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Jose Reyes keeps playing his game as Marlins come undone

Jose Reyes of the Miami Marlins runs out

Jose Reyes of the Miami Marlins runs out his infield single during the fourth inning of a game against the Mets at Citi Field. (Aug. 7, 2012) Credit: Jim McIsaac

Jose Reyes signed a six-year, $106-million deal with the Marlins in the offseason as the centerpiece of the team's free-agent bonanza, which also included starter Mark Buehrle and closer Heath Bell.

Reyes, Buehrle and Bell are still in Miami, but the team has since undergone a massive makeover. Second baseman Omar Infante and righthander Anibal Sanchez were dealt to the Tigers, and the former franchise cornerstone, third baseman Hanley Ramirez, was shipped to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Relief pitcher Edward Mujica and first baseman Gaby Sanchez followed in separate deals.

In his second series at Citi Field as a member of the opposition, Reyes maintained he was not discouraged by the underachieving Marlins' fire sale.

"No, it didn't get me frustrated at all because, like I said, my job here is to play baseball," Reyes said before Tuesday night's series opener against the Mets. "The other stuff, I can't control. They brought me here to play Jose Reyes' game, and that's what I've been doing."

After a slow start, Reyes has returned to form. His hitting streak increased to 25 with an infield single off Jonathon Niese in the fourth inning Tuesday night.

Following the Ramirez trade, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen moved Reyes from the leadoff position to the No. 3 hole. Before Tuesday night's game, in 11 games batting third, his average was .413.

The club's woes and ensuing salary dumps do not appear to have damaged Reyes' psyche.

"Jose is happy because he is a good player," Guillen said. "Jose can hit .120 or .390; he's got five more years on his contract. Why should that bother him? Jose is up there doing his job. And I don't know how the kid was [in New York], but with me, this kid has been amazing."

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