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Pierre turning things around at the plate and on the base paths, tied for MLB-lead in steals

He may be 35 years old, but the way Juan Pierre has been playing lately it looks like he may have turned back the clock a little.

After opening the season with just three steals in four attempts over his first 18 games, Pierre has turned on the jets, going 9-for-9 in thefts and propelling himself into a tie for the Major League lead with Jacoby Ellsbury over his last dozen games.

Pierre’s hot streak on the base paths has coincided with a hot streak at the plate. After batting just .194 (14 for 72) with a .227 on-base percentage through April 23rd, he's is batting .310 (13 for 42) with a .383 on-base percentage of his last 12 games. The work at the plate has helped raise his season average to .237.

Pierre has also cut down on strikeouts lately. He's whiffed just once over his last dozen games after fanning 11 times in his first 18 games.

> As expected, the Marlins announced today that second baseman Donovan Solano has been placed on the 15-day disabled list (retroactive to Monday) with a strained left intercostal. The team selected the contract of veteran infielder Nick Green, 34, from Triple-A New Orleans to replace Solano.

To make room for Green on the 40-man roster, pitcher Henderson Alvarez has been transferred to the 60-day DL. Green had been designated for assignment by the Marlins on May 2 and outrighted to New Orleans on Sunday after clearing waivers. Alvarez, who recently had a setback in his return from shoulder issues, has begun throwing again Mike Redmond said Monday. 

SPECIAL START FOR SANBIA

Tuesday night's start for Marlins right-hander Alex Sanabia will be a special one. Sanabia grew up about 15 minutes south of Petco Park and said he's collected about 31 tickets for family and friends to come watch him pitch. 

"My last game here I was in high school," Sanabia said. "We sat in the Western Metal Supply Company [seats in left field] with my high school girlfriend and her parents. In my head I was going I'm going to pitch here one day. Freaking seven years later it's a dream come true. I'm getting goose bumps just saying it."

Sanabia has stayed in the Marlins' team hotel, but has made sure to head home for meals since the team has been in town.

"I went over to my mom's to have breakfast [Monday]," Sanabia said. "Can't miss the home cooking. She made Chilaquiles. It's a deep-fried tortilla with tomato sauce, cheese and sour cream. I'm coming back Tuesday. Got to take advantage."

Sanabia said he began calculating whether or not he would make a start in his hometown about three to four games into the season. A Mariners fan growing up, Sanabia said he never really rooted for the Padres. He bought a No. 28 Sanabia jersey for his mom, nephew and friend who will be at Tuesday's game and expects to have a large cheering section on his side.

"When I came here with the Marlins in 2010 I didn't think it was three years before I would be back," Sanabia said. "I pitched at Dodger Stadium since then, had my parents, brother and friends there. But it's not going to compare to tomorrow. I'm even a little nervous, but not too much."

> By going hitless with runners in scoring position in Monday's 5-0 loss to the Padres, the Marlins have now gone without a hit with runners in scoring position 11 times this season. That's a third of their games. They are hitting .222 as a team with runners in scoring position -- 24th out of 30 MLB teams.

> The two errors Monday were the fifth and sixth of the road trip and moved the Marlins past the Washington Nationals and into a tie with the Cubs for the most errors in baseball at 27 this season. 

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