DENVER -- Justin Ruggiano stepped to the plate Wednesday night with runners at first and second, the Marlins down a run after finally plating their first run of the night.
It was an ideal moment for Rugianno, pinch-hitting, to break out of an 0-for-30 slump dating to July 8. But the outfielder swung and missed at a full-count slider from Rockies reliever Matt Belisle to end the inning, two of the 12 runners Miami left on base.
Ruggiano's struggles have certainly played a role in the team's scuffles as a whole, as the Marlins have scored just eight runs in six games after the All-Star break entering Thursday.
"It's tough, and I know he's frustrated," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said after Wednesday night's loss. "Any time anybody scuffles, you're reeling and trying to figure out a way to get out of it. Sometimes it's maybe a pinch-hit, big hit in a certain situation. Who knows?
"You just got to keep battling and keep grinding and you can't feel sorry for yourself."
A consistent piece of Miami's lineup this year, Ruggiano has not started since the Marlins called up their two top prospects in Christian Yelich and Jake Marisnick.
Redmond said he plans to give Marisnick and Yelich consistent playing time in an effort to give them critical Major League experience. He also acknowledged that will mean less time for Ruggiano and veteran outfielder Juan Pierre.
Ruggiano had been an offensive centerpiece for the Marlins this year, leading the team with 12 homers, and his 23 RBIs are tied for the team lead with Marcell Ozuna. It's those numbers that leave Redmond confident his 31-year-old outfielder will break from the slump sooner rather than later.
"You got to be able to turn the page, and that's what we talked about a lot this year, be able to turn the page and move on," Redmond said. "You get three hits, great day, enjoy it, move on. It's the same way when you're struggling -- got to be able to turn the page."
Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.