Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/6/12

Miami Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes has been one of baseball's hottest hitters since the All Star break, batting .371 since July 13, the start of the second half of the season.

That also marks the start of the 24-game hitting streak Reyes takes into Tuesday's game in New York.

But Reyes is prouder of another statistic in his first season with the Marlins: the 108 games he has played, which represent all but one of Miami's games this year.

"The one thing that I appreciate this year is I don't get injuries," said Reyes, who was limited to 108 games last year with the Mets because of leg and hamstring issues. "I am able to stay healthy on a consistent basis on the field, so that's something than I'm very proud of this year."

Reyes' production has been one of the few bright spots on a disappointing season for the Marlins. Miami opens a three-game series Tuesday at Citi Field in last place in the National League East with a 49-60 record.

"It's not a great thing because we shoot higher, but we want to get to .500 this year because losing seasons are bad in general," Marlins president David Samson said.

Their chances of reaching the break-even mark seem as remote as winning one of the two wild card spots. Miami, which has won just 18 of its last 50 games, would need to go 33-20 the rest of the way to finish 82-80, the bare minimum for a winning record.

Last year, the Marlins were 54-55 after their first 109 games on their way to a 72-90 finish. That team opened the season with a $57.6 million payroll. But the 2012 team, with an opening-day payroll of $101.6 million, was built to win.

"The craziest thing is the money was spent this year and for whatever reason the combination of players wasn't right," Samson said.

The Marlins are hoping to get some consistency in their offense the rest of the season, helped in part by the return of slugger Giancarlo Stanton's from the disabled list. If he shows no adverse effects from his July 8 knee surgery, he will add much needed punch to the middle of the batting order.

"This guy hopefully can carry this ballclub for a little while and make us have a little bit of fun," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We have to be careful with him. Monitor him. He makes a lot of things easy for you offensively."

For now, Guillen said he plans to keep Reyes in the three spot, with Carlos Lee batting fourth and Stanton likely batting fifth.

Reyes, Miami's leadoff hitter most of the season, is batting .413 (19-for-46) from the three hole, where he was moved July 27 to replace traded teammate Hanley Ramirez.

Reyes also takes a .288 batting average into Tuesday. But he won't be satisfied until his average climbs at least another 12 points.

"That's the attitude. Less than .300 is not going to be acceptable," said Reyes, who hit .337 last year to win the batting title. "I'm working on it. My goal is to get to .300."

Reyes, meanwhile, said he hopes he gets a warmer welcome Tuesday from Mets fans in New York than he got from them in April the first time he returned.

"A little bit surprised," Reyes, who played for the Mets from 2003-11, said of the reception he heard at Citi Field from April 24-26.

"It was mixed boos, cheers. I expected more cheers because all of those years I played there I gave everything I had from the bottom of my heart. I know I had some injuries there, but injuries are part of the game. When I was on the field I gave 100 percent every time out."

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