Reserve outfielder Austin Kearns was taken to the University of Miami Hospital on Sunday with an irregular heartbeat and was kept overnight for further observation.
Kearns, 32, was a late scratch from Sunday’s lineup.
“He came in with a speeding heart rate, so he went immediately to the hospital,” manager Mike Redmond said of Kearns. “You don’t mess around with those things.”
Kearns played Saturday night and struck out in the ninth inning, one batter before Chris Coghlan drove in the game’s winning run.
Kearns and Giancarlo Stanton, who is dealing with a bruised left shoulder, were unavailable on Sunday, leaving the Marlins short-handed in their game against the Phillies. Justin Ruggiano, who was scratched from Saturday’s lineup with tightness in his groin, was forced back into action Sunday because of the shortage of outfielders.
The Marlins might have to make a roster move Monday to bring their roster up to full strength. First baseman Joe Mahoney played in a rehab game for Single A Jupiter for the second day in a row Sunday, going 2 for 5. He was 3 for 3 with a home run on Saturday for the Hammerheads.
“With Stanton out, we’re very thin,” Redmond said. “We’re running out of options out there.”
Stanton said he doubts he’ll be ready to play Monday when the Marlins open a three-game series against the Washington Nationals.
“We can’t play down two or three guys for very long,” Redmond said. “There’s too many unknowns right now. We’ve got to see how Kearnsy is and see how Ruggiano does in the game [Sunday].”
Ruggiano went 1 for 3 and played nine innings in right field.
If and when the Marlins trade Stanton, it might serve them well to find someone else capable of putting the ball over the fence, at least every now and then.
By coming up short again Sunday, the Marlins have now gone eight consecutive games without a home run, making it the second-longest power drought in franchise history — by one game. The 1993 expansion Marlins hold the mark with a nine-game homerless streak.
No Marlin has homered since Greg Dobbs went deep at Citi Field in New York on April 5. The signature feature at Marlins Park, the Home Run Sculpture, has remained lifeless through six home games.
“I’ve heard it’s great,” Redmond deadpanned. “I’ve heard it’s quite a sight. I just haven’t seen it yet. I’m waiting.”
As for Stanton, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported Sunday that the Texas Rangers are starting to pay closer attention to the slugger. Wrote Olney: “The Rangers are poking around and doing some early reconnaissance on how they could put together some kind of deal for Giancarlo Stanton.”
Most feel the Rangers are best equipped to pull off a deal for Stanton with their bevy of top-end young talent.
On a tear
While most everyone else on the Marlins is sputtering at the plate, Placido Polanco, 37, is swinging the way he did in his prime and before injuries began taking their toll.
Polanco, who singled in three at bats Sunday, has hit safely in nine of his 11 games. His leadoff walk in Saturday’s ninth inning set up the game-winning run, and he has struck out just once in 42 at-bats.
“Obviously, I feel better than last year, and I’m seeing the ball good right now,” said Polanco, who leads the Marlins with a .333 average.
Given his advancing age, Polanco said he’s even more pleased with his early results.
“It’s supposed to get worse,” he said with a laugh.
Polanco has also provided strong defense at third base. He has yet to be charged with an error, and he made a diving stab on a ground ball hit to his right to prevent a run from scoring Sunday.
• Monday: Marlins LHP Wade LeBlanc (0-2, 3.27 ERA) vs. Washington Nationals RHP Jordan Zimmermann (2-0, 2.08), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Tuesday: Marlins RHP Alex Sanabia (1-1, 4.91) vs. Washington Nationals RHP Dan Haren (1-1, 9.00), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
• Scouting report: The Marlins were swept by the Nationals when they opened the season in Washington but will not be facing either Stephen Strasburg or Gio Gonzalez when they meet at Marlins Park for a second time. Zimmermann, who opens the series for the Nationals, held the Marlins to a run on eight hits in D.C., with Ruggiano supplying the only scoring for the Marlins with a solo homer.