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Cantu Sits, Confidence Builds in Bullpen

    LOS ANGELES -- After going 1 for 11 in the Atlanta series, Jorge Cantu wasn't in the starting lineup Monday when the Marlins opened up against the Dodgers.

    But manager Edwin Rodriguez said the decision had as much to do with trying to keep the bench players sharp as it did with Cantu's mini-slump.

 "Not only a day off for Cantu," Rodriguez said. "But I want to get Wes Helms in there. I would like to get those extra guys in the game just to keep them sharp. If we want to make a move, we have to keep those guys sharp."

  Brett Hayes and Emilio Bonifacio received starts in Atlanta on Sunday.


  Rodriguez used three pitchers to get through Sunday's eighth inning, with Clay Hensley, Taylor Tankersley and Tim Wood recording one out each before furning the ball over to Leo Nunez in the ninth. And the bullpen likes Rodriguez's style.

  "It's a little bit different than the way Fredi (Gonzalez) was running it," Wood said. "Fredi wasn't running it like Edwin is. It just shows a different managerial style. I wouldn't say I have a preference. But if that's what it takes to win, I'm all for it. It seems like I'm the guy everybody's been picking up and finally I got to pay back last night, and it felt real good."

  Said Hensley: "I think it was a great situation for us to build a little confidence. It wasn't just a starter and a couple of guys out there. It was a big inning, and collectively we came in and everyone did their jobs. So I think it's a great confidence boost for the bullpen as a whole."

    Rodriguez said he will not be afraid to pull Nunez, either, if he senses the closer is in trouble in the ninth.


  Tonight's lineups:

  Marlins: Coghlan, lf; Sanchez, 1b; Ramirez, ss; Uggla, 2b; Ross, cf; Helms, 3b; Paulino, c; Stanton, rf; Robertson, p.

  Dodgers: Furcal, ss; Belliard, 2b; Ethier, rf; Kemp, cf; Blake, 3b; Loney, 1b; Martin, c; Johnson, lf; Ely. p.

  Umpires: HP Gary Cederstrom; 1B -- Ed Hickox; 2B -- Fieldin Culbreth; 3B -- Marty Foster.