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Saltalamacchia relieved to bust hitless streak

SAN FRANCISCO -- Marlins catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia broke out of his 0-for-26 slump in a big way Friday night, belting four hits in a 7-5 Marlins victory.

So once he got to first base in the second inning, what was he thinking?

"Don't get picked off," Saltamacchia said with a smile. "That was No. 1 -- don't get picked off and stay on first as long as you can. Whether it's a broken bat or any kind of base hit, I think that's just a sigh of relief, like, 'Finally.' Especially in the stretch that I was in."

Signed to a three-year, $21 million deal this past winter after winning the World Series with the Red Sox, the veteran catcher was the centerpiece of Miami's offseason plan. Through 39 contests to start the year, Saltalamacchia was batting .264/.354/.464 with six homers and 12 RBIs.

But beyond the numbers, manager Mike Redmond said veterans like Saltalamacchia have had a huge impact on the clubhouse's culture.

"The guys that we've brought in have been on winning teams," Redmond said. "They've been around for a long time and they know what it takes to play every day. They bring stability, not only to our clubhouse but our lineup."

Now that he's had a chance to see how the Marlins operate on a daily basis, Saltalamacchia said he's not surprised the team has been able to stay competitive in the National League East despite losing 100 games last year.

"I love it. We've got a lot of young guys in here that are eager to show what they can do," Saltalamacchia said. "We've got a lot of good, young pitching and really good mixture of veteran guys who have been playing good baseball. We've got a really good team."

Alex Espinoza is a contributor to Adam Berry is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry.
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