Buck using whole field to break out of slump

Buck using whole field to break out of slump

PHOENIX -- Reminded that his last four-hit game was in 2010, John Buck laughed and said he hopes to do it next in "less time in between."

The veteran catcher belted a home run and had three singles in the Marlins' 12-3 win over the D-backs at Chase Field on Monday night.

It was the fourth time in Buck's career that he's had four hits in a game, with the last one previously on Aug. 20, 2010, in Boston while he was with the Blue Jays.

In an otherwise rough year, Buck certainly welcomed a big night, as he raised his batting average to .198.

Although his numbers are down from the past, Buck is enjoying a strong August, hitting .347 with two homers and seven RBIs in the month.

Buck is finding success by using the whole field. On Monday, he homered to right-center.

"When they're pitching me away and kind of throwing me offspeed stuff, it's important to go the other way and let the ball travel and not try to over-swing and pull everything," Buck said. "Obviously, whenever I try to do that, that's when I do good."

Buck took a good-natured jab at himself, adding: "But I'm thick-headed and a little dumb. So it takes me a while, I guess."

The Marlins are splitting time with Buck and rookie catcher Rob Brantly, who started on Tuesday night at Arizona.

Brantly is a left-handed hitter, and he's been getting starts against right-handers. But manager Ozzie Guillen isn't making the position a straight platoon.

As a veteran with a big league track record, Buck still is getting his chances.

"He's been swinging the bat very well the last couple of weeks," Guillen said. "I think he's doing what he's supposed to do, trying to hit the ball the other way and go with the pitch. Don't try to do too much. Hopefully he continues to do that and don't forget what he did."