MIA@NYM: Stanton lays out to rob Nieuwenhuis of a hit

MIAMI -- For the second straight day, Giancarlo Stanton was not in the Marlins' lineup.

Still, there was encouraging news regarding the All-Star right fielder. An MRI taken on Saturday morning revealed Stanton has a left shoulder contusion.

The bruise is expected to keep the 23-year-old out of the lineup for a couple of days instead of an extended period. The Marlins listed the slugger as being day to day, but it is doubtful he will be ready until Monday at the earliest.

"Stanton has a left shoulder bruise, which is good news, obviously," manager Mike Redmond said. "He's going to get some treatment, and he will be day to day."

Miami's lackluster offense certainly could use Stanton, who initially felt discomfort while making a diving catch to rob Kirk Nieuwenhuis in cold weather on April 6 at New York. The slugger took batting practice on Friday, but he was scratched from the lineup shortly before the Marlins faced the Phillies.

"I know he dove for a ball in cold weather," Redmond said. "I guess it flared up on him [Friday] after batting practice. We got him out of there, he got some treatment, and he was checked out today. Thankfully, it is just a bruise. We will get him some treatment and hope to get him back out there as soon as possible."

Like the Marlins, Stanton is off to a slow start. The right fielder is batting .167 (5-for-30) with two doubles, no homers and no RBIs.

Austin Kearns is filling in for Stanton, and he batted fifth on Saturday.

"No doubt we've struggled offensively," Redmond said. "To lose Stanton out of that lineup makes it even tougher. We're looking for somebody to step up and get a big hit."

Ruggiano latest Marlins outfielder scratched

MIA@NYM: Ruggiano sends an RBI double to left field

MIAMI -- Finding healthy outfielders is becoming even more of a challenge for the Marlins.

For the second time in as many days, Miami has scratched a starting outfielder due to an ailment.

Justin Ruggiano was taken out of the lineup due to a tight right groin, and he is listed as day to day. Chris Coghlan made the start in center field.

Being without the services of Ruggiano came a day after the Marlins scratched right fielder Giancarlo Stanton due to a bruised left shoulder.

Miami's bench on Saturday against the Phillies is down to three position players, with two of them being catchers. Chris Valaika is the utility infielder who could play outfield in an emergency situation. Miguel Olivo and Kyle Skipworth are the two catchers.

Marlins eager to start producing at the plate

MIA@WSH: Pierre gets leadoff single in Marlins return

MIAMI -- All the pep talks and words of encouragement are comforting, but success ultimately will create some peace of mind for the Marlins.

Juan Pierre, the team's steady 35-year-old left fielder, says words only go so far. Ultimately success will help the team to relax.

"From personal experience, you don't ever fully relax until you get a hit," Pierre said. "You can use all the tactics that you want to, and say, 'Don't press.' I'm a little bit better now, but it's still the same effect with me."

Under first-year manager Mike Redmond, and hitting coach Tino Martinez, the players are prepared and hungry to pick up some wins.

"You want to see these kids do well, and see Red do well and Tino do well," Pierre said. "You want everybody to do well. It's just a human tendency. I'm guilty of it. I go up saying, 'I have to get on base.' I fall into that rut now.

"I think the more you play, the more you realize you don't have to do everything. You just do what you know you can do, and let the pieces fall your way. I know when I was younger, I didn't relax until I got hits, or at least we were winning."

Worth noting

• Right-hander Henderson Alvarez, on the disabled list with mild right shoulder inflammation, is scheduled to throw off the mound on Sunday. Perhaps the earliest he would face hitters is next week. Most likely, the right-hander will return in May.

• First baseman Joe Mahoney, on the DL with an intercostal strain, is playing rehab assignment games with Class A Advanced Jupiter. Mahoney collected a single in his first at-bat on Saturday.

• Catcher Jeff Mathis, recovering from a broken right clavicle, is throwing at 75 feet, and chances are he won't be ready until early May.