|Arizona (10-10) «||1||1||0||0||0||1||0||0||2||5||15||0|
MIAMI -- A year ago, April was Joe Saunders' worst month. It's a safe bet that won't be the case this season.
Saunders (2-1) struck out four and walked two, getting the third shutout of his career and dropping his ERA from 1.29 to 0.90. Emilio Bonifacio narrowly beat out an infield single with two out in the ninth before Saunders struck out Donnie Murphy to close the win.
"I was making good pitches and I was just fortunate they were hitting it at my defense," Saunders said. "My defense was awesome. It was a great night all-around."
The Marlins have scored six runs and managed only 28 hits during their losing streak.
"A combination of a good pitcher on the mound and a really bad hitting team right now," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I think that's what happened. Seems like we're not having fun."
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On a day where Miami team president David Samson ran the equivalent of two marathons -- 52.4 miles -- the Marlins failed to get a runner past first base.
"I guarantee they will score before I run another marathon," Samson said after his daylong run that raised $550,000 for charity. "We're obviously struggling, but it's a long season."
Marlins shortstop Jose Reyes was given the night off by Guillen after batting .205 in Miami's first 18 games. Another lineup shakeup might be coming, and Guillen told his team in a quick postgame meeting to forget how everyone is slumping at the plate.
"Get that feeling out and get ready to play," Guillen said.
Miami starter Carlos Zambrano (0-2) pitched six innings, giving up three runs and 10 hits. The Diamondbacks had 15 hits, leaving 12 runners on base.
Saunders got into trouble only once, that coming not because of the Marlins getting hits off him -- but actually hitting him.
A comebacker by Hanley Ramirez bounced off Saunders in the fourth inning. He managed to scurry for the ball and threw over to first to beat Ramirez, then limped into the Arizona dugout while grimacing in obvious pain.
But in the fifth, Saunders came back out to the mound, showing no ill effects. And his offense was giving him all the support he needed.
"You always want to get off to a good start especially on an 11-day, 10-game road trip like we're on now," Saunders said. "You always want to go out there and get the road trip off on a good start and hopefully save the bullpen."
In April 2011, Saunders went 0-3 with a 5.93 ERA, as teams hit .333 against him in 27 1-3 innings. So far this season, opponents are batting .186 off Saunders.
"He's been great, very consistent," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's taken the ball every fifth day and is really dominant with his stuff."
The Diamondbacks had only five instances of someone having a three-hit effort in their first 19 games. They had both Kubel and Hill get there in the first six innings on Friday, as Zambrano flirted with big trouble for much of his night.
He allowed the last three batters he faced in the first inning to reach, getting out of it only when Kubel was caught in a rundown between second and third for the third out after Montero's single drove Justin Upton home. Hill led off the second inning with a single, followed by walks to Lyle Overbay and Ryan Roberts.
Saunders followed with a sacrifice fly to right, making it 2-0 - the sixth RBI of the pitcher's career.
Zambrano gave up three more singles in the third, all of them comebackers, only to escape unscathed. Montero grounded into a 5-4-3 double play, and Roberts flied out three batters later to end the threat. That appeared to settle Zambrano down, until Hill sent a 1-2 pitch over the left-field wall to start the sixth.
The Marlins fell to 7-12, the third-worst start in the National League.
"There's nothing you can do about it. Just come tomorrow and play," Zambrano said. "The good thing about this is tomorrow's another day. It's not like this team isn't capable of doing a lot of things. Just a bad start."
|Joe Saunders goes the distance, holding the Marlins to three hits, for a complete-game shutout. (US Presswire)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Willie Bloomquist, SS||5||0||1||0||0||0||2||.226|
|Gerardo Parra, CF||5||1||1||0||0||2||3||.250|
|Justin Upton, RF||4||1||1||0||0||0||4||.241|
|Jason Kubel, LF||4||1||4||0||1||0||0||.333|
|Miguel Montero, C||5||0||2||3||0||1||4||.258|
|Aaron Hill, 2B||5||2||3||1||0||1||3||.264|
|Lyle Overbay, 1B||3||0||3||0||2||0||0||.308|
|Ryan Roberts, 3B||4||0||0||0||1||0||6||.169|
|Joe Saunders, P||2||0||0||1||0||0||1||.000|
|2B - Miguel Montero (1, Gaudin)|
|HR - Aaron Hill (4, Zambrano)|
|SF - Joe Saunders (1)|
|SH - Joe Saunders (2)|
|RBI - Miguel Montero 3 (11), Aaron Hill (10), Joe Saunders (1)|
|2-OUT RBI - Miguel Montero (5)|
|SB - Gerardo Parra (6, 2nd base off Webb/Buck)|
|Team LOB - 12|
|DP - Bloomquist-Overbay, Bloomquist-Hill-Overbay, Roberts-Hill-Overbay|
|Joe Saunders (W,2-1)||9||3||0||0||2||4||0||0.90|
|Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 116-73|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 15-5|
|Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 29|
|Emilio Bonifacio, CF||4||0||1||0||0||1||0||.260|
|Donnie Murphy, SS||3||0||0||0||1||1||1||.133|
|Hanley Ramirez, 3B||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.211|
|Logan Morrison, LF||3||0||0||0||0||2||0||.300|
|Omar Infante, 2B||3||0||1||0||0||0||0||.315|
|Giancarlo Stanton, RF||3||0||0||0||0||0||1||.234|
|Gaby Sanchez, 1B||3||0||1||0||0||0||1||.231|
|John Buck, C||2||0||0||0||1||0||1||.188|
|Carlos Zambrano, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.143|
|a- Austin Kearns, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.214|
|Mike Dunn, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Ryan Webb, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Chad Gaudin, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Chris Coghlan, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.138|
|a-grounded out for Zambrano in the 6th|
|b-grounded into a double play for Gaudin in the 9th|
|Outfield Assists - Emilio Bonifacio 1|
|DP - H. Ramirez-Infante-G. Sanchez, Infante-Murphy-G. Sanchez|
|Carlos Zambrano (L,0-2)||6||10||3||3||2||2||1||3.24|
|IBB - Kubel by Ryan Webb, Overbay by Chad Gaudin|
|HBP - Upton (by Carlos Zambrano)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Carlos Zambrano 100-63, Mike Dunn 18-10, Ryan Webb 28-17, Chad Gaudin 19-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Carlos Zambrano 9-4|
|Batters Faced - Carlos Zambrano 28, Mike Dunn 4, Ryan Webb 8, Chad Gaudin 4|
|Attendance - 31949|
|Game Time - 2:56|
|Temperature - 75|
|Umpires - Home - Mike DiMuro, First Base - James Hoye, Second Base - Jim Joyce, Third Base - Jim Reynolds|