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Slumping Marlins Set To Open Series Against San Francisco

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – There isn't much to be excited about at Marlins Park these days.

This series would mark Casey McGehee's return to face the Miami Marlins if not for the astounding production of Matt Duffy.

Duffy has supplanted McGehee as the San Francisco Giants' starting third baseman and is wielding a hot bat heading into Tuesday night's opener of a three-game set.

McGehee was acquired in the offseason from Miami but his struggles and the rise of Duffy forced San Francisco to designate him for assignment May 24 before the veteran accepted a stint in the minor leagues. McGehee was recalled June 5 and has started once at third base since.

Duffy has a .377 average while hitting safely in 12 of his last 13 games. He went 7 for 13 with seven runs over the weekend against Colorado, homering in victories on Saturday and Sunday.

"He's got a quick bat and he's stronger than you think, he's that wiry strong," manager Bruce Bochy said.

Duffy is known for a cerebral approach at the plate, having read a book by Harvey Dorfman - an author known for his work on the mental aspects of performances. Duffy excels early in the count, hitting .424 on the first pitch, .533 on 0-1 counts and .462 on 1-0 offerings.

"Duffy just to me, he's got such a simple, short stroke that there's not a lot of holes and he's quick, he's one of those fast-twitch guys," slugger Buster Posey said. "He's not the biggest guy but he can create bat speed."

Posey has taken advantage of Duffy hitting in front of him to rank among baseball's leaders in RBIs this month with 26, including 12 in a 4-1 stretch.

The major league leader in slugging percentage this month at .800 is Miami's Giancarlo Stanton, who underwent surgery Sunday on his broken left hand and will miss at least four weeks. He leads the majors with 27 homers and has 67 RBIs.

Miami (31-46) struck out 36 times, walked twice and went 1 for 21 with runners in scoring position in losing two of three to the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend.

"We all know we've lost a big bat in the middle of the order," manager Dan Jennings said. "He won't be there so we're going to have to take better at-bats."

Leadoff hitter Dee Gordon is batting .364 during a 10-game hitting streak and continues to vie for the batting title with a .353 average. Gordon sat out twice with a hamstring strain when these teams split four in San Francisco between May 7-10.

McGehee hit a grand slam in that series and hasn't gone deep since.

The Giants (42-35) will start Ryan Vogelsong (6-5, 4.05 ERA), who looks to post a third straight scoreless start for the first time in his career. He pitched 6 2-3 innings in a 7-0 win at Seattle on June 18 before going six Wednesday in a 6-0 home victory over San Diego.

The right-hander is 3-2 with a 1.67 ERA in six starts against the Marlins. Gordon is a .344 hitter against him.

The Marlins will turn to Mat Latos (2-5, 5.49), who fell to 1-3 with a 7.60 ERA in seven home starts after allowing five runs in seven innings in Wednesday's 6-1 loss to St. Louis.

The right-hander is 4-3 with a 2.11 ERA in 12 starts versus the Giants. Posey is 3 for 13 against him, Brandon Belt is 5 for 12 and Duffy went 0 for 3 on May 10.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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