8/9/2014 6:57 P.M. ET
Pain-free Cosart set to return Tuesday
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
CINCINNATI -- It was business as usual for Jarred Cosart on Saturday afternoon, as the Marlins right-hander threw a pain-free bullpen session.
Experiencing no discomfort, Cosart has been cleared to face the Cardinals on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.
The 24-year-old was scratched from his start on Thursday at Pittsburgh due to what the team called a sore left oblique.
After throwing off the mound on Saturday at Cincinnati, Cosart said the issue was more related to lower back stiffness than an oblique.
Either way, the right-hander is ready to go.
"I think I'm over it," Cosart said.
The Marlins acquired the right-hander from the Astros on July 31, and he made his Miami debut the next day. Cosart went 5 1/3 innings and suffered the loss Aug. 1 to the Reds at Marlins Park.
During the game, the former American League pitcher -- with limited at-bats -- legged out an infield single. On the play, he tweaked the left side of his lower back. All along, he claimed it wasn't serious. The team played it carefully and opted to have him miss one start.
"We did the right thing backing him off and making sure he is 100 percent healthy," manager Mike Redmond said.
Prior to the trade, Cosart was 9-7 with a 4.41 ERA in 21 starts for the Astros.
Cosart did make some light throws off the mound at Pittsburgh on Thursday, but he let it loose on Saturday.
"I let it go pretty good today," he said. "I'm good to go. I'm excited."
Injuries force Marlins' rotation to set dubious mark
CINCINNATI -- Not only was Brad Penny pitching for the Marlins for the first time in 10 years on Saturday night, the 36-year-old also was part of team history.
Penny became the 13th different starter the Marlins have used this season, getting the call at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati.
It's not exactly an enviable statistic, but it is a franchise record. The 2013 and '02 teams each used 12.
Keeping the rotation intact has been a challenge, especially after Jose Fernandez was lost for the season in May with a torn elbow ligament. All-Star Henderson Alvarez (right shoulder inflammation) also is on the disabled list.
"Definitely, the Jose factor right out of the chute, and then trying to find somebody to replace that spot, it's been tough," manager Mike Redmond said. "We've had trouble getting somebody to eat those innings. We tried quite a number of younger guys. We tried a lot of different things trying to find those innings. It's been tough. I know that's a big number."
Alvarez is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Sunday. If that goes well, he likely will come off the disabled list on Thursday for the series opener with the D-backs.
"It has been a challenge," Redmond said. "We've been looking for somebody to step up and eat those innings for the rest of the year."
Stanton not satisfied with overall production
CINCINNATI -- Home runs seem to come in bunches for Giancarlo Stanton, but the Marlins slugger would gladly trade a few for more consistency.
Since the All-Star break, Stanton already has gone on spurts in which he's hit home runs in three straight games, as well as two in a row.
Stanton's blast on Friday night proved to be the game-winner in the Marlins' 2-1 win over the Reds at Great American Ball Park. It also was his second home run in as many days, and it boosted his National League-leading total to 28.
In terms of overall production, however, Stanton isn't satisfied.
"I've just got to put together games, instead of at-bats," the 24-year-old said.
Since the All-Star break, Stanton's slash line is .263/.364/.605, compared to .295/.395/.538 in the first half. He's belted seven homers and driven in 14 runs since the break. He had 21 and 63 in the first half.
Stanton continues to rank among the MLB leaders in go-ahead RBIs. His 24 are tied for third behind Miguel Cabrera (27) and Jose Abreu (26). The Miami right fielder also has 11 game-winning RBIs. Only nine players in the game have that many or more, with Cabrera and Matt Holliday tied for the most with 16.
More than the occasional big hit, Stanton is upset at himself for not piecing together consecutive quality at-bats.
"Just not give anything away," he said. "I've been doing that a lot lately. To be locked in every time. Not get a hit and maybe give away the next two at-bats. That's what I've got to do more."