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Valaika likely headed to DL with wrist injury; Sanabia said he doesn't expect to miss next start

On a night the Marlins were hoping would be a special homecoming for starter Alex Sanabia, injuries continued to pile up in a 5-1 loss to the Padres, a game played in front of 16,263 fans at Petco Park.

The Marlins -- already with 10 players on the disabled list -- lost Sanabia in the fifth inning to a tight right groin, and then utility infielder Chris Valaika to a small fracture on the tip of his left wrist.

Sanabia said he doesn't expect to miss his next start and called the injury "a little pull -- nothing serious, just minor." But Valaika, who made Tuesday's start for the recently injured Donovan Solano, appears as though he too will be heading to the disabled list.

"I just got my hand in there and it kind of got bent back, a little hyper extended," said Valaika, who was injured trying to make a catch and tag on Padres first baseman Yonder Alonso while he was stealing second.

"I knew right away something didn't feel right. [Trainer] Sean [Cunningham] and them came out and saw what it was like and decided to take me out."

Will he need surgery? "I don't think so," Valaika said. "But again we just got x-rays and the preliminary stuff -- just a little fracture. Once we see Doctor Kaplan back home we'll go from there."

Making his first big league start back home in front of more than 30 family members and friends a mere 15-minute drive north from his old neighborhood in Chula Vista, Sanabia was hoping for a much better night. But the 24-year old right-hander gave up four quick runs on nine hits and dropped his fourth consecutive start.

He lasted just 4 1/3 innings and left after he struckout Alonso with a runner on in the fifth. He said he didn't feel any discomfort until he made the final pitch to Alonso, his 76th of the night and 52nd strike.

"We did a couple tests it was smooth and felt fine, didn't have any problems," Sanabia said. "I should be good for the next start."

With Valaika and Solano out the Marlins are now down to veteran utility man Nick Green as their only other experienced middle infielder outside of starting shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and third baseman Placido Polanco.

Chris Coghlan, who hadn't played second base since his major league debut on May 8, 2009, saw his first action there as an emergency fill-in when Valaika went down. He immediately took a ground ball and flipped it to Hechavarria for a quick out, but the Marlins couldn't turn what might have been an inning-ending double play.

"I got no problem playing there," Coghlan said of second base. "Besides short, pitcher and catcher I feel I can play anywhere. I have confidence in the abilities I've been given. I take grounders every day for stuff like this. You never expect its going to happen. But that's why it pays to be ready and practice for whatever."

Marlins manager Redmond and Marlins President of Baseball Operations Larry Beinfest will likely have to make another move on the 40-man roster to provide more infield depth. They were meeting late into the night Tuesday.

Some potential options: shortstop Wilson Valdez (.235, 8 RBI in Triple A New Orleans), utility infielder Matt Downs (.220, 3 HR, 16 RBI in New Orleans) and Derek Dietrich (.282, 4 HR, 16 RBI in Double A Jacksonville). 

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