Marlins-Phillies Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated June 01, 2012
The Miami Marlins are coming off the best month in franchise history. Giancarlo Stanton's may have been even more impressive. Stanton looks to continue his torrid hitting as the Marlins try to carry their success into June in the opener of this three-game road series with the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday night. Miami (29-22) won a 21 of 29 games in May, setting a team record for the most victories in any single month. They set the mark by sweeping a three-game set against NL East-leading Washington, capping the series with Wednesday's come-from-behind 5-3 victory. It was the major league-leading 20th comeback victory for the Marlins. "We're in a great position," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I don't see any reason why we can't continue to play the way we're playing." Stanton will likely be key to continuing that success. The 22-year-old right fielder is hitting .304 with 13 homers and 39 RBIs, with much of that damage coming in May. He batted .343 while his 12 homers and 30 RBIs are the highest monthly totals by a player under 23 since Bob Horner with Atlanta in 1980. Stanton conclude the month by going 12 for 24 with four homers and 10 RBIs in the last seven games, hitting a solo homer Wednesday to tie Dan Uggla's team record for the most homers in a month. "Impressive," right-hander Josh Johnson said. "He can do that all year long. We're excited to have him on the team." Stanton, though, has a .163 average with no homers and one RBI in his last 12 games at Philadelphia (27-25). The Marlins dropped two of three at Citizens Bank Park from April 9-12. Mark Buehrle (5-4, 3.26 ERA) was charged with a 3-1 loss in the finale, allowing three runs and two homers in 6 1-3 innings. The left-hander has served up that many homers over his last five starts with all of them ending in Miami victories. He's 4-0 with a 3.19 ERA in that stretch, which continued with Saturday's 5-3 win over San Francisco. Buehrle held the Giants to two runs while scattering eight hits in 7 1-3 innings. "He's going to give you his heart out there," Guillen said. "I know this man for many years and every time he's out there I guarantee you he's going to give you everything he has. He's worth every penny he's ever made win or lose." Jose Reyes has the majors' longest active hitting streak at 11 games, during which he has a .340 average and seven runs. The shortstop is hitting .352 in his last 29 meetings with the Phillies, and is 10 for 26 with two homers off Kyle Kendrick, Friday's scheduled starter. The Phillies also enter June with momentum, beating the New York Mets 10-6 on Wednesday for their sixth win in eight games. Carlos Ruiz should be back in the lineup after he was rested against the Mets due to a sore hamstring. That didn't stop him from connecting for a two-run, pinch-hit homer in the seventh. "He's a great player and he's proven it day in and day out," said left-hander Cliff Lee, Wednesday's winner. "It just shows how complete of a player he is. He's basically our best player right now and has been the whole time." Ruiz leads Philadelphia with a .371 average, and he's 10 for 18 over the past five games. However, he's just 3 for 23 over the past seven at home against Miami. Kendrick (1-4, 4.10) is looking to build on perhaps the best performance of his six-year career. The right-hander pitched his first shutout and second complete game Saturday, tossing a seven-hitter in a 4-0 win at St. Louis. He's 5-0 with a 2.57 ERA in his past seven games - six starts - against the Marlins.
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