Jose Reyes can enjoy a few slices of success as the Marlins dine at the losers table.
Reyes reached an obscure yet commendable goal Tuesday when his second consecutive leadoff triple against Boston gave the shortstop the top spot among active players for career lead-off triples with 15. It is a mark he shares with Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki.
“That means you’re going to score some runs early in the ballgame,” Reyes said about his latest feat. “That’s what I try to do. I try to put myself in scoring position right away the first inning. I know if I can do that, not every day because it’s not going to happen every day, but most of the time it’s going to be good for the team.”
He has been no one-hit wonder either. Reyes leads led the team in multihit games (20) and went 10 for 36 during the Marlins’ homestand. Reyes said the team has struggled to draw on its talent during the month of June. Yet manager Ozzie Guillen said Reyes is improving.
“He’s been hitting the ball pretty hard,” Guillen said. “Little by little he’ll come out to be the player we want, the player he wants to be, the player we know he can be. Little by little he’s been great.”
Reyes has 16 hits in his past 48 at-bats. In May his batting average was .297. It has risen to .333 in June.
After enduring his longest stretch without a home run (56 games), June also brought Reyes’ first homer of the season on June 7 against Atlanta. His second came against Boston on Wednesday.
“The first part of the season was kind of a struggle for me,” Reyes said. “After the first month of the season, I’ve been feeling very comfortable and hopefully I can continue feeling that way. I know if I’m able to continue feeling that way, I’m going to be on base a lot. And that’s going to be good for this team because that means I’m going to score a lot of runs.”
Unfortunately for Reyes, his teammates have been mired in a June slump. Usual power swingers Giancarlo Stanton and Hanley Ramirez have seen their averages decrease.
Emilio Bonifacio said there’s still more to Reyes than witnessed so far.
“That kind of play he needs,” said Bonifacio, commenting on Reyes’ consecutive leadoff triples this week. “But he’s just getting there. It’s a slow season. As long as he’s still healthy, that’s the main thing for us. Every player, we know what he can do on the field.”
Reyes said despite the Marlins’ struggles, the team is trying its best.
“Everybody contributes,” he said. “Me specifically, I want to do my job. I can’t step on the shoes of somebody else. I want to do my job. My job here is to get on base for the guy behind me.”