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Ruggiano likely to play even when Boni returns

MIAMI -- Justin Ruggiano has made the most of his opportunity with the Marlins.

Since the Marlins acquired the outfielder on May 26 in a Minor League trade with the Astros, Ruggiano has hit .388 with a .474 on-base percentage while playing both left and center field.

"Every time he's on the field, he does a lot of great things," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He does a lot of great things, and that's why I will keep playing him."

After going 3-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBIs in Friday's win against the Phillies, Ruggiano was back in the lineup in center field Saturday -- his 10th start there since joining the Marlins.

Even when injured center fielder Emilio Bonifacio, who is recovering from left thumb surgery, returns after the All-Star break, Guillen doesn't expect Ruggiano's playing time to fall off too much.

"You find a place [for him]," Guillen said. "I've never seen any manager bench or send people down when they're playing good. ... But Ruggiano, the way he's playing right now, I will find him playing time. Believe me."

Guillen has tried a bunch of options to fill the void left by Bonifacio -- Bryan Petersen, Chris Coghlan, Scott Cousins -- but none has produced quite like Ruggiano. Guillen has used Ruggiano mostly against left-handed pitchers, though the right-handed-hitting outfielder has historically hit righties better.

Before the Marlins acquired Ruggiano, he hit .363 (29-for-80) with three homers, 11 doubles and 21 RBIs against right-handed pitchers at Triple-A Oklahoma City, compared to .243 (9-for-37) with two homers and eight RBIs against southpaws.

"It's something I've had to focus on quite a bit the last couple of years, because [facing left-handers] was my role if I was in the big leagues," Ruggiano said.

With the Marlins, Ruggiano is hitting .433 (13-for-30) against lefties and .316 (6-for-19) against righties. Given how well Ruggiano has been swinging the bat, Guillen said he isn't afraid to give him at-bats, regardless of who is on the mound.

"He gives you good at-bats no matter who is there," Guillen said. "I'm going to take advantage of the guy that swings the bat better."

MIAMI -- Justin Ruggiano has made the most of his opportunity with the Marlins.

Since the Marlins acquired the outfielder on May 26 in a Minor League trade with the Astros, Ruggiano has hit .388 with a .474 on-base percentage while playing both left and center field.

"Every time he's on the field, he does a lot of great things," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "He does a lot of great things, and that's why I will keep playing him."

After going 3-for-4 with a double and a pair of RBIs in Friday's win against the Phillies, Ruggiano was back in the lineup in center field Saturday -- his 10th start there since joining the Marlins.

Even when injured center fielder Emilio Bonifacio, who is recovering from left thumb surgery, returns after the All-Star break, Guillen doesn't expect Ruggiano's playing time to fall off too much.

"You find a place [for him]," Guillen said. "I've never seen any manager bench or send people down when they're playing good. ... But Ruggiano, the way he's playing right now, I will find him playing time. Believe me."

Guillen has tried a bunch of options to fill the void left by Bonifacio -- Bryan Petersen, Chris Coghlan, Scott Cousins -- but none has produced quite like Ruggiano. Guillen has used Ruggiano mostly against left-handed pitchers, though the right-handed-hitting outfielder has historically hit righties better.

Before the Marlins acquired Ruggiano, he hit .363 (29-for-80) with three homers, 11 doubles and 21 RBIs against right-handed pitchers at Triple-A Oklahoma City, compared to .243 (9-for-37) with two homers and eight RBIs against southpaws.

"It's something I've had to focus on quite a bit the last couple of years, because [facing left-handers] was my role if I was in the big leagues," Ruggiano said.

With the Marlins, Ruggiano is hitting .433 (13-for-30) against lefties and .316 (6-for-19) against righties. Given how well Ruggiano has been swinging the bat, Guillen said he isn't afraid to give him at-bats, regardless of who is on the mound.

"He gives you good at-bats no matter who is there," Guillen said. "I'm going to take advantage of the guy that swings the bat better."

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.