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New Venue, Mostly Same Lineup (For Now)


            NEW YORK -- Emilio Bonifacio is back in the leadoff spot tonight as the Marlins get their first look at Citi Field, the Mets' swanky new digs. But how long the slumping Bonifacio remains at the top may hinge on how quickly he snaps out of his funk.

            And if Bonifacio doesn't get it going soon, who can the Marlins count on to bat leadoff for them? Cameron Maybin hasn't done any better.

            "I'm not going to lie to you and say I'm not worried about it," said manager Fredi Gonzalez. "I've kicked a lot of stuff around. I think it's time to start tinkering."

            The Marlins' recent offensive woes go beyond the team's lack of productivity in the No. 1 hole. The Marlins averaged 6.4 runs through their first 12 games when they were 11-1, but have fallen off to a 2.5 rpg average during the current six-game skid.

            Bonifacio has been in a tailspin since his hot start. He is just 6 for his last 50 with 17 whiffs. Maybin is hitting just .189 overall and has struck out 22 times in 53 at bats. The Marlins' leadoff hitters rank 28th in the majors -- ahead of only the Nationals and Phillies -- with a paltry .292 on-base percentage.

           Whatever happens, one adjustment Gonzalez said he will not make is to return Hanley Ramirez to the leadoff role.

           "I think our lineup is so much better with him hitting third," Gonzalez said.

 .         Marlins: 1. Emilio Bonifacio, 3b; 2. John Baker, c; 3. Hanley Ramirez, ss; 4. Jorge Cantu, 1b; 5. Dan Uggla, 2b; 6. Jeremy Hermida, lf; 7. Cody Ross, rf; 8. Alfredo Amezaga, cf; 9. Anibal Sanchez, p.

           Mets: 1. Jose Reyes, ss; 2. Luis Castillo, 2b; 3. Carlos Beltran, cf; 4. Gary Sheffield, lf; 5. David Wright, 3b; 6. Ryan Church, rf; 7. Fernando Tatis, 1b; 8. Omir Santos, c; 9. John Maine, p.

                      This and That:

                      --  Cody Ross on Sunday became the fourth pitcher of last resort -- a position player -- to take the mound for the Marlins, joining Jason Wood (2007), John Mabry (2001) and John Cangelosi (1997). Ross, Wood and Cangelosi each delivered one scoreless inning in their cameos. Mabry was raked for five runs in 1/3 inning, thus owning the highest single-season ERA (135.00) in team history. Second on that list: Chad Bentz, a real pitcher (31.50 in 2005).

                      Five Highest Single-Season ERA's in Marlins History:

                      1. John Mabry (2001) -- 135.00

                      2. Chad Bentz (2005) -- 31.50

                      3. Nate Field (2007) -- 27.00

                      4. Yorman Bazardo (2005) -- 21.60 

                          Jim Crowell (2005) -- 21.60

                      .

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