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Front office execs summoned to Miami to discuss fading Marlins

     At least three top roving baseball executives for the Marlins have been summoned to Miami for a meeting, presumably to talk about what can be done to reverse the team's June nosedive, which is now nearing terminal velocity. The Marlins have lost 17 of their past 20 games, plummeting from a first-place tie in the National League East on June 3 to sole possession of last, nine games out.

     While one source said the meeting is common practice as the season approaches the halfway point, another said it is anything but as the front office scrambles for solutions to end the skid. They'll also discuss what direction to take in advance of the July 31 non-waiver trading deadline. Arriving to South Florida for the meeting, which was scheduled for today, are assistant general manager Dan Jennings, vice president of player development Marty Scott and senior advisor to player personnel Orrin Freeman.

     They are expected to meet with the Miami-based front office contingent of club president David Samson, president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest and general manager Michael Hill -- among others -- to discuss the team's rapidly deterioriating prospects. Owner Jeffrey Loria is not in Miami but could participate via conference call.

     After losing to the Cardinals on Tuesday, the Marlins -- a team most picked to contend for at least a wild card playoff spot after spending lavishly on free agents over the winter -- dropped to six games below .500 for the first time since they were 8-14.

     The Marlins have been outscored 144-74 this month, producing an overall negative run differential on the season of minus 68. Only the lowly Twins (-88) and Padres (-79) rank lower. The Marlins and Royals are the only two teams in the majors that have yet to score as many as 10 runs in a game. Yet the Marlins have given up 10 or more runs seven times.