MIL@MIA: Morrison clubs first extra-base hit of year

MIAMI -- Logan Morrison's back has improved since experiencing tightness during Friday batting practice, but the Marlins first baseman missed his third consecutive game on Saturday.

Morrison has not played since finishing 2-for-3 with an RBI double and a run scored in the Marlins' 5-4 win against the Brewers on Tuesday.

"I guess he's feeling better," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "He said that he feels a lot better than he did [Friday], which is good. So whether or not he'll play [Sunday], I don't know that. We've got to make sure he's feeling good enough to go."

Morrison has played three games since the Marlins reinstated him from the 60-day disabled list on June 9. He is batting .444 (4-for-9) with six total bases, two runs scored and a .545 on-base percentage.

Morrison, who underwent offseason right knee surgery, had played five consecutive games through Tuesday -- two with Double-A Jacksonville and three with Miami.

Redmond said the team wants to ease Morrison and Giancarlo Stanton back into lineup in an effort to keep them healthy long-term. Stanton was in the Marlins' lineup for a fifth straight game on Saturday, but back issues have kept Morrison from doing the same.

"We'll make sure he's feeling good before he plays again," Redmond said.

Olivo walks out, placed on restricted list

STL@MIA: Marlins crew interviews Redmond about Olivo

MIAMI -- Catcher Miguel Olivo left the Marlins after batting practice Friday without permission and has been placed on the team's restricted list, halting his pay.

Outfielder Jordan Brown was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans to fill Olivo's roster spot. Olivo's locker now belongs to Logan Morrison.

While the team didn't make an official statement on Olivo's reasons for leaving, Miami manager Mike Redmond speculated that the catcher was unhappy with his playing time. Olivo had made only 17 plate appearances since May 16 -- the night Jeff Mathis made his season debut.

According to Redmond, Olivo did not ask to be traded. But the team could still try to work out a trade for the veteran catcher.

"I know it wasn't an ideal situation for him not getting to play a lot, but at the same time too, the team relies on you, and we all rely on you," Redmond said. "Had that happened after the game, it would have been probably a different situation.

"When you do it before the game and put your team in a tough spot, that's tough. It's tough on your teammates and your coaches and everyone. It's just not a good situation at all. You'd have to ask him really why he chose that time to do it."

"I told them I wanted to be released and they wouldn't give it to me," Olivo said Saturday in a phone interview with the Miami Herald. "I don't understand why they don't release me. I told them I wanted to be released because I have 30 days of not playing. I need to play."

Olivo's sudden departure left the Marlins shorthanded in Friday's 5-4 win against the Cardinals. Placido Polanco and Morrison were day to day with back issues, leaving only Justin Ruggiano and Rob Brantly as options off the bench.

"We were short. We were light last night," Redmond said. "We really got put in a tough spot. It's definitely not a situation we ever want to be in.

"You're always shocked. I've never been involved with something like that when you have somebody just leave after batting practice. I think everyone was kind of in shock."

Olivo signed with Miami on March 28 to serve as Brantly's backup until Mathis returned from a broken collarbone suffered on Feb. 23.

The veteran's contract is a one-year deal worth $800,000.

The 34-year-old backstop appeared in 22 of the Marlins' first 40 games, tallying 15 starts. He batted .186 with three home runs and five RBIs in 62 plate appearances.

Mathis was recalled from a rehab assignment and reinstated from the 15-day disabled list on May 14, but did not make his first appearance until May 16. He started at catcher and finished 0-for-4 in a 5-3 loss to the Reds.

The Marlins held onto Olivo when Mathis returned, but rarely played him in the next 25 games. Olivo had only 17 plate appearances after May 16, but he made the most of his limited time, batting .267 (4-for-15) with one home run and four RBIs. His one start since May 16 came as the designated hitter in a 4-3 loss to the White Sox on May 24. He finished 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly.

Mathis has made 38 plate appearances in 11 starts since May 16.

Cishek turns corner, starts string of saves

STL@MIA: Cishek notches the save in a 5-4 Marlins win

MIAMI -- Heading into the bottom of the 20th inning at Citi Field on June 8, the Marlins needed Steve Cishek to slam the door.

After more than six hours of baseball against the Mets, Cishek delivered. He finished off New York with seven pitches, notching his sixth save in eight chances, and his first since May 10.

Cishek's 20th-inning save kicked off his current stretch of four consecutive perfect outings. He has needed only 39 pitches to get through his past four innings, striking out four batters.

The closer pinpoints his performance in a 5-3 loss to the White Sox on May 26 as a turning point. He gave up two hits and a critical insurance run in the bottom of the eighth.

"I've kind of been trying to build off that, how I felt," Cishek said. "I'm just attacking the zone, and whatever happens happens."

After faltering against Chicago, Cishek had a 4.87 ERA and a 1.48 WHIP. He had especially struggled against left-handers before June 8, recording a 4.15 ERA and a 1.92 WHIP.

"I was a little uptight for a while," Cishek said. "Now I'm going out there and just whatever happens happens. That's the best mentality to take when you're coming into a game like that."

Since pitching a perfect 20th for the Marlins in a 2-1 win against the Mets, Cishek has mowed down left-handers, who have gone 0-for-9 with three strikeouts against him.

In Miami's 5-4 win against St. Louis on Friday, Cishek retired three lefties in order. His ERA is down to 3.86 and his WHIP has dropped to 1.18.

"He's worked on execution of his pitches, especially to lefties," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "I think it's just consistency. Earlier in the season, he was making some mistakes inside to lefties.

"Now he's just tightened up his breaking ball and he's throwing a few more changeups and he's spotting up his fastball. That's what made him successful last year, and for whatever reason, it wasn't working earlier in the season. But he's been able to work and make the steps he needed to make to get back on track, and he's been outstanding."

Coghlan to see specialist for ailing calf

MIA@PHI: Coghlan dives to snag Rollins' fly ball

MIAMI -- Marlins outfielder Chris Coghlan will travel to Dallas on Sunday to meet with a specialist on Monday to determine the specifics of his calf pain.

"He's just seeing another doctor to find out exactly what he's got going on," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "We want to be certain what the next step is, whether it's rest or whatever."

Coghlan was placed on the 15-day disabled list with right calf nerve irritation last Sunday. An MRI exam on Monday revealed what the Marlins now believe is a lower back strain.

The uncertainty surrounding the 2009 National League Rookie of the Year's injury has resulted in him being sidelined indefinitely. Coghlan, who has not played since June 8, initially believed his injury was only a minor setback.

"I was a little bit surprised it was a little more serious than what I thought," Coghlan said. "I thought I'd be back in two weeks, and I don't think it's looking like that so far."

Coghlan's injury could potentially take a substantial chunk out of arguably his best season since 2009.

He had been trending upward since earning a spot in the everyday lineup, batting .343 (23-for-67) with four runs and nine RBIs in 73 plate appearances since May 18.

Coghlan credited his resurgence to simply receiving more playing time.

"The first day, I was really bummed," Coghlan said. "I was upset, frustrated and bummed. And then after pouting about it for a couple of hours, I was like, 'All right, I've got a choice to either continue pouting and feeling sorry for myself or grind through this deal.'

"So, I've change my mindset and my attitude. This is what it is. There's nothing I could've done to prevent it. It's something that happened, and I've just got to get better and get back on the field as soon as I can."