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Struggling Cishek uses off-day to refocus

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Struggling Cishek uses off-day to refocus

NEW YORK -- A round of golf on Thursday helped Steve Cishek clear his mind before the Marlins braced for their final series of the first half.

Cishek surrendered three runs in the 10th inning in Wednesday's 4-3 loss at Arizona, taking his third blown save of the season.

"That last game in Arizona was probably one of the toughest ones for me to get past, just because we had a two-run lead," said Cishek, who entered Friday with 20 saves this season. "I had a hard time with that one."

The Marlins were off on Thursday, and Cishek, along with several teammates, played golf at the Bethpage State Park black course.

"It was good to have the off-day," Cishek said. "I got to play a little golf to get my mind away from baseball a little bit. Take some frustration on some little white golf balls."

On the mound, Cishek has struggled in recent outings with command of his slider. He noted that his arm slot is off with the pitch. So instead of relying on his fastball and slider, hitters are zoning in on the fastball.

"I'm not driving [the slider] like I usually do," he said. "I'm kind of falling off, trying to make movement before it's even out of my hand. Overdoing stuff, basically, instead of trusting it. All that stems off me keeping my line to the target a lot better than it has been."

Physically, the Miami closer is fine. His velocity, actually, has been increasing, as he is now throwing 94 mph with his deceptive sidearm delivery.

"I feel fine," he said. "It's just a lack of executing, really."

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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