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SF@MIA: Buehrle pitches 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball

MIAMI -- The Marlins kept up their May surge, and so did left-hander Mark Buehrle.

Buehrle turned in another vintage performance Saturday, pitching 7 1/3 innings of two-run ball as the Marlins took their second straight game against the Giants with a 5-3 win in front of 30,663 at Marlins Park.

Buehrle, who improved to 4-0 in May, was efficient early, working through the first five innings on 56 pitches, and he grinded it out late, flashing the defense that has earned him three consecutive Gold Glove Awards.

"He's going to give you his heart out there," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I've known this man for so many years and I know every time he's out there, I guarantee you he's going to give you everything he has on the field. He will sweat it out. He's worth every penny he's ever made."

Buehrle didn't walk a batter and gave up the two runs on eight hits. He got run support early and worked with the lead throughout the day.

Career infielder Donovan Solano got the start in left field. It was the first time in four years he fielded the position, but the unfamiliarity didn't show as he was tested early in the second.

Solano recorded a pair of putouts in the inning, and followed it up at the plate in the bottom of the frame, driving in Giancarlo Stanton from second with a line-drive single to center to put the Marlins on the board.

Solano again flashed his defense in left in the third, when he nearly threw Emmanuel Burriss out at second, but Omar Infante couldn't hold onto the throw. Burriss scored the tying run two batters later on a Gregor Blanco single when Stanton's throw home wasn't in time.

That's all the Giants would get against Buehrle until the eighth, when Ryan Theriot scored after a one-triple. Following Blanco's third-inning hit, Buehrle retired eight in a row en route to his seventh quality start of the year. His final out of the afternoon came on a bang-bang play at first, when Blanco hit a sharp grounder past a diving Logan Morrison. Infante fielded it and tossed it to a hustling Buehrle, who narrowly beat Blanco to the bag and finished the play on all fours.

"I've always taken pride in fielding my position and doing whatever I can to make outs," Buehrle said.

The Marlins broke it open with three runs in the bottom of the third. Following a pair of one-out singles and a double-steal from Jose Reyes and Infante, Hanley Ramirez took a 2-2 offering from Madison Bumgarner and singled through the left side to make it 2-1. After Bumgarner walked Stanton, two more runs came across when Morrison reached on a fielder's choice to plate Infante, and an error by Burriss allowed Ramirez to score from second.

Morrison drove in another run in the sixth to make it 5-1. The sixth inning was the last Miami saw of Bumgarner, who gave up five runs -- four earned -- on seven hits and two walks while struggling with location throughout the afternoon. The young lefty said Miami only hit a few pitches where he wanted them to be.

"The rest of them were supposed to be away or in, and they were middle," Bumgarner said.

Despite Buehrle's efforts, the win didn't come easy for Miami. In a save situation entering the ninth for the second game in a row, Guillen kept his word and went with Heath Bell to close it out. But once again, Bell struggled to get the job done and was removed.

He gave up a leadoff single to Angel Pagan before surrendering back-to-back walks to load the bases with one out. Guillen pulled Bell, but restated after the game that he is still the "main guy." Lefty Randy Choate staved off the Giants' rally effort, only giving up a sacrifice fly to Nate Schierholtz, and earned his first save of the year.

"As a manager, the last thing you want to do is take your closer out every day," Guillen said. "That's a very hard feeling and a very tough situation."

After escaping the ninth, the Marlins improved to 18-7 in May, one shy of tying the club record for wins in any month, set in August 1997.

"We're playing some good ball, and I think everything's coming together at the same time," Buehrle said. "Hopefully we can keep it going into the next month and whatever couple days we got left in this month and carry over."

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