MIAMI -- It seemed like the smart decision when D-backs manager Kirk Gibson elected to intentionally walk Jose Reyes to get to Hanley Ramirez in the bottom of the ninth inning.
After all, Reyes was a switch-hitter and Arizona reliever Brad Ziegler is better against righties like Ramirez, who also was in the midst of an 0-for-26 slide.
Ramirez, though, came through with a single to left that scored Giancarlo Stanton with the game-winning run, as the D-backs fell to the Marlins, 3-2, on Saturday night at Marlins Park.
Ziegler retired the first batter of the ninth and got Stanton to hit a chopper to third. Because the ball was hit so slowly, Stanton beat Ryan Roberts' throw to first and moved up to second on a groundout by Emilio Bonifacio.
After walking Reyes, Ziegler jumped ahead of Ramirez 1-2 before throwing a sinker that the slugger was able to line into left for the game-winner.
"I felt like I had a pretty aggressive approach," Ziegler said. "It was all fastballs the whole at-bat. The last one, I just missed my spot. I was trying to go down and away and threw it up and in, and it's kind of a good zone for him to hit and where he's always liked it. Just didn't locate the one pitch."
After the hit fell in, Ramirez slammed his helmet to the ground and began to celebrate. He pointed to the fans, but did not glare into the D-backs' dugout as some may have thought.
"Not at all, no," Ramirez said when asked if he took it personally that they walked the hitter ahead of him. "They're trying to do their job. Like I say, there is nothing personal in this game. They've got to do whatever they have to do to win the game. At the same time, that's what we expect from ourselves. We keep fighting."
Said Gibson: "He's been struggling, he hasn't swung the bat as well and that certainly went into my decision, but he got me on that one."
Even Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen agreed with Gibson's decision.
"Hanley is struggling right now. I would do the same," Guillen said. "I think that's a good move. Thank God it worked for us. But I don't think it was a bad move for them."
The D-backs grabbed an early lead off Anibal Sanchez, scoring a pair of runs in the first.
Then in the second, Sanchez walked the first two batters of the frame before recovering to strike out the next three hitters.
It was the last threat the D-backs would mount against Sanchez, who retired 18 consecutive hitters before departing after seven. Sanchez struck out a career-high 14 on the night.
"He's got great stuff; we know he does," Gibson said. "He struggled early and we got a couple runs out of him, but he really settled in and threw the ball well. You've got to tip your hat to him on that."
Ian Kennedy, meanwhile, once again was not sharp. The right-hander managed to keep the Marlins off the scoreboard for the first six innings, but he was constantly pitching out of jams.
Miami stranded eight runs in the first six innings, including the bases loaded in the third.
"Definitely, the whole night was a battle trying to throw strikes," Kennedy said. "It wasn't very fun pitching like that, feeling like you had runners on every single inning. My fastball was up, my offspeed was up. ... I feel like I've had 'C' stuff every time [out]."
The Marlins finally got on the board in the seventh when pinch-hitter Omar Infante led off with a triple to center and one out later scored on a Reyes single.
"It was a dumb pitch," Kennedy said of the pitch to Infante. "He's a high ball hitter. Really, we were trying to go up and away, and it was a bad pitch. Shouldn't have done that. He likes the ball up. Looking back on it, I threw the pitch I wanted, but that's one of those times you wish you had it back."
That spelled the end of the night for Kennedy, and Bryan Shaw ended the rally fanning Ramirez.
The Marlins then tied things up when Logan Morrison led off the eighth with a home run off setup man David Hernandez.
"He just got behind 2-1 and didn't locate the ball where he wanted to, and Morrison smacked it," Gibson said.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.