SAN DIEGO -- For one night, Miami Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen found someone to close out a win for his team.
Mark Buehrle threw a complete-game five-hitter to lead Miami to a 4-1 win over the San Diego Padres on Saturday and its season-high fifth consecutive win.Earlier in the day, Guillen demoted struggling closer Heath Bell, who has four blown saves this season. Bell is 0-3 with an 11.42 ERA in 11 games. The right-hander has allowed 15 hits in 8 2/3 innings with 10 walks and only six strikeouts. He signed a $27 million, three-year contract in the offseason.With Bell being demoted and the Marlins' bullpen short-handed due to recent overuse, Buehrle knew what was expected of him."The (the bullpen) said last night, 'C'mon, we need you.' But obviously you know the situation," Buehrle said. "Did I think I was going to throw a complete game? No. But go seven, eight innings, I try to do every time even if (the bullpen) is down."Buehrle (2-4) allowed one run and five hits with two walks and three strikeouts in a game that lasted 2 hours, 18 minutes one day after the teams played a 12-inning game that lasted 4:45."There's a reason why he's got that kind of money," said San Diego's Orlando Hudson about Buehrle's four-year, $58-million free-agent contract. "You don't have to be overpowering to dominate a game. He pitched a great game."Buehrle threw his first complete game since Oct. 2, 2010, with the Chicago White Sox. Buehrle was coming off his shortest start of the season, a five-inning stint in a 9-5 loss against Arizona."Today was big, huge," Guillen said. "This outing was huge for everyone because it was a day off for everyone."Asked if he had spoken with Buehrle before his start about the importance of going deep in the game, Guillen said: "He knows. I didn't have to."Omar Infante, who doubled in the go-ahead run in Friday's 9-8 win in 12 innings, had two RBIs with a double and a sacrifice fly on Saturday.Giancarlo Stanton hit a solo homer in the ninth and Hanley Ramirez, who came into the game hitting just .198, had three hits.Greg Dobbs' pinch-hit single in a two-run eighth inning put the Marlins ahead.The Marlins' winning streak, all on the road, comes after they had lost eight of nine."We are going to go through slumps, we are going to go through winning streaks," Buehrle said. "Right now, we are winning but we ain't going to win 20 in a row, but just got to keep going out there."Jose Reyes led off the eighth inning with a walk and Emilio Bonifacio followed with an infield single. After Dale Thayer replaced Padres starter Clayton Richard, Dobbs singled to center for a 2-1 lead. Infante then hit a sacrifice fly.Richard (1-4) gave up three runs and nine hits over seven innings. The left-hander struck out seven and walked three."It was disappointing I wasn't able to come through in the eighth," said Richard, who suffered his fourth straight loss.After two of the NL's lowest-scoring teams combined for 17 runs on 24 hits on Friday night, the clubs reverted to their previous form.Ramirez led off the Marlins' fourth with a one-out single, but was thrown out going to third base on Austin Kearns' single. Infante followed with a run-scoring double.Chase Headley tied the score in the sixth on an RBI single that scored Jesus Guzman, who doubled.
Buehrle has pitched 28 complete games. ... Padres closer Huston Street was placed on the 15-day DL with a strain near his pitching shoulder. The team announced the move on Saturday, saying Street has a strained right lat. ... Bonifacio has 25 hits, all singles to extend his club record for longest streak of singles to open the season. ... Marlins LF Logan Morrison was held out of the starting lineup for the second straight game with a sore right knee. ... San Diego selected the contract of RHP Miles Mikolas from Double-A San Antonio and transferred INF Logan Forsythe from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day DL. Mikolas made his major-league debut in the ninth inning. ... Miami optioned OF Bryan Petersen and rookie LHP Dan Jennings to Triple-A New Orleans on Saturday. The Marlins recalled RHP Chris Hatcher and RHP Sandy Rosario from New Orleans. ... RHP Ricky Nolasco (3-0, 2.76) will oppose RHP Joe Wieland (0-4, 4.91) in the three-game finale on Sunday.