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Marlins' torrid pace on basepaths slowed

Marlins' torrid pace on basepaths slowed

Marlins' torrid pace on basepaths slowed
MIAMI -- Wins and runs aren't the only things that have been hard to come by lately for the Marlins, as their torrid pace on the basepaths has slowed down, too.

After stealing a Major League-best 40 bases in May, the Marlins have swiped just two bags in 11 games this month entering Wednesday.

The dip in stolen bases has been in part due to the team's low on-base percentage this month (.233 in June compared to .325 in May), but the team has also missed Emilio Bonifacio, who leads the team with 20 steals in 21 attempts but has been sidelined since May 18 with a sprained left thumb.

Bonifacio had the stitches in his thumb removed Tuesday and expects to start swinging a bat in 10 days. Still, his production in the running game has been sorely missed.

"Of course we're missing Emilio. He's probably one of the better basestealers on our team," Marlins baserunning coach Gary Thurman said, "but we just haven't been getting on base and hitting the ball like we were in the month of May."

The Marlins' two stolen bases this month are tied with the Orioles for the fewest in the Majors. Not only has the success not been there, but the attempts are down, too. Miami has just four steal attempts in June, ahead of only Detroit and Baltimore.

Part of that, Thurman said, is due to not only Miami's low on-base percentage recently, but also the team not wanting to squander the few baserunners it has been getting.

"Like anything else, it will change and guys will get hot again and we'll get going," Thurman said.

Despite the decline in production this month, the Marlins still lead the big leagues with 62 steals -- nine more than the next closest team, the Padres.

"We were putting a lot of pressure on the other team [in April and May]," shortstop Jose Reyes said. "We need to go back to that style of play again, because when we were able to do that, we were very successful."

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