stanton needs better protection in lineup

      PHILADELPHIA -- Ozzie Guillen is not a disciple of statistics because, as he says, "the only good stat is when you win. When you look at stats, there are more negatives than positives."

      But after the Marlins went 1 for 13 with runners in scoring position in last night's 6-4 loss to the Phillies, including zero for four with the bases loaded, Guillen instructed bench coach Joey Cora to look at the numbers. What Cora found surprised even Guillen.

      Certain Marlins aren't just bad with runners in scoring position. They're terrible.

      Omar Infante is hitting .216 with runners in scoring position. Hanely Ramirez is hitting .206 in those situations. Logan Morrison is at .146. On Friday, the Marlins had runners in scoring position in each of Morrison's first three trips to the plate, and each time he failed to produce. It was only when he led off the eighth -- with no one aboard -- did he come through with a home run.

       When Guillen was asked if he had given any thought to moving Morrison in the No. 2 spot, where he batted .320 as a rookie in 2010, the manager said he didn't think he would perform any better there than he has been in the No. 5 position. On the other hand, Guillen said it's imperative that Morrison break out of his slump.

       "We've got to get somebody to start swinging the bat better behind Stanton," Guillen said. "We have to figure out who. But you look around....nobody's swinging the bat well. Nobody."

       Guillen ruled out putting Infante in the No. 5 hole.

       "I'm not going to put Infante there, nope," Guillen said. "Infante's swinging the bat good, and we've been winning with the lineup. But my third hitter (Ramirez) is struggling with runners in scoring position, and my five hitter is struggling with men in scoring position. The main thing for us is LoMo's got to get hot because I need somebody to protect Stanton."

      One possibility: flip-flopping Ramirez and Stanton in the order.

      After Stanton delivered a RBI double in the first inning, Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick didn't give him anything to hit his second time up, with runners at the corners in the third inning. Stanton walked on four pitches, and Morrison promptly hit into an inning-ending double play.

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      Justin Ruggiano, who homered last night as an eighth-inning pinch-hitter, is starting today in left. Guillen indicated that Ruggiano might start more often, even against right-handed pitching.

       "I like that kid Ruggiano," Guillen said. "He might get more playing time. I like his approach at the plate. We might see him a little more in left field, or right field to give Stanton a day off."

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     LINEUPS:

     Marlins: 1. Jose Reyes, ss; 2. Omar Infante, 2b; 3. Hanley Ramirez, 3b; 4. Giancarlo Stanton, rf; 5. Logan Morrison, 1b; 6. Justin Ruggiano, lf; 7. Chris Coghlan, cf; 8. Brett Hayes, c; 9. Ricky Nolasco, p.

     Phillies: 1. Jimmy Rollins, ss; 2. Juan Pierre, lf; 3. Hunter Pence, rf; 4. Carlos Ruiz, c; 5. Shane Victorino, cf; 6. Ty Wigginton, 1b; 7. Placido Polanco, 3b; 8. Freddy Galvis, 2b; 9. Cole Hamels, p. 

 

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