SAN FRANCISCO -- Before Jose Reyes gets his running game going, the Marlins shortstop first acknowledges that he has to hit. But once his average starts rising, look for the All-Star to be in motion more.
"No doubt," Reyes said on Wednesday. "If I get on base, I'm going to run for sure."
Reyes has five stolen bases in eight chances this season. He says he hasn't taken off more because of his struggles at the plate. When you're batting .224 with a .302 on-base percentage, there are limited chances to run.
The Marlins saw on Tuesday night the importance of the running game. In their 2-1 win over the Giants, Reyes swiped second and moved to third in the fourth inning of a scoreless game. He scored the first run on Hanley Ramirez's RBI single through a drawn-in infield.
"We're not hitting that many home runs," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We're struggling at the plate. We have to figure out how to score."
The Marlins constructed their roster to take advantage of speed. Reyes, Emilio Bonifacio and Ramirez are threats to run.
On Tuesday night, all three stole a base.
Guillen noted that in a recent win over Arizona at Marlins Park, the game-winning run was set up on a hit-and-run by Bonifacio.
As the leadoff hitter, Reyes takes it upon himself to get the offense going.
"If I get on, that's what I'm going to try to do, steal and put myself in scoring position," he said. "It is important, because when you have a leadoff guy who gets on a lot, and he's stealing bases, that means you are trying to score, no matter how."