NEW YORK -- The Marlins' lineup welcomed back some much needed punch on Tuesday.
For the first time since July 7, slugger Giancarlo Stanton was stationed in right field. The 22-year-old All-Star was reinstated from the disabled list, where he had been out with a right knee injury. Stanton was hitless in three at-bats, but he drove in a run with a long sacrifice fly in a decisive four-run fourth inning as Miami took the series opener, 4-2.
To make room on the roster, infielder Donnie Murphy went on the DL with a left hamstring strain.
Stanton had arthroscopic surgery on his knee on July 8, and two cartilage chips were removed. Projected recovery time was four to six weeks. He made it back in four.
So from a recovery standpoint, it was a best-case scenario.
"You don't know how it's going to react," Stanton said. "One of the cuts kind of blew up on me. Not that it set me back, but things like that pop on you that you don't know. It worked out."
Before joining the big league club, Stanton appeared in four rehab games at Class A Jupiter, going 5-for-16 (.313) with a double, two home runs and five RBIs.
In the 25 games that Stanton missed, the Marlins averaged 2.8 runs per game. They hit 13 home runs and drove in 63 runs.
Stanton still leads Miami in home runs (19) and RBIs (51).
Although he was activated, the Marlins will closely monitor Stanton's playing time. He likely will get days off after night games. And periodically, he is expected to get some rest as he regains strength.
"It's more of the muscles around it, being ready to run," Stanton said of getting in playing shape.
Since his surgery, the Marlins' roster has undergone a number of changes. Hanley Ramirez was traded to the Dodgers, while Anibal Sanchez and Omar Infante were dealt to the Tigers.
Stanton is expected to become one of the primary faces of the franchise. At 22 years old, he embraces the role.
"That's fine," he said. "I don't need to do anything different in terms of having to say more or trying to do more on the field.
"The reason I'm in the position where I'm at is because I was doing what I was doing. There is no real point in having to change myself. It's just, live up to it."
Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.