« With win Wednesday Marlins can close out winningest road trip ever | Main | Heath Bell says he's patiently waiting to get his job back »

Bonifacio out of the top of the lineup -- for now according to Guillen

HOUSTON -- Through the Marlins' first 30 games Emilio Bonifacio has hit in either the first or second spot in the lineup. Game 31 on Wednesday will be different.

Bonifacio, who leads the National League with 15 stolen bases, has been dropped to 7th in the order -- a move manager Ozzie Guillen said he's making to try to take a little pressure of the struggling center fielder.

"We just want him to relax a little bit... try to get him out of a tough spot -- the pressure to be on base and do stuff for the team," Guillen said. "Hopefully we can put him down a couple days and get him back to where he belongs."

"Boni, when he gets hot, he's very hot. When he's cold 'Wow.' I don't know why. This guy's game is running, speeding. He's struggled on this road trip. Hopefully we move him down for a couple days and then back up. I think we have a better team with Boni in the top of the lineup."

Since starting the season hitting .348 through the first dozen games, Bonifacio gone just 11 for his last 70 at the plate (.157) with nine walks and 18 strikeouts.

"It's no big deal," Bonifacio said. "I have no problem with that... I think right now I've been swinging at pitches outside of the zone. This doesn't change anything. I just have to get on base, get base hits and swing at good pitches."

Donnie Murphy, starting in place of Omar Infante at second base, will hit second behind Jose Reyes. Giancarlo Stanton, who had his 10-game hitting streak snapped Tuesday, has moved up a spot to fifth. He's hitting .308 with six home runs and 12 RBI over his last 11 games.

Asked if Infante (.309, 6 HRs, 13 RBI) might be his option to hit second if Bonifacio continues to struggle, Guillen was non-commital.

"He can be a good one," Guillen said. "But at the same time I don't want to leave the back of the lineup dry. I want to have somebody batting 5th, 6th helping too. I want to keep Boni in the top and not try to change the lineup too much."

> Guillen said he wanted to try and give Hanley Ramirez his first day off this season while getting Murphy at-bats. But Ramirez insisted on staying in the lineup. Guillen said he then decided to give Infante the day off to rest his legs. Infante has been battling hamstring issues all season.

LINEUP

> Marlins (15-15): 1. Jose Reyes SS, 2. Donnie Murphy 2B, 3. Hanley Ramirez 3B, 4. Logan Morrison LF, 5. Giancarlo Stanton, 6. Greg Dobbs 1B, 7. Emilio Bonifacio CF, 8. John Buck C, 9. Josh Johnson P.

> Astros (14-16): 1. Jordan Schafer CF, 2. Jose Altuve, 3. Jed Lowrie SS, 4. Carlos Lee 1B, 5. Travis Buck LF, 6. Chris Johnson 3B, 7. Brian Bogusevic RF, 8. Chris Snyer C, 9. Lucas Harrell P.

Comments