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Lee homers to lift Marlins over Reds

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Associated Press
9/15/2012 10:32:27 PM
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MIAMI -- A little numbness wasn't going to keep Carlos Lee out of the lineup.

Lee jammed his neck Friday night sliding headfirst into second base and colliding with Reds shortstop Wilson Valdez. He felt some numbness in his fingers so he left the game. He made the most of his return on Saturday.

Lee homered and drove in three runs and the Miami Marlins beat the Cincinnati Reds 6-4.

"When I left here I told the trainer I'm not day-to-day, I'll be ready tomorrow," said Lee, still sporting a cut on his right cheek from the collision. "I hit the ball pretty good."

Mark Buehrle (13-12) allowed four runs on seven hits over 7 2-3 innings to improve to 4-1 in his last six starts. Jose Reyes had three hits and also drove in a run for Miami.

"Fortunately, we scored some runs early and I just tried to go out there and keep them off base," Buehrle said.

Johnny Cueto (17-9) suffered his third straight loss and failed to last five innings for the second straight start. Cueto gave up six runs on nine hits in 4 1-3 innings, and hasn't won since August 28 at Arizona. Ryan Ludwick homered for the Reds.

"He lost location. He was wild high, missing away," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "And when he came in throwing strikes, it was middle of the plate, belt high. Those are the ones that hurt him."

The Marlins chased Cueto with a three-run fifth, capped by a two-run homer by Lee, who hit a 3-1 pitch over the centre field scoreboard that gave Miami a 6-2 lead. The homer followed Reyes' double that scored Justin Ruggiano.

"It was one bad pitch," Cueto said. "It's part of the game."

The Reds made it 6-4 on Ludwick's two-run homer off Buehrle in the eighth. Buehrle was then replaced by Mike Dunn. Steve Cishek pitched a scoreless ninth for his 14th save in 18 opportunities.

Trailing 3-0, the Reds closed to 3-1 when Valdez singled in Ryan Hanigan in the third. Cincinnati picked up another run in the fourth after Jay Bruce tripled, then scored on a single by Scott Rolen to make it 3-2. It was Bruce's first hit in 18 at-bats.

The Marlins jumped on Cueto for three runs in the first inning. After Ruggiano and Reyes hit consecutive one-out singles, Giancarlo Stanton drove in both with a triple. Lee then drove in Stanton with a sacrifice fly.

"I think we did a good job trying to make him (Cueto) throw the ball over the plate and we made him work a couple innings," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "We ran the bases very well and took advantage of a couple extra bases. Obviously, Carlos' home run was huge. It gave us a little cushion."

NOTES: Buehrle has now pitched 188 1-3 innings to close in on his quest to eclipse the 200-inning mark for the 12th straight year...Reyes has an eight-game hit streak against the Reds. ... Cincinnati rookie SS Zack Cozart, on the DL since Sept. 3 with a left oblique strain, took batting practice on Saturday. ... The Reds bullpen hasn't given up a run in 17 innings over the last five games.

Carlos Lee (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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