MIAMI (AP) - Miami right fielder Giancarlo Stanton was not in the Marlins' starting lineup against the Atlanta Braves on Monday, getting a day to rest what he and the team described as a strained muscle in his side.
Stanton pointed to his right side when describing the injury and Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen described it as an oblique strain, though the team's official announcement was that Stanton had "left intercostal soreness."
Stanton said he expects to be in the lineup Tuesday. Guillen suggested he would be cautious with Stanton, who came into Monday second in the NL with 34 home runs.
"He's got a little soreness, that oblique, rib cage," Guillen said. "He's been dealing with that for a little while and this is something you have to really, really, really, really be careful about because that thing can go for weeks. We're going to go by ear to see how he feels in the next couple of days, and from that we'll make a decision when he's playing."
Justin Ruggiano got the call to start in right field for Stanton, while first baseman Carlos Lee moved into the cleanup spot in the order.
Stanton said the strain first became an issue on Saturday. He was in Sunday's lineup, going 1 for 3 with a run scored, and was in the lineup the Marlins originally distributed Monday afternoon, several hours before game time.
"Just a day," he said, asked how long he expected to remain out of the lineup.
Stanton is one of the few bright spots for the Marlins, who are already assured of finishing with a losing record. His 34 homers entering Monday were as many as the next three players on the team's current roster - Ruggiano (13), Jose Reyes (11) and John Buck (10) - combined, and his 81 RBIs are also by far a team-best.
He's also batting .283, 21 points better than what he managed a season ago.
"That injury really can put you down for a little while," Guillen said. "That's why I think not playing for a couple of days ... he's (not) worth the risk to do that. It's not necessary."
After Monday, the Marlins have 13 games remaining. Stanton is eight home runs shy of matching Gary Sheffield's single-season team record of 42, set in 1996. Stanton's 34 homers this season - it's the total he had in 2011 as well - is already tied for the second-best season in Marlins history, with Miguel Cabrera also hitting 34 in 2007.
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