Ramos gets first save in first shot at closer role

Ramos gets first save in first shot at closer role

LOS ANGELES -- In his 164th MLB appearance, A.J. Ramos was able to accomplish a first. The right-hander polished off the ninth inning with two strikeouts on Wednesday and recorded his first career save in the Marlins' 5-4 win over the Dodgers.

The Marlins are mixing and matching in the ninth inning in place of former closer Steve Cishek, who is regrouping after converting just three of seven save chances, including two missed opportunities on the 4-6 road trip.

"I'm approaching it the exact same way I approach every game," Ramos said. "Everybody is. Everybody is getting ready to throw whenever. I've said from the beginning, I'm throwing whenever they need me. This year has been from the sixth to the ninth. I'm still ready at any time. Hopefully we get the job done no matter where we pitch."

Ramos was impressive, retiring the side in order. He struck out pinch-hitter Jimmy Rollins and Yasmani Grandal before Andre Ethier lifted a fly ball to right to end the game that lasted three hours and 24 minutes.

"It was a game that went back and forth," Ramos said. "It was a good one that we won. It's definitely going to be a good flight back. We were looking for it to build momentum as we go back home."

Ramos lowered his ERA to 1.00, and he's now struck out 23 in 18 innings.

"You've got to finish games," manager Mike Redmond said. "To go where we want to go, we know what we want to do. We can talk about it all we want, but we've got to go out and do it."

Redmond liked how Ramos embraced his first save chance of the season.

"He looked confident and solid out there," the manager said. "You talk about tempo. It's getting the ball and throwing it. When you throw a strike, it's coming back with another one. The key to locking down games is throwing strikes. It seems simple, but that's what you have to do. You can't get in deep counts, and you can't walk guys. Those are things we've had trouble with this road trip."

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.