Marlins’ Stanton has strained hamstring

Florida Marlins slugger Mike Stanton will likely remain out of the starting lineup until at least Friday because of a slight strain in his left hamstring, but he will not go on the disabled list, the team said Tuesday.

Stanton hasn’t played since leaving the season opener Friday after five innings because of the injury. He underwent an MRI on Monday, and manager Edwin Rodriguez described the results as good news because the injury isn’t serious.

Rodriguez said Stanton is at 65 to 70 percent and improving slowly.

”Probably for the weekend he might take the field,” Rodriguez said.

Before the Marlins began a three-game series Tuesday against Washington, Stanton jogged and took batting practice, hitting several pitches into the stands.

”I feel good, better than I thought,” Stanton said after the workout. He declined further comment.

Rodriguez said Stanton would be available to pinch hit against the Nationals, but only as a last resort. Gaby Sanchez replaced Stanton in the cleanup spot, and Emilio Bonifacio started in right field.

The Marlins lost their first two games without Stanton, scoring a total of six runs.

”We have a very small margin for error,” Rodriguez said. ”When you take Michael Stanton away from that lineup, it’s a huge difference. Not having him in the middle of the order is a huge setback.”

Stanton missed several weeks of spring training because of a strained right hamstring. He had two homers and 10 RBIs in 18 at-bats.

As a rookie last year, Stanton hit 22 homers in 100 games.