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MIA@MIL: Buehrle strikes out eight over 7 2/3 innings

MILWAUKEE -- It was fun in the sun for the Marlins in their series finale on Thursday at Miller Park.

After offense dominated the first three games, Mark Buehrle kept his cool on a scorching hot 101-degree afternoon.

The veteran left-hander struck out eight in 7 2/3 innings, and Carlos Lee made an impact in his debut as the Marlins blanked the Brewers, 4-0, in front of the 27,443 who endured the heat.

"The first couple of innings it was hot, when the sun was out beating on the mound," said Buehrle, who finished the first half at 8-8 with a 3.25 ERA. "About the fourth or fifth inning, once it kind of got into the shadows, I won't say it was cool, but you could definitely tell the difference."

The Marlins also could tell the difference of having a proven run-producer like Lee in the lineup.

Acquired on Wednesday from the Astros, Lee went 2-for-4 with a double and a run scored. Logan Morrison drove in two runs, and the Marlins were able to salvage a four-game split.

"He's as advertised, a professional hitter," Morrison said of Lee. "It doesn't take too long to see that. You don't care if he has two strikes or a 3-0 count, he's going to have a good approach."

Pinch-hitter Greg Dobbs belted a two-run homer in the ninth inning off Jose Veras to complete the scoring for Miami.

Milwaukee's Mike Fiers struck out nine in 7 1/3 innings, but he allowed two runs on seven hits.

By taking the final two games of the series, the Marlins improved to 40-42 entering their three-game series at St. Louis.

"It was a big one," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "The way Buehrle threw seven-plus, that was huge, especially the way our bullpen has been used a lot the last couple of days. Good at-bats."

Offense had dominated the first three games, with the Brewers scoring 25 runs and the Marlins, 24.

"Maybe they were tired of swinging the bats so much and scoring runs," Buehrle said. "We scored just a few more than they did."

Buehrle silenced the Brewers' bats, and he combined with Steve Cishek, Randy Choate and Heath Bell to complete the Marlins' third shutout of the season.

"It was funny, because in the dugout, we talked about the heat, how hot it was," Guillen said. "I told [pitching coach Randy] St. Claire, 'I raised this kid, don't worry about it.' "

In typical Buehrle fashion, the left-hander worked quickly and efficiently, as he's gone at least seven innings in three straight starts.

"We didn't have many chances," Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said. "We didn't get many hits off him and didn't string together a lot of them. You got maybe two or three shots at him during the game."

After striking out in the first inning in his first at-bat as a Marlin, Lee made an impact in his second trip to the plate.

Opening the fourth inning, the veteran doubled to left. Miami didn't squander the scoring chance, as Morrison sliced an opposite-field single. Lee chugged in from second, and the Marlins had the lead.

"Anything I can do to help them win, that's what I'm here for," Lee said. "They know what I'm capable of doing."

In all four games of the series, the Marlins got on the board first.

Miami added an insurance run in the eighth inning, and again, Lee was at the center of the frame.

Jose Reyes singled to open the inning, and he was out at second when Hanley Ramirez reached on a fielder's choice. Lee's single to right advanced Ramirez to third.

The Brewers relieved Fiers with Manny Parra. The left-hander fell behind Morrison, 3-0, and Morrison grounded to short, but Milwaukee was only about to get the forceout at second. Ramirez scored, as Morrison was safe at first when second baseman Rickie Weeks lost control of the ball on the exchange.

Buehrle was lifted with two outs in the eighth, exiting with Cody Ransom, who doubled to open the inning, on second after the lefty struck out Martin Maldonado looking and retired Cesar Izturis on a fly ball to left field. After 105 pitches, Cishek entered and struck out pinch-hitter Travis Ishikawa on three pitches.

Bell closed out the ninth after Choate pegged Norichika Aoki with a pitch. In a non-save opportunity, Bell struck out Corey Hart to end it.

"It shows we're starting to find our stride," Bell said. "We could have won the first two games, but we just made some mistakes. We just need to clean up those mistakes, and the last two days, we have."

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