Miami Marlins

Miami Marlins’ Marcell Ozuna has a shot at a few team records

Marlins' Marcell Ozuna (CF), hits a double, in the eight inning of the Miami Marlins vs Tampa Bay Rays, game at Marlins Park in Little Havana in Miami on Tuesday, May 24, 2016.
Marlins' Marcell Ozuna (CF), hits a double, in the eight inning of the Miami Marlins vs Tampa Bay Rays, game at Marlins Park in Little Havana in Miami on Tuesday, May 24, 2016. pportal@elnuevoherald.com

Preston Wilson was asked if he could name the player who holds the franchise record for the highest batting average in a single month. He searched his memory banks but couldn’t come up with the correct answer.

“I named like five guys,” Wilson said. “Mike Lowell, Luis Castillo, Cliff Floyd, Derrek Lee and Pudge Rodriguez. My name never came out of my mouth. I had no idea.”

Wilson holds the mark with a .431 average, set in July of 1999.

That record is now being threatened by Marcell Ozuna, who went 2 for 4 on Sunday to raise his average in May to .442 (46 for 104).

Wilson, who now serves as a TV analyst for Marlins games, said he has no recollection of his torrid month in 1999.

“I don’t remember it at all,” Wilson said.

One notable difference between Wilson and Ozuna: Wilson started only 20 games that month, going 31 for 72. Ozuna has started all 28 games for the Marlins this month.

Wilson’s mark isn’t the only Marlins record Ozuna is chasing.

With 46 hits and two games still left to play, Ozuna has a chance to break Chris Coghlan’s team record for most hits in a month: 47.

stanton getting close to return

Giancarlo Stanton took batting practice before Sunday’s game, an indication he could be set to return to the lineup a day or two after the Marlins return home.

Stanton has missed five games in a row with soreness on his right side.

“I think it’s just encouraging from the standpoint that we’re getting to that point,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said.

Stanton said he’s not certain of the exact nature of the injury, saying it could be anything: oblique, intercostal or just soreness.

Stanton said he likely sustained the injury during a swing but didn’t rule out the possibility it could be related to his outfield collision with Ozuna on May 15 in Washington. It was immediately after that when Stanton went into his long slump.

“That’s the side I yanked to,” Stanton said of his collision. “But I can’t specifically say.”

running in place

The Marlins’ running game has come to a near standstill since the team lost Dee Gordon to a drug suspension. The Marlins have stolen just three bases this month on only seven attempts.

The fewest steals for a Marlins team in any month is four, and the Baltimore Orioles are the only major-league team that has had as few attempts this month.

“Obviously, you’re not the same club if Dee’s not in your lineup,” Mattingly said.

But Mattingly said the Marlins really don’t have many stolen base threats.

“You just don’t have that one guy who steals 60, that makes you look like you’re a base-stealing team,” Mattingly said. “We kind of are who we are.”

▪ Mike Dunn pitched one scoreless inning on Sunday for Single A Jupiter in what was very likely his final rehab appearance.

Dunn could come off the disabled list within the next few days and join the Marlins’ bullpen for the first time this season.

Dunn retired all three batters he faced on Sunday, striking out two.

COMING UP

▪ Monday: Marlins LHP Justin Nicolino (2-2, 4.37 ERA) vs. Pittsburgh Pirates LHP Jeff Locke (3-3, 5.08), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

▪ Tuesday: Marlins RHP Jose Fernandez (7-2, 2.82) vs. Pirates RHP Gerrit Cole (5-3, 2.53), 7:10 p.m., Marlins Park.

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