ATLANTA -- A constant in a tumultuous second half for the Marlins has been the steady hitting of Jose Reyes.
Since July 13, Miami's first game after the All-Star break, Reyes has collected at least one hit in every game. The streak reached a career-high-tying 20 when the shortstop tripled in the sixth inning against the Braves at Turner Field on Thursday night. While with the Mets, he had a string of 20 games from July 17-Aug. 7, 2005.
During his current streak -- the longest active one in the Majors -- Reyes is 27-for-78 (.346). Reyes had a pair of hits on Wednesday night, and he actually should have had a third hit, but a long drive he hit to right field was ruled foul. Replays showed the ball kicked up the chalk, and the play should have at least been a double.
That at-bat ended with Atlanta shortstop Paul Janish making a spectacular diving catch near the third-base line.
"He's a guy who has hit .340 in the past," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Every game he hits the ball hard. Reyes can be 0-for-4 or 5-for-5, but you can't tell because he always plays the same way."
Reyes did get picked off first base after getting his first hit. Because stealing bases is part of his game, Guillen says there will be outs on the bases.
"When you're a base-stealer, that's going to happen," the manager said. "If [John] Buck, [a catcher], got picked off first base, we have a problem. But Reyes, I don't mind. He's just playing his game. I'm not going to take that away. He's fine."
Ruggiano out again with back spasms
ATLANTA -- A steady downpour on Tuesday night at Turner Field did more than dampen the Marlins' night.
The long rain delay helped lead to Marlins outfielder Justin Ruggiano being hampered by back spasms.
Ruggiano felt a pull in his back while making a throw after the game was held up for one hour and 53 minutes due to the rain. He stayed in the game, and Miami lost, 7-1.
The back still isn't right, and Ruggiano on Thursday was out of the lineup for the second straight game. He wasn't expected to be available to pinch-hit either.
Ruggiano said he may be ready on Friday when the Marlins play a doubleheader in Washington. Still, it isn't guaranteed he will be in the lineup.
Manager Ozzie Guillen said it is unlikely Ruggiano would be ready for Game 1, and Game 2 is questionable.
"I don't expect him at least the first game tomorrow," Guillen said. "He might be available to pinch-hit, might be. He's not on the field doing anything baseball [related]. Maybe we have to wait another day. I don't think he will be ready tomorrow.
"He's not doing any baseball situations. I'm not counting on him when I can't."
One of the pleasant surprises this season, Ruggiano is batting .355 with eight home runs and 22 RBIs. Since early July, he is batting .340 on the road, with five home runs and nine RBIs.
Ruggiano isn't the only outfielder dealing with an ailment. Bryan Petersen tweaked the AC joint in his right shoulder on Wednesday night while trying to run down Paul Janish's RBI double in the second inning.
Petersen got a late jump on the ball.
"I feel like it was a catchable ball anyway," Petersen said.
The lighting at Turner Field is regarded as a problem for many outfielders. There are no strands of light behind the outfielders. The fly ball Petersen tried to track down was at dusk, and it was difficult to pick the ball up right away.
Roles remain undefined in Marlins' bullpen
ATLANTA -- It's now bullpen by committee for the Marlins. Whenever the phone rings, any reliever should be ready.
"One thing I told them was nobody has a role here," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "When that phone rings, get up. I can't say this guy is my closer, this guy is my setup. We're going to see the matchups and what gives the guys the best opportunity for success."
Since the All-Star break, the Marlins have gone with a closer by committee. Heath Bell, of course, had his first-half struggles, saving just 19 of 25 opportunities.
Steve Cishek essentially is the closer, as he notched his fifth save when he closed out the ninth on Wednesday night at Atlanta.
Other than Cishek, roles are less defined.
Wednesday night showed that. Carlos Zambrano has moved into a long relief role, and Bell was used for two outs in the seventh inning. Mike Dunn went 1 1/3 innings, getting the game to Cishek in the ninth.
Since the All-Star break, Bell has been effective. In eight appearances, he's given up no runs on three hits in 7 1/3 innings.
As the season progresses, some Minor League relievers also are expected to get a shot at the big league level. Chris Hatcher at some point, along with Evan Reed and A.J. Ramos, could get a look, if not in August, as callups in September.
Donnie Murphy was scratched from Thursday night's starting lineup due to flu-like symptoms. Murphy was initially scheduled to play third base. Greg Dobbs replaced Murphy in the lineup, playing left field, with Donovan Solano moving to third base.
Giancarlo Stanton began his rehab assignment on Thursday, playing for Class A Jupiter, which was at Brevard in the Florida State League. He hit a three-run homer in the third inning. The plan remains for Stanton to join the Marlins next Tuesday at New York.
Brad Hand will be added to the roster on Friday to pitch the first game of a doubleheader at Washington. The Marlins will exercise the new MLB rule that allows teams to carry a 26th player for previously scheduled doubleheaders. Hand is 8-5 with a 3.66 ERA in 22 starts for Triple-A New Orleans. As part of the rule, Hand will be sent down to the Minor Leagues following the game.