ST. PETERSBURG -- As the Marlins have been looking for steady production from their center field position, Scott Cousins has been putting up strong numbers at Triple-A New Orleans.
Since May 1, Cousins has been hitting at a .336 clip, and his season average is .292.
The Marlins took notice and on Friday announced the left-handed-hitting outfielder was being recalled for the first time this year.
Cousins fills the roster spot vacated by Chris Coghlan, who was optioned to Triple-A on Wednesday night.
Manager Ozzie Guillen says he plans on giving Cousins a look in center field. But on Friday, with the Rays going with left-hander Matt Moore, right-handed hitting Justin Ruggiano started for Miami.
"I am going to take a look at this kid, Cousins, to see what he can do," Guillen said. "In the meanwhile, we need to win games."
With Emilio Bonifacio expected to be out until about the All-Star break, the Marlins have been looking for a center field option to step up.
Coghlan was given an opportunity, but he was hitting .140 average at the time he was optioned. Bryan Petersen and Kevin Mattison also had chances.
Cousins can play all three outfield positions. He has one of the strongest arms for an outfielder in the organization.
At New Orleans, he added seven homers and 32 RBIs in 50 games.
"I feel really good," Cousins said. "I've been hitting the ball well all year. I'm coming in on a hot streak, lately. I'm just worrying about what Ozzie told me in camp, which was to keep it simple, and not care so much.
"Just go out and let the ability take over. I go out there and am aggressive. Steal bases when I can, and try to make every play I can make in the outfield and hit the ball hard."
Cousins has appeared in 75 big league games, including 48 in 2011. Last June 14, he went on the disabled list with a lower back strain.
Cousins was in the mix for a backup outfield spot in Spring Training, but he was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans on March 23.
In 89 career MLB at-bats, Cousins has a .202 average with one home run and six RBIs.
Until Bonifacio returns, Guillen is hoping somebody sticks in center, because he doesn't like making so many roster moves.
"For me, the most embarrassing things for me is when you send guys down every other week," the manager said. "But, in the meanwhile, those guys have to look at themselves in the mirror. Why am I getting sent down? I hope I can find one and stick with one. It would be easier for us."
Hanley scratched after being hit by ball in BP
ST. PETERSBURG -- Dazed after being struck on the nose by a deflected ball in batting practice, Hanley Ramirez was scratched from the lineup on Friday night.
Ramirez was shaken up in the batting cages at Tropicana Field while the Marlins were preparing to face the Rays.
"Hanley got hit in the nose," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I took him out of the lineup because he's kind of dizzy right now."
A batted ball deflected off the screen and plunked the Marlins third baseman in the nose.
Bloodied and dizzy, Ramirez was replaced by Donovan Solano.
Guillen, looking to spark the offense, initially had Ramirez hitting second for the first time this year. Ramirez had anchored in the third spot.
"In the past, Hanley was a great leadoff hitter," Guillen said. "I want to get [Giancarlo] Stanton more at-bats with people on base. It's an opportunity to get him an at-bat in the first inning. Hopefully that works, at least for a little while. If that works, we will keep him there. If not, we will make another change."
Ramirez is batting .259 with 11 home runs and 37 RBIs. He last batted in the second spot on May 29, 2011.
Like the rest of Miami's lineup, Ramirez has struggled of late. He was 4-for-29 in a 1-8 homestand.
The Marlins were outscored 56-17 in the tough home stretch.
Ramirez was examined by the doctor on Friday. The hope is he will be back on Saturday.
"Right now, they're waiting for the doctor to check him out," Guillen said. "The trainer thinks it is nothing big. They want to wait for the doctor to see how he is."
After the Marlins lost 11-0 to the Rays on Friday, Guillen said Ramirez had a small break in his nose, but he is able to play. Still, he is dealing with dizziness.
"He has something, a little bit broke," Guillen said. "The doctor says he can play. But he has a headache. He's kind of dizzy. He will let me know tomorrow around noon."
Marlins looks to shake June struggles
ST. PETERSBURG -- Slumping this June may be more coincidence than trend.
A year ago, the Marlins went 5-23 in June, experiencing their worst month in club history.
Entering Friday night at Tampa Bay, Miami was 3-9 in the month, coming off a 1-8 homestand.
"When we hit, we don't pitch. When we pitch, we don't hit," left fielder Logan Morrison said. "I think it's probably one of those things. I think baseball is a long season and it's a coincidence that it's happened in June two years in a row. But it's happened in April before."
The Marlins have been up and down all year. They went 8-14 in April, and followed that up by winning a club record 21 games in May.
In the homestand, they were outscored 56-17.
"When there are runners on base, you've got to hit," Morrison said. "That's a big part of what we are lacking. Also, getting more opportunities with runners in scoring position. The more opportunities you get, the more runs you are going to score. I think getting guys on first, and then getting them in. There is really no secret."
Rosario strains quad, likely headed to DL
ST. PETERSBURG -- An already rough Friday night for the Marlins got a little more painful in the eighth inning when rookie reliever Sandy Rosario suffered a strained right quad.
The injury is expected to land Rosario on the 15-day disabled list. Miami is planning on recalling right-hander Chris Hatcher from Triple-A New Orleans on Saturday.
Rosario was facing Tampa Bay's Drew Sutton in the eighth inning when he experienced discomfort. Catcher John Buck went to the mound, while manager Ozzie Guillen and the training staff went to the mound.
Rosario stayed in for one more pitch, a ball that was way off the mark. Immediately, the rookie was replaced by Ryan Webb.
In four games with the Marlins, Rosario has allowed six runs in three innings.
"They say his knee got locked," Guillen said. "He tried to get out of the inning, but the next pitch he couldn't make it."
Hatcher will be called up for the second time this season. Initially, he was promoted on May 5, but he didn't see game action.
At New Orleans, the right-hander has appeared in 23 games, and he has a 1.23 ERA.