It was a long ending to a long road trip.
But, after nearly four hours battling the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Marlins ended their 11-game road trip with a 6-2 victory. Steve Cishek got Mark Ellis on a line out to preserve the win.
“It’s always good to go back home with a win, even through a hurricane,” said Cishek, who recorded a four-out save before the Marlins boarded a plane home to rain-soaked South Florida.
The Marlins hit four home runs, including yet another round-tripper by Giancarlo Stanton and Rob Brantly’s first in the majors, as Miami ended the trip with a 5-6 mark.
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The home run by Stanton was his eighth of the trip — and 29th of the season — and came off Aaron Harang in the fourth inning. Brantly’s first big-league knock was a two-run shot off Harang in the fifth.
“Off the bat, it felt really good,” Brantly said. “But I just made sure to put my head down and started running. It actually didn’t sink in until I was rounding first base that it had actually gone over. It was a good feeling.”
Mark Buehrle went 52/3 innings to pick up his 12th win.
Right after Brantly had given the Marlins a 3-1 lead with his home run, Buehrle worked out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the fifth by retiring former Marlin Hanley Ramirez on an infield pop and red-hot Andre Ethier on a routine grounder to short. Ethier entered the game having hit safely in 10 consecutive at-bats but had his streak end in the first when Buehrle struck him out looking.
“I kept telling myself we just scored to take the lead, I can’t give it right back up,” Buehrle said. “So it was a big moment of the game.”
Asked about Stanton’s home run pop, Buehrle replied: “He’s got so much power it’s ridiculous. Every time hits the ball it has a chance of going out. But 29 home runs right now and he missed a month and a half, so it’s kind of scary to think what he could have done had he been healthy all year.”
The only run given up by Buehrle came in the first when Dodger newcomer Adrian Gonzalez singled to drive in Nick Punto, who also came over in the Boston Red Sox trade. It marked the seventh game in a row that a Marlins starter gave up a first-inning run.
The Marlins were clinging to a 3-2 lead in the eighth when Ramirez couldn’t come up with Bryan Petersen’s bases-loaded grounder and a run scored as a result to make it 4-2. Ramirez, who went 1 for 12 in the series, was charged with an error.
Jose Reyes and Carlos Lee hit back-to-back homers off Dodgers reliever Shawn Tolleson in the ninth to make it 6-2. It was the fifth time this season that the Marlins hit consecutive homers.
Heath Bell was on the mound to start the eighth. But with two on and two outs, manager Ozzie Guillen decided to have Cishek face Matt Kemp, who had hit Bell with success in the past. Cishek walked Kemp to load the bases but retired Gonzalez on a fly ball to end the inning.
Cishek labored through the ninth, walking Ramirez and hitting Luis Cruz with a pitch, but worked out of it by retiring the next two batters to end the game. Cishek, who last pitched Tuesday, was not sharp and needed 38 pitches to get his four outs.
“It was just one of those days, I was just scuffling,” Cishek said. “I was battling, but I would never back down. I was giving it all I had. It was just one of those days.”