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Ozzie may have finally settled on keeping Omar 2nd, Boni 7th in Marlins lineup

ATLANTA -- A week after dropping Emilio Bonifacio from the No. 2 spot in the batting order to seventh, and bringing Omar Infante up to bat second, manager Ozzie Guillen sounded Wednesday like his days of juggling the Marlins lineup to find the right combination may be over.

"When I first got this job, that was my idea. How do I put Omar batting second?," Guillen said before the Marlins took on the Braves at Turner Field. "But I needed some production in the bottom of the lineup, too. Early in the season Bonifacio was doing good, and then he started struggling a little bit. 

"I think the lineup we have is a lot better now because we have speed also in the bottom of the lineup. We can steal bases late in the game. Before we couldn't, we had slow guys in the bottom. I think it makes the lineup a little bit better overall."

Bonifacio went into Wednesday's game hitting .417 (10 of 24) with a double, three triples and two RBI since being moved down to seventh in Houston. He was just .152 as the No. 2 hitter in the 17 previous games before that.

Infante, meanwhile, is hitting .381 (8 of 21) with four RBI since being moved back into the second spot. Last year, Infante hit .278 with six homers and 37 RBI in 110 starts in the two-hole.

"I think Infante is going to see more fastballs because Reyes is on base," Guillen said. "But it's all about getting on base and good at-bats. Little by little we've started getting better. Hopefully, we start to feel each other out and not wait until the ninth [inning] to score some runs."

The Marlins finally did that in their win Tuesday, scoring five runs in the fourth inning. The Marlins, though, have been infamous this season for waiting until after the sixth inning to get their offense going.

Tuesday, Infante had the ninth four-hit game of his career. He said the bunt single in the third inning, which ended an 0-for-11 string, got him going. "After that I felt better with my approach," Infante said.

Asked if his move to the seventh spot has taken some pressure off him, Bonifacio said: "I don't know. I just know I'm not swinging at bad pitches like I was before. That's really the difference. 

NO CELEBRATING FOR JJ

There was no post-game celebration for Josh Johnson after he picked up his first win in 13 months on Tuesday night. Asked Wednesday how many bottles of champagne he popped, the two-time All-Star joked: "Too many to count."

Johnson didn't even keep the game ball. "You just move onto the next one," he said.

Johnson, who was born and raised in Minnesota, will make his next start Sunday in Cleveland. He said he's been to Progressive Field just once -- as a 12-year old. "We were playing in a World Series Tournament somewhere nearby," Johnson said. "I think I saw five innings there."

> The radar gun at Marlins Park wasn't operating Tuesday. Johnson said he's not sure what his velocity was because of it. Pitching coach Randy St. Claire said the velocity of Johnson's pitches Tuesday "looked about the same as usual to me."

> Wednesday's game was a chance for Guillen to reunite with his former White Sox hitting coach Greg Walker, who is now on Fredi Gonzalez's staff with the Braves. Walker -- along with Guillen -- was fired after nine seasons in Chicago last October. 

> Guillen said he plans on using Logan Morrison, Greg Dobbs and Austin Kearns in the designated hitter spot when the Marlins play at American League parks during Interleague play. 

WEDNESDAY'S LINEUPS

> Marlins (19-17): 1. Jose Reyes SS, 2. Omar Infante 2B, 3. Hanley Ramirez 3B, 4. Austin Kearns LF, 5. Giancarlo Stanton RF, 6. Gaby Sanchez 1B, 7. Emilio Bonifacio CF, 8. John Buck C, 9. Mark Buehrle.

> Braves (23-14): 1. Tyler Pastornicky SS, 2. Martin Prado LF, 3. Freddie Freeman 1B, 4. Dan Uggla 2B, 5. Brian McCann C, 6. Matt Diaz RF, 7. Jason Heyward CF, 8. Juan Francisco 3B, 9. Mike Minor P.

Comments

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andy

y sucky buck every game

Flagstafffishfan

Good swings from Gaby tonight. Would love to see him come around. Pretty decent all around game. Nice to see Bell settle down too, the guy needed a good inning.

Flav C

Luckily we had 4 runs advantage, it wasn't so much threatening.

Glags

I'm not ready to start seeing this team I'm a positive light quite yet but the signs are encouraging. They have to score runs like they did yesterday more consistently but I'm just pointing out the obvious. Not surprisingly Hanley went 0-4 in another win that he didn't contribute anything to.

WDS

Bell will be better when he can consistently keep his fastball down, and breaking ball over the plate for strikes.

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