Conley delivers for Marlins with shorthanded 'pen

Left-hander throws 8 innings with multiple relievers unavailable

Conley delivers for Marlins with shorthanded 'pen

MIAMI -- No one needed to remind Adam Conley how important it was to pitch deep into Wednesday's matinee against the Braves. The 26-year-old, already disappointed in himself for some comparatively shorter outings, was prepared to go the distance.

Conley didn't quite finish what he started, but he did work a career-high eight innings, striking out four, in the Marlins' 3-0 win over the Braves at Marlins Park.

The southpaw is the first Miami starter this year to make it through eight innings.

"I think my goal for today was kind of lined up to what the team needed," Conley said. "I noticed in my last couple of starts I wasn't able to get as deep into the game as I had hoped."

The Marlins bullpen has been taxed, and at least three relievers -- David Phelps, Kyle Barraclough and Brian Ellington -- weren't available Wednesday.

Manager Don Mattingly didn't directly tell Conley before the game to go at least eight. But it was already understood for logging at least seven.

"Obviously, it was exactly what we needed," Mattingly said. "We needed someone to get deep into this game. We had a number of guys we weren't willing to use today."

The Marlins haven't had a complete game since Henderson Alvarez against Tampa Bay on June 3, 2014 at Marlins Park.

At 114 pitches, Conley wasn't a candidate to come out for the ninth inning, especially with a three-run cushion and closer A.J. Ramos available after he threw a scoreless ninth inning in Tuesday's 3-2 loss in 10 innings.

Ramos shuts the door

Ramos closed out the ninth on Wednesday, securing a win, and is now 23 for 23 on save chances this season. Dating back to last year, Ramos has converted 32 straight saves. The franchise record is 33, set by Steve Cishek from June 8, 2013 to April 22, 2014.

Conley, who picked up his first win since May 16, had a start in Milwaukee on April 29 where he exited after 7 2/3 innings and 116 pitches of hitless ball.

"Looking at the Milwaukee start, and against the Nationals here early in the year [6 2/3 innings on April 19], I think my misses have been getting better," Conley said. "I'm not taking pitches off. I'm executing in the strike zone more efficiently."

Conley hadn't made it through seven innings in any of his previous six starts.

"I haven't been very happy coming out with two outs in the sixth," Conley said. "That's kind of been on my mind, and the team need is there. The bullpen has been outstanding. Everybody has been noticing how good they are.

"There is an appropriate way to use the bullpen. When guys start getting overused, you start putting guys who don't belong in certain situations in those situations. You're kind of backing them into a corner a little bit."

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. 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.