Lee ends Marlins' skid in walk-off fashion

Lee ends Marlins' skid in walk-off fashion

Lee ends Marlins' skid in walk-off fashion
MIAMI -- Carlos Lee kicked off the Marlins' season-ending homestand on a high note Friday night.

Lee hit a walk-off single in the ninth inning to score Bryan Petersen from second and give the Marlins a 2-1 win against the Phillies, snapping a seven-game losing streak. It was Miami's eighth walk-off win of the season and Lee's first with the club.

"It's been tough," Lee said. "We've played some good games, some bad games, but any time you get a win, it's a win, no matter how."

Petersen led off the ninth with a double to right field off Josh Lindblom, and then the Phillies intentionally walked Giancarlo Stanton to put two on with one out. Lee stepped to the plate and smacked the second pitch he saw from Lindblom to left-center field as Petersen raced around third.

"As soon as I hit it, I knew it was over the shortstop's head and I thought the game was over," Lee said.

Mark Buehrle pitched eight strong innings, giving up just one run en route to his 12th consecutive season with 200 innings pitched. He became the first pitcher to accomplish that feat since Greg Maddux did it in 14 straight seasons from 1988-2001. 

"I set a goal in Spring Training to get there and I made it," Buehrle said. "I was healthy and didn't get my butt handed to me too much during the season and get pulled."

Buehrle was quietly dominant despite not factoring into the decision. He didn't issue a walk while striking out a season-high-tying eight on the night, including two in the first inning.

The Phillies threatened in the second, when they got two aboard with back-to-back, one-out singles. Buehrle was able to get out of the inning without any damage, thanks to a heads-up play by Donovan Solano. 

Michael Martinez dribbled a two-out single to the second baseman, who didn't have a play at first. Solano saw Ty Wigginton take a few steps past third and fired the ball to Gil Velazquez. Wigginton tried to retreat to the bag, but Solano's throw was on the mark and Velalquez tagged Wigginton out to end the inning.

Buehrle retired the next 14 batters he faced before Wigginton hit a two-out base hit in the seventh.

"Amazing," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said of Buehrle. "This kid, very little people notice what he does unless you play with him every day. I think he's very professional, very consistent for a long time, especially with the stuff he has."

Sandwiched in the middle of Buehrle's strong outing was the return of Stanton, who had been sidelined since Sept. 16 with a sore left intercostal muscle. He showed no effects of the injury, doubling down the left-field line in his first at-bat in the second inning, but was stranded at third.

His second at-bat produced the game's first run. With two outs in the fourth inning, Stanton deposited the first pitch he saw from lefty Cliff Lee into the left-field stands to give the Marlins a 1-0 lead. It was Stanton's 35th of the season, setting a career high besting the 34 he hit a year ago. Only Gary Sheffield, who hit 42 in 1996, has hit more in a season for the Marlins.

"You look at the lineup and it looks like a script," Guillen said. "All of a sudden, this kid comes out and hits a double and a home run. ... When you see him in the lineup, it looks a little bit different."

Lee pitched seven innings and gave up three hits and the one run. He retired the final 10 Marlins he faced before he was removed for a pinch-hitter in the eighth. 

Stanton's homer held up until the eighth, when the Phillies got their lone run against Buehrle. John Mayberry led off the inning with a double and came around to score on a Jimmy Rollins two-out single to tie the game.

"Buehrle got it done," Cliff Lee said. "There's a reason why he's been throwing as long as he has. He's a pretty good pitcher."

Buehrle's efforts gave him his 17th quality start in his first season with the Marlins -- a season he described as "50-50" for him because the Marlins aren't where they anticipated they would be entering the year.

There was a moment of levity in the sixth inning as Buehrle, who needed 5 2/3 innings to reach 200, approached the milestone. After he struck out Lee to lead off the frame, the lefty placed the ball on the mound and looked to the dugout as Guillen feigned a step toward the dugout entrance.

"They joked around and said [after] 5 1/3 they were going to get me," Buehrle said. "I told him if he came out and got me, I was going to set the ball on the mound and walk off or I was going to throw it to the outfield and make him go out and chase the ball down. I wasn't going to hand it to him on the mound."

Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.