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McKeon on lineup tweaks; Morrison on situational hitting

If it's not working, try something new.

After keeping roughly the same order for the Marlins' last four losses, manager Jack McKeon tweaked his lineup for Saturday's game against the Mets, jumping Gaby Sanchez into the 3-spot. He dropped Logan Morrison to No. 6 and moved Mike Stanton to fifth. With left-handed Chris Capuano starting for New York, McKeon wanted to load his righties at the top of the order.

"We changed LoMo and Sanchez and it worked for a few days, so let’s try this for a day or two. Plus, if we win, I might keep it that way. There aren’t too many parts we can move around, really. With the left-hander going, just get all the right-handers up [there]. ... . No particular reason, just to change things and see if we can get lucky and find a spot where somebody will deliver."

Sanchez broke a 25-game homerless drought with a long ball in the sixth inning last night. Said McKeon: "He’s swinging the bat much better, that’s one of the reasons why I moved him back up there [to third]," McKeon said. "But you also like to have a little protection for Hanley [Ramirez] too."

McKeon might have slotted Morrison behind Ramirez, but he thought it made more sense with the lefty starter to go with Stanton.

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The box score says Logan Morrison went 0 for 4 in Friday’s series opener against the Mets. The stat sheet doesn’t lie, but it also doesn’t show Morrison’s impact on the game.

With Emilio Bonifacio on third and the infield back in the first inning, Morrison hit a ground ball to score the run. In his second at-bat, Morrison hit the ball on the ground to the right side to advance Omar Infante to third. And in the seventh, Morrison hit a line-drive sacrifice fly to center to score Brett Hayes.

“Just try to get the job done, not try to do too much,” Morrison said. “Obviously you’d like to get a hit out of the situation, but at the very least, you’ve got to score the run.”

Since taking over, McKeon has stressed doing the little things to help the team win games. Though it hasn’t been a loud month for Morrison, the left fielder has contributed through situational hitting.

Morrison was hitting just .202 in his last 178 at-bats entering Saturday’s game, but he was leading the National League with 21 RBI in July.

“When we have an ability to score a run, you’ve got to do the job,” Morrison said. “And it kind of makes your job easier, because you don’t have to worry about [too much]. Just roll over a baseball, get the runner in.”

With lefty Chris Capuano pitching Saturday for the Mets, McKeon moved Morrison to the six hole.

“LoMo has done a good job,” McKeon said. “He goes through a few games where he rolls over on a few. But we’ve seen him do that before and then all of a sudden bust loose and be a catalyst for our club.” 

Even if it might not seem so, Morrison has been quietly productive.

-- Matt Forman

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