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Hechavarria takes off in July atop Marlins' lineup

Hechavarria takes off in July atop Marlins' lineup

Hechavarria takes off in July atop Marlins' lineup

DENVER -- The month of July has been very kind to Adeiny Hechavarria.

Hitting at the top of Miami's lineup for the 10th time Tuesday, Hechavarria seems to have found his groove. Through 17 games this month, the speedy Marlins shortstop is hitting .418 and has driven in four runs.

"Early in the season, when he was struggling off, we were hitting him seventh or eighth, and it's tough to utilize a guy's speed when the pitcher's coming up behind him," manager Mike Redmond said. "So getting him out of that spot and getting him into the leadoff hitter, wherever we hit him ... it enables different parts of his game to come up."

Hechavarria showcased that speed when he dropped a bunt single down the third-base line Monday, his lone hit on a 1-for-4 night. He also has two stolen bases this month, and Redmond said Hechavarria's speed can be a critical factor in jump-starting a Marlins offense that just broke out of a 37-innings scoreless streak.

"It's a huge weapon, because he's not a guy who walks a lot," Redmond said. "So if you don't walk a lot, you got to figure out a way to get on base. If it's a bunt, you got to respect the bunt so it brings the infielders in and increases his ability to get hits, because with those guys coming in, they can't cover as much ground."

Ian McCue is an associate reporter for MLB.com. Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter Less

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