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Marlins striving to establish both sides of plate

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MIAMI -- Sometimes when you are trying to establish the inside part of the plate, pitches get away. On those occasions, hitters tend get upset, like what transpired in the fourth inning of Miami's 11-2 win over the Nationals on Tuesday night.

The umpires issued warnings after Tom Koehler's fastball sailed up and in on Ian Desmond. It wasn't the first pitch to get away from Koehler, who buzzed Jayson Werth.

Koehler certainly wasn't trying to hit anyone, but he definitely was looking to establish pitching inside. For good reason, the Marlins had lost eight straight games, and over that stretch the pitching struggled.

Opponents were getting way too comfortable, and Koehler sought to establish his game plan.

"We've been beaten too many times late in the game over these last couple series, and that's because we haven't established in," Koehler said.

Koehler sent a message, and when Desmond took exception, catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia came to his pitcher's defense.

"We were trying to pitch our game," Saltalamacchia said. "We've got to mix our pitches. Last few nights we were missing over the middle of the plate. [Tuesday], we had to really concentrate on getting on both sides of the plate.

Saltalamacchia notes the Marlins aren't looking to become some buzz teams inside club. They need to make pitches to all sides of the plate.

"I'm not going to say we need to establish in," the catcher said. "I think we need to make our pitches. We've made some bad pitches over the last few games where we left pitches over the middle of the plate. We were trying to go away, leaving it over the middle. Try to go in, leaving it over the middle. I'm not going to say we're going to go in on everybody, but we've got to hit both sides of the plate, and we've got to continue to pitch."

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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