In a season wrought with disappointment, the Marlins finally gave their fans something they had not savored since Saturday night.
After getting shut out for a franchise-record three consecutive games, the Marlins ended the agony Wednesday afternoon and avoided becoming only the ninth team in major-league history to get blanked four times in a row by beating the Phillies 9-2 in front of 22,450 at Marlins Park.
“The way we’ve been swinging the bat the last couple of years, having a day like this is great,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said — trying to make light of his team’s offensive woes.
“The pitching staff appreciates it. We came up with big hits. It’s something we’ve needed for a long time.”
Greg Dobbs, playing through a sore oblique muscle, was one of the heroes. He ended the Marlins’ franchise-record skid of 30 consecutive scoreless innings with a run-scoring single to right field off Roy Halladay in the fourth inning. Dobbs then broke a 2-2 tie with a 407-foot solo home run to right off the two-time Cy Young winner with two outs in the sixth.
The Marlins (53-65) broke out for six more runs in the eighth off the Phillies’ bullpen — tying a season-high for offense in an inning (done just twice before this season). Pinch-hitter Austin Kearns and left fielder Bryan Petersen each delivered two-out, two-run hits in the inning.
“The home run was huge,” Guillen said. “[Dobbs isn’t] a home run hitter. That’s something we weren’t expecting. But it makes the 4 1/2-hour flight [to Colorado] more enjoyable.”
Dobbs’ timely hits made a winner of Marlins starter Mark Buehrle, who finally picked up his 10th win and won just the 12th all-time meeting between pitchers who have thrown perfect games. Buehrle, 0-3 with 6.84 ERA in the five starts since his previous win July 14, pitched seven innings, scattering five hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
He’s now just the 41st pitcher to have won at least 10 games in 12 consecutive seasons. The only other active pitcher with a streak as long is the Yankees’ CC Sabathia. Buehrle’s only mistakes Tuesday were to Ty Wigginton, who hit a solo home run in the fifth and drove in a run with a two-out single in the sixth.
“It’s hard to get 10 wins. It’s not easy. But at the same time you make 30 starts, 33 starts a year, you should get it and go deep into games,” Buehrle said. “Again, this is one of those accomplishments at the end of your career you might go back and realize what you did and not many people have done.
“But right now it’s disappointing it took me this long to get to my 10th win.”
Before the fourth inning, the Marlins had last scored on Donovan Solano’s two-out RBI single in the eighth inning in a win over the Dodgers on Saturday.
Stretch of futility
In the time between then and the fourth inning Wednesday, the team went a combined 16 for 101 at the plate (.158) with one only one extra-base hit (a double), five walks and 27 strikeouts.
The Marlins also were caught stealing on all three attempts during the stretch and left 17 runners on base.
But everything changed in the fourth. Carlos Lee drew a leadoff walk, and Giancarlo Stanton stroked a double down the left-field line, setting the stage for Dobbs with two runners in scoring position and nobody out. He swung at the first pitch Halladay threw his way and lined it in front of Domonic Brown in right. Lee scored ahead of Brown’s throw to the plate.
The 30 innings without a run still eclipsed the longest previous run of futility in Marlins’ history (27 innings, set Sept. 11-15, 1993).
It’s also the second-longest drought in the majors this season behind a 33-inning skid by the Dodgers.
Scoring figured to be a tall order against Halladay. He held the Marlins to one earned run over seven innings the previous time he faced them on April 11. Halladay also tossed a perfect game against the Marlins in 2010.
The Marlins, who came in having scored the second-fewest runs in baseball, have been shut out 13 times this season, one shy of the club mark set in 1993 and 1996.
The 1992 Cubs (78-84) are the last team to get blanked in four consecutive games, according to BaseballReference.com.