MIAMI — Mark Buehrle has given the Toronto Blue Jays troubles in his career, and even though he was in a different uniform Sunday the results were similar.
The veteran left-hander pitched effectively for seven innings to become the winningest pitcher in interleague play, John Buck hit a three-run homer and the Miami Marlins snapped a six-game losing streak with a 9-0 win over the Blue Jays on Sunday.
“The way Buehrle was pitching; we got some hits off him but weren’t really able to bunch too many together,” Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.
Buehrle (6-8) is 7-4 with a 2.48 ERA in 16 career starts against Toronto, and has 25 interleague victories, one more than Freddy Garcia.
“He gave them a nice boost,” Blue Jays second baseman Kelly Johnson said.
Rajai Davis and Colby Rasmus each had two of the eight hits for the Blue Jays, who left eight on base. Toronto was shut out for the first time since a 3-0 loss to Baltimore on April 25.
“It was a disappointing way to end this series, yet it’s a series win on the road and we have to regroup and get ready to go into Boston,” Farrell said.
The slumping Marlins held a players-only meeting initiated by Hanley Ramirez after Saturday’s loss.
“It must have been that meeting,” Buehrle said.
“All of the guys that spoke up did good today.”
Greg Dobbs had a two-run homer among his three hits for the Marlins, winners for just the third time in 18 games.
“It’s great to see that especially when they have a players’ meeting,” Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. “I don’t think it happened because of the meeting, but when you have a players’ meeting and you act and play this way, that is something that is very positive. It’s nice to see those guys having fun on the field.”
Buehrle gave up seven hits and struck out seven.
“I told them I wasn’t a fan of having a meeting the day before I pitch because that puts more pressure on you,” Buehrle joked.
Ramirez hit a two-run triple and scored on a sacrifice fly by Logan Morrison to cap the scoring for the Marlins. It was their second shutout of the season.
“This is what we needed,” Ramirez said. “I told them (Saturday) that we needed to relax, go little by little, inning by inning, and not try to do too much.”
Toronto starter Jesse Chavez (0-1) allowed six runs and seven hits in six innings while striking out six.
“I attacked the zone and kept away from the walks,” Chavez said. “I settled in (after the second inning) and had that one hiccup in the sixth but other than that I did OK. It was just one of those things.”
Miami opened the scoring in the second inning after Dobbs led off with a single and Omar Infante doubled. Scott Cousins drove in Dobbs with a base hit before Buck hit a three-run home run to centre field, his sixth of the season.
Brett Lawrie doubled with two outs in the fifth and tried to score on a base hit to right by Rasmus, but Giancarlo Stanton threw out Lawrie at home preserving a 4-0 lead.
Dobbs’ two-run home run stretched the lead to 6-0. He also singled twice in his first two at-bats.
Ramirez’s triple came off reliever Robert Coello, who hit Austin Kearns with a pitch and walked Jose Reyes setting the stage for Ramirez.
“It’s not about one guy, but Hanley is in the middle of the lineup who is a big guy for us and hopefully he will remember that swing,” Guillen said.
NOTES: Following the game Toronto recalled 1B Adam Lind from Triple-A Las Vegas and re-instated OF Ben Francisco (left hamstring) from the 15-day disabled list and optioned 2B Mike McCoy and 1B David Cooper. RHP Sergio Santos (right shoulder) was moved to the 60-day DL. … Buck has two home runs in his last three games after going without a home run in 24 straight. … Reyes made a diving over-the-shoulder catch in shallow centre field in the third inning and collided with Cousins on the play, taking a base hit away from Lawrie. Reyes injured his right shin on the play and a trainer tended to him, but he remained in the game. “I’m good,” Reyes said. “When that happened I was a little scared for a moment, but when I stood up everything was good.” … Toronto RHP David Pauley made his team debut over the weekend after being claimed off waivers from the Angels and pitched two scoreless innings in relief in two appearances. … The Blue Jays will send RHP Henderson Alvarez (3-6, 4.30 ERA) to the mound on Monday to begin a three-game home series against Boston, who will counter with LHP Felix Doubront (8-3, 4.31 ERA). RHP Ricky Nolasco (6-6, 5.16 ERA) will start for the Marlins as they host St. Louis for a three-game set. RHP Jake Westbrook (6-6, 3.38 ERA) will start for the Cardinals.