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Henderson Alvarez hoping to be back in two weeks to face Diamondbacks

Henderson Alvarez said the MRI performed on his right shoulder Friday showed nothing more than inflammation and he's hoping to be back on the mound for the Marlins when he's scheduled to come off the 15-day disabled list during the team's next home stand.

Alvarez said he's aiming to pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks, who play a four game series at Marlins Park from Aug. 14-17.

"I'm good. It's just inflammation," Alvarez said Saturday after the Marlins took batting practice. "There's nothing there. I'm just going to do treatment to bring down the inflammation and go from there."

Alvarez, 24, said he first began to feel discomfort in his shoulder since he pitched last week in Atlanta.

"The day before it started to hurt, but I kept pitching and doing my treatment to see if it went away. But it didn't get better. I pitched against Washington and it bothered me, but I kept pitching," he said. "I talked with the Marlins pitching coach and the trainers so we could avoid something worse."

Shoulder inflammation shelved Alvarez last season for the first three months of the season. Asked if it was the same type of injury, Alvarez said it wasn't.

"Dr. Kaplan, he just told me to rest my arm for a few days and in like five or six days I could throw to see how it felt," Alvarez said. "For me I'm sad that I have to be out. At the same time, it's good because I can avoid whatever bigger issue, and just rest so that inflammation goes away quickly."

The Marlins have gone 14-3 with Alvarez (8-5, 2.48 ERA) on the mound over his last 17 starts. He's thrown 137 2/3 innings and made 22 starts total in 2014, the second-most of his career. Two years ago Alvarez threw 187 1/3 innings for Toronto and made 31 starts. 

"Like any pitcher some guys go through a period of time where they get sore and they need a little bit of a breather and that's where he's at," manager Mike Redmond said. "He's pitched a lot of innings. Last year had the first two months off. This year, he hasn't had that time off like he had last year. The good news is that it's hopefully a short term deal, he'll be able to work through it and be fine."

TURNER READY TO STEP UP

With Alvarez on the disabled list, Jacob Turner is getting a chance to step into his spot and stay in the rotation. After falling out of the rotation in mid-June because of struggles and being reinserted into it after the All-Star Break, Turner (4-6, 5.69) was going to be the odd man out after the Marlins acquired Jarred Cosart from the Astros Thursday.

"It's an opportunity," said Turner, who is 2-0 with a 2.53 ERA over his last two starts. "Henderson's been our most consistent pitcher. As a rotation, everyone's going to have to do their part a little bit and we're getting to the point where these are must-win games. It's crucial we go out and pitch deep into the games and give our team a chance to win."

Said Redmond: "His job is to take advantage of the starts he gets and put pressure on us to get him more starts. He understands that. We've made it very clear. We just want him to keep building off the momentum he's had."

STANTON ALTERS ROUTINE

After struggling through a rough July (.226, 4 HRs, 13 RBI), Giancarlo Stanton has started to swing his way out of it. Entering Saturday, he had homered in each of his last three games.

What's changed? His routine. Instead of taking batting practice with the team on the field he's spent that time indoors hitting off the machine.

"Just getting back to the basics," Stanton said. "That's it really. You don't have to do the same thing everyday but make sure you're prepared."

> Redmond said he's giving Jeff Mathis more playing time of late because Jarrod Saltalamacchia has been battling some stiffness in his back.

"We want to keep these guys as fresh as we can -- especially the catcher position," Redmond said. "These guys get banged up. These next two months are wear and tear for catchers for sure."

SATURDAY'S LINEUPS

> Reds (55-54): 1. Billy Hamilton CF, 2. Jay Bruce RF, 3. Todd Frazier 3B, 4. Devin Mesoraco C, 5. Brayan Pena 1B, 6. Skip Schumaker LF, 8. Ramon Santiago 2B, 8. Zack Cosart SS, 9. Homer Bailey RHP.

> Marlins (53-56): 1. Christian Yelich LF, 2. Jordany Valdespin 2B, 3. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 4. Casey McGehee 3B, 5. Garrett Jones 1B, 6. Marcell Ozuna CF, 7. Adeiny Hechavarria SS, 8. Jeff Mathis C, 9. Nathan Eovaldi RHP.

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