Marlins' lefties play it smart, beat the shift

Marlins' lefties play it smart, beat the shift

Marlins' lefties play it smart, beat the shift
MIAMI -- The little things helped the Marlins come through in a big way Sunday.

Reeling during a six-game skid and struggling to do what they wanted to in June, the Marlins decided to take what their opponent gave them instead. The result: a 9-0 win over the Blue Jays.

"Those are the types of things that winning clubs do," Greg Dobbs said. "They try to take advantage of what the other team is going to give them."

The left-handed Dobbs led off the second facing a heavy shift, with the Jays moving an infielder into shallow right field, leaving the third-base side open. Dobbs made them pay by lining a grounder straight down the line, turning what would normally be a routine groundout into a single.

It was the first of four consecutive hits for the Marlins to open the frame, and it set up a four-run inning that gave them an early lead they wouldn't look back from. Omar Infante followed with a double and Scott Cousins brought Dobbs home with a single. John Buck then hit a towering three-run shot to center field.

The Marlins again took advantage of a Blue Jays shift in the sixth, when Logan Morrison led off with a bunt single down the third-base line. That set up a two-run homer by Dobbs to make it a six-run game.

"If they're going to play the shift on me like that, I'm going to just try to take advantage of it," Morrison said. "If there's not runners in scoring position or runners on base, and it's late in the game, and the score calls for it, I'm going to square around early.

"I'm not worried about hitting a solo home run there. What are the chances of that happening? Just get on base and trust the guy behind you. If you're going to do that, and they give you an opportunity like that, go ahead."

While he said his team has been doing the little things from time to time, manager Ozzie Guillen commended his team for its execution Sunday -- something it lacked during the six-game skid. On Saturday, with the Marlins and Blue Jays tied at 1 and the go-ahead run at second in the form of Infante, Gaby Sanchez moved the runner to third on a grounder for the first out of the inning.

However, the Marlins weren't able to capitalize en route to a 7-1 loss, as Brett Hayes and Dobbs both struck out to end the inning. That wasn't the case in Sunday's series finale.

"We executed," Dobbs said. "If we can continue to do that -- which I don't see why not -- good things are going to happen. But you have to focus on that execution every pitch of every game. You can't take a pitch off, and that's what we did today."