05/06/12 6:15 PM ET
Stealing Boni closing in on Marlins record
By Joe Frisaro / MLB.com
Entering Sunday, Bonifacio was a perfect 13-for-13 in stolen base attempts, two shy of matching a team mark. In 1994, Chuck Carr swiped 15 straight before being caught.
Bonifacio moved one shy of the record when he stole second in the eighth inning on Sunday for his 14th straight.
Edgar Renteria was 13-for-13 in 1996, and Derrek Lee had a string of 12 in a row in 2003.
One of the fastest players in the game, Bonifacio entered Sunday with the most steals in the Majors. He has one more than Dee Gordon and two more than Starlin Castro and Jordan Schafer. Each of them has been thrown out. In fact, every player with at least six steals has been caught at least once.
Bonifacio's stolen base totals have dramatically risen since last June 20, when former Marlins manager Jack McKeon moved the speedster to the top of the order. Bonifacio led off at that point for the rest of the 2011 season. This year, he has batted mostly second behind Jose Reyes.
Since last June 20, Bonifacio has 50 steals and he's been caught eight times.
In that span, Bonifacio also has the most steals of any player in the big leagues. Michael Bourn and Cameron Maybin are next with 41.
Marlins showcasing successful sidearmers
SAN DIEGO -- Deception coming at you sideways from both sides is a luxury Miami's bullpen is exploiting.
The Marlins can offer hitters contrasting -- and yet somewhat similar -- looks by going with Steve Cishek and Randy Choate. Both throw sidearm, but not from the same side.
Cishek, a lanky 6-foot-6 right-hander, is emerging into one of the top relievers in the National League. Choate, a veteran, offers a sidearm look from the left side.
"Matchup-wise, I think it gives teams a heartache," said Choate, a lefty specialist being asked to get right-handed hitters out more often this year. "Obviously, Cishek throws a lot harder than I do."
The right-handed Cishek is throwing in the low- to mid-90s, compared to Choate's readings in the 80s. Choate also attacks lefties more with his slider, and left-handed hitters are 1-for-17 (.059) against him this year.
Cishek relies on his fastball and will keep hitters off stride with a slider. Right-handed batters so far are 2-for-26 (.077) against him.
"I think it creates deception," said Cishek, who threw three scoreless innings and picked up the win on Friday night against the Padres. "I'm so tall. They just see ankles and elbows coming at them."
It's not too often you see a team have right-handed and left-handed sidearm relievers. Choate remembers being with the D-backs in 2004, when he was a teammate of Mike Koplove, a right-hander who threw from the side.
Drafted out of Florida State by the Yankees in 1997, Choate was first groomed as a starter. New York wanted him to throw more over the top, and envisioned him being a Jamie Moyer-type pitcher.
That didn't work out, so they told him to throw however he was comfortable. The arm slot lowered and he was moved along as a Graeme Lloyd-like lefty specialist.
"I dropped three quarters, and then went to straight sidearm," Choate said. "That was always easy and more natural when I started doing it from there."
Cishek, a fifth-round pick by the Marlins in 2007, attended Falmouth High School in Massachusetts, and Carson-Newman College.
He said he was never instructed to lower his arm to throw. It came naturally.
"I've thrown that way as long as I can remember," the right-hander said. "When I saw myself throw in college on video for the first time, I didn't realize how low my arm-slot was. So I've always thought I was throwing over the top. It's just how I've learned to throw for a long time."
Because of how rangy Cishek is, right-handed hitters get the feeling that the ball is coming at them from behind them.
"There aren't too many people throwing that same velocity for that arm angle," Cishek said.
Clutch Infante establishing consistency
SAN DIEGO -- The most consistent Miami position player continues to be Omar Infante.
The smooth-fielding second baseman boasts a team-best .325 batting average, which was the 11th-best mark in the National League entering Sunday.
Infante has come up with big hits and crucial RBIs this weekend at San Diego.
On Friday night, he delivered the game-winning RBI double in the 12th inning in a 9-8 win over the Padres at Petco Park. And on Saturday, Infante drove in two runs, one coming on a sacrifice fly in a two-run eighth inning.
"We're playing good right now," Infante said. "We're feeling good. We're playing together. Everyone is doing what they need to do. We're doing the little thing that's important."
Infante has come through all season, especially in crucial situations. He's been so steady that he was disappointed at himself for going two straight games at San Francisco without a hit. He had a six-game hitting streak prior to an 0-for-8 spell in the first two games vs. the Giants.
He rebounded with three hits on Friday and a 1-for-3 game on Saturday in San Diego.
"I think in San Francisco, I lost a little bit of my timing," he said. "I didn't feel I was in good position to hit the ball. I keep working in the cage and my approach."
Infante has hits in nine of his past 11 games. Only three times has he gone as many as two consecutive games without a hit.
Logan Morrison was back starting in left field on Sunday after he rested on Friday and Saturday due to a sore right knee.
The Marlins outrighted right-handed pitching prospect Omar Poveda to Double-A Jacksonville, and he is now off the 40-man roster.
Emilio Bonifacio has 25 hits this season, all singles.
Since hitting his first home run of the season, which ended a 97 at-bat drought dating to last year, Giancarlo Stanton has five home runs in his last 28 at-bats entering Sunday.