MIAMI GARDENS Marlins batting coach John Mallee and Emilio Bonifacio were in the batting cage more than three hours before the start of Sunday's game, trying to correct what went wrong Saturday night.
Bonifacio had come up to bat in the third inning with men on second and third and no outs.
Bonifacio grounded out to the pitcher, the first of three straight outs for the Marlins as they failed to get any of the runners home.
"Unacceptable," was Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez's assessment of the third inning failure.
The two runners stranded in the third were among the nine left on base in the 3-2 loss to the Brewers, and the Marlins went 1-for-10 with runners in scoring position.
That continued Sunday, as the Marlins stranded 11 runners and went 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position in a 6-5 loss in 11 innings.
That failure to bring runners home is the main reason the Marlins have lost four straight games, all by one run, with the last three of those coming at the hands of the Brewers.
In those games, the Marlins have stranded 31 and are 5-for-32 with runners in scoring position.
"When you don't execute offensively when you have runners in scoring position you don't win games," Mallee said.
Mallee said the batter has to have a good plan and approach when he gets in the batter's box, and he said Bonifacio had that Saturday.
"He is trying to pull the ball. He got the pitch he wanted and put a swing on it and it went to the pitcher. A foot to the right or left and he drives in a run and moves the runner over," Mallee said.
After the game, Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan said part of the problem could be the youth of the Marlins lineup.
"When you are a younger offensive team there are growing pains, and I think that is what we are going through right now. We can't use that as an excuse," Coghlan said.
Mallee said youth and inexperience is not an excuse.
"They are major league baseball players. They expect to do it, and we expect them to do it, and sometimes it doesn't work out," Mallee said. "The game is hitting with men in scoring position, that is what it is all about. When you have a chance to win and don't execute, it is really tough."
Mallee said he goes over the failed at-bats with the hitters. "You have to learn from your mistakes," he said.
Given what has happened to the Marlins in the first three games of this series, there a many teachable moments.
Marlins batting coach battling clutch hitting slump
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