The Miami Marlins put an end to their three game losing streak on Saturday with a 2-1 win over the Washington Nationals. It was the first win of the second half for Miami and moved them to within nine games of first place Washington. This game also featured the first win since Heath Bell was relieved of his closer duties.
Mark Buehrle improved to 9-8 on the season with the win further solidifying the opinion of many — that he should have represented Miami in the 2012 All-Star Game. Buehrle tossed seven innings of one run ball and likely would’ve went the distance had a pinch-hitter not been necessary in the bottom of the seventh inning. The veteran lefty had only thrown 86 pitches and was in complete control, striking out seven hitters for the fourth straight start. Randy Choate struck out the only batter he faced before Steve Cishek entered. Cishek who has been the Marlins’ most dependable reliever all season long went the final five outs to pick up his second save of the year. Bell remained seated in the bullpen in the new closer by committee configuration.
A day after having no extra base hits, Miami had one in this game as Justin Ruggiano collected his eleventh double of the season. Carlos Lee did exactly what was expected of him when he broke a scoreless tie with an RBI single in the fourth inning. It was Lee’s first run batted in as a Marlin and his 30th overall on the season. Miami would go on to add a second run in the fifth as John Buck brought home the eventual game winner. Emilio Bonifacio swiped his 21st base of the year and his first since returning from the disabled list.
Miami will look to inch closer to Washington on Sunday with a scheduled pitching matchup of Ricky Nolasco and Stephen Strasburg.