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Bullpen a bright spot for Marlins on long day

CINCINNATI -- Despite losing, 3-2, to the Reds in 13 innings on Saturday, the Marlins' bullpen was borderline dominant.

Miami relievers Tom Koehler, Mike Dunn, Chad Qualls, A.J. Ramos, Ryan Webb and Steve Cishek allowed a combined one run on six hits in 8 2/3 innings. They also had 12 strikeouts, led by Ramos' four in two innings.

The bullpen was needed after starter Wade LeBlanc lasted only four innings. He allowed two runs on seven hits and threw 85 pitches.

LeBlanc called his performance "terrible" after the game, but he -- not to mention Miami's bullpen -- pitched out of several sticky situations. The Reds left 17 men on base -- their most since stranding 17 in a 19-inning game against Philadelphia on May 25, 2011.

The Marlins lost on Brandon Phillips' sacrifice fly off Cishek with one out in the 13th inning.

While the bullpen did its job as best it could, Miami hopes its offense can come alive -- or at least not be as silent as it has been. Entering Sunday, the Marlins struck out a whopping 34 times through three games in the series (12 in Thursday's game, 12 on Friday and 10 on Saturday) and scored just five runs.

Tony Meale is a contributor to
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