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Marlins' Morrison finding his groove

The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- After a rough July, Miami Marlins first baseman Logan Morrison is finding his groove this month. He entered Friday batting .367 (11-for-30) over his first seven games in August.

"Here's a guy that was out for an extended period of time and just now starting to feel more comfortable," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said.

"Hopefully, he can finish this last part of the season strong. (Before) he was playing through the knee and fighting the bad back. When you go a year or two where you play sporadically, it affects you."

Morrison hit .320 over his first 14 games of the season, which started June 9 after he recovered from knee surgery. He hit .205 in 21 games in July.

Morrison said he recently adjusted his swing to help him drive the ball better.

"It was a mechanical thing just getting synched up again and keeping the barrel of the bat moving and staying behind the ball," said Morrison, who has raised his average from .252 to .275 since Aug. 1.

"I just had to find a way to delay my hands so I can keep the barrel of the bat moving the whole time I'm swinging in order to build up more speed and drive balls into the gaps."

--Rookie outfielder Jake Marisnick got his first day off in the majors Thursday, and it wasn't by choice.

Marisnick was held out of the starting lineup because he's in a 1-for-13 skid.

"Just stay level-headed and not get too down on yourself and not panic," Marisnick said when asked how to handle his first major league skid.

"That can go a long way in getting yourself out of a funk. Staying on an even keel and getting your work in and taking care of everything every day. That's a big part of it."

Marisnick's batting average has dipped to .192 in 15 games and 52 at-bats. He was called up from Double-A on July 23.

"Pitchers definitely don't give in as much here," he said. "Every pitch, they're trying to do something with it. In the lower levels, guys on 2-0 will just try to get a fastball over. Here they're trying to hit a spot or mix you up."

Marisnick said he is trying to keep his swing short.

"I still have to fine-tune on some pitches, and make sure I'm getting the ball over the plate and not chasing pitches," he said.

Justin Ruggiano started in center field for Miami in the series finale against the Pirates at PNC Park.
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