Pierre quietly consistent in June

Pierre quietly consistent in June

MIAMI -- Giancarlo Stanton grabbed headlines with his winning two-run home run in the Marlins' 5-4 victory against the Brewers on Tuesday night.

But without Juan Pierre's hustle on a routine grounder to second base, Stanton might have missed the opportunity to play hero.

Pierre battled Milwaukee reliever Jim Henderson in an eight-pitch at-bat that culminated with Pierre beating out a Rickie Weeks throw to first.

"I didn't hit it too good, but I just hit it in the right spot that I could beat it out," Pierre said. "My main thing was trying to get on base and make stuff happen."

Miami manager Mike Redmond added: "That situation, that inning never happens if JP doesn't leg out that ball to second base. That set that whole inning up and gave us a chance to win that game."

Once Pierre -- representing the tying run -- reached base, he commanded Henderson's attention.

The Brewers right-hander attempted to pick off Pierre five times during a five-pitch strikeout of Ed Lucas.

Pierre leads the Marlins and ranks sixth in the Majors with 17 stolen bases.

"It made him focus on me a little more at first," Pierre said. "He picked over about five or six times, trying to be quick to the plate. Maybe that had a little something do with [Stanton's home run], but who knows?"

Said Redmond: "He can still run. He's still a difference-maker out there."

The infield single that kicked off Miami's rally Tuesday night extended Pierre's hitting streak to a season-best eight games. He has batted .382 (13-for-34) during the stretch with three walks, four stolen bases and seven runs scored.

The hitting streak has also raised Pierre's batting average from .218 to .245 -- his highest clip since May 10.

"This year has really been a grind for him," Redmond said. "He has struggled a little bit at times, but you know what? He's coming out of it, and he's getting on base."

Pierre again led off for the Fish on Wednesday night, aiming not only to extend his hitting streak but to set the table for the Marlins' rejuvenated lineup.

"To have him swinging the bat now, that's what we're looking for -- a guy that can lead off," Redmond said. "We don't really have another leadoff hitter, so that's what we need him to do, is go out there and get on base for the big boys."

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