Ruggiano, Marlins focus on playing small ball

Ruggiano, Marlins focus on playing small ball

NEW YORK -- A handful of games into the season is certainly a small sample size, but the Marlins are starting to understand the big picture.

Aside from Giancarlo Stanton, the lineup is not built for power. So to generate runs, it will take a collective effort.

On Friday night, the Marlins did just that with a five-run seventh frame -- taking walks, bunting and getting some timely two-out hits in a 7-5 win over the Mets at Citi Field. It was their first multi-run inning of the season.

"We're going to score runs," said Justin Ruggiano, who had two hits and two RBIs in the game. "We're going to manufacture runs. I think with our team, we're going to have to start playing small ball. That's what we're going to have to do. I know we're all open to it."

The one exception, of course, is Stanton, who has the luxury of trying to drive the ball a long way every time up.

"We don't expect him to [play small ball], anyways," Ruggiano said.

As for the rest of the lineup, look for an emphasis on the basics.

"Hitting and running, bunting, whatever it takes to put up runs," Ruggiano said. "At the end of the day, that's how you win games.

"We can't play for the big inning. We don't have guys who are going to hit 25-to-30 home runs throughout our lineup. We have to do the small things. It's going to come around."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter