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Stanton has MRI on knee, could miss All-Star Game

   MILWAUKEE -- Giancarlo Stanton says he will miss the rest of the Milwaukee series due to a sore right knee and, if he is unable to return to the linup for the weekend series in St. Louis, might not participate in either the Home Run Derby or All-Star Game.

    Stanton and the Marlins are awaiting the results of a MRI, which was performed Tuesday after he was scratched from the lineup. Stanton wasn't in Wednesday's lineup and said he would not play on Thursday, as well, when the Marlins close out their series against the Brewers.

    Depending on the results of the MRI, he said his goal is to play Friday when the Marlins open a series in St. Louis. If he is unable to play in that series, he said it's unlikely he would take part in All-Star festivities. Stanton is the Marlins' only representative to the All-Star team.

    "That would depend on how hitting felt," Stanton said of being in the All-Star Game if he doesn't play in St. Louis. "But it would make more sense (not to play in the All-Star Game). I'll (aim) for this weekend.  Have got to let some swelling and stuff go down, stiffness and whatnot."

    Said Marlins general manager Michael Hill: "Obviously you want him to play for us before he goes play in an exhibition game. It wouldn't be smart (otherwise). We have a long season. If we want to get ourselves back into it, he's a big part of it and you want to make sure he's able to do that."

    Hill said team doctors in South Florida will examine the MRI images, perhaps as soon as today.

    Stanton said he apparently injured his knee somehow in the eighth inning of Monday's game in Milwaukee while standing in right field and flexing his legs and arms in preparation for a possible throw to the plate.

    "I was getting my legs and arms ready, just to throw somebody out, anticipating it, and bending my legs it kind of just locked up on me," Stanton said.

    Stanton said he is going day-to-day to see how the knee responds to treatment.

    "It's one day at a time is pretty important right now to kind of evaluate everything, make sure all is good to go," Stanton said.

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     Stanton isn't the only Marlins outfielder dealing with a sore knee. Left fielder Logan Morrison is also dealing with a sore left knee and, with left-hander Randy Wolf going for the Brewers, isn't in the lineup.

     "Lomo's knee is not too good," Guillen said. "He's banged up. I almost took him out of the game yesterday. I was two seconds away from taking him out because it was very uncomfortable watching him play. But he wanted to stay in."

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     Closer Heath Bell said he appreciated Guillen for standing up for him in a post-game rant inside the Marlins' clubhouse following Tuesday's 13-12 loss. Bell gave up two-run walkoff homer to Aramis Ramirez in the 10th inning.

     "Ozzie's sticking up for his players, plain and simple," Bell said. "Did it make me feel any better? No. But I totally respect and appreciate what he said. But I blew the game plain and simple. I take full responsiblity and it was my fault that we lost the game because my teammates put us in a good position to win and I threw one bad pitch. I'm the reason that we lost the game. But that's the nature of the beast."

     Guillen said he was trying to show Bell's teammates, the Marlins' front office and the media that Bell was not solely to blame for Tuesday's loss.

     "I was upset because a lot of people were looking at Bell like (he was) a ghost," Guillen said. "Bell gave up one hit and two runs, and all those other (expletive) gave up 16 (hits) and 10 runs, and we're going to blame Bell for that? That's easy to kick the guy in his (expletive) when he's down. I'm not protecting the guy. But it's unfair."

     Guillen said he would become extremely upset if he saw or heard any of Bell's teammates criticize the closer.

     "They better not," Guillen said. "If I see teammates criticize him, they're not going to be on this ballclub anymore. I'm going to make sure I make their life miserable."

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         Lineups:

     Marlins: 1. Jose Reyes, ss; 2. Donovan Solano, lf; 3. Hanley Ramirez, 3b; 4. Justin Ruggiano, cf; 5. Omar Infante, 2b; 6. Austin Kearns, rf; 7. Gaby Sanchez, 1b; 8. Brett Hayes, c; 9. Josh Johnson, rhp.

     Brewers: 1. Norichika Aoki, rf; 2. Nyjer Morgan, cf; 3. Ryan Braun, lf; 4. Aramis Ramirez, 3b; 5. Corey Hart, 1b; 6. Rickie Weeks, 2b; 7. George Kottaras, c; 8. Cesar Izturis, ss; 9. Randy Wolf, lhp.

     Umpires: HP -- Dan Bellino; 1B -- D.J. Reyburn; 2B -- Derryl Cousins; 3B -- Ron Kulpa.

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