MIAMI -- Mark Buehrle's quest for No. 10 will have to wait, because Friday night belonged to former teammate Hanley Ramirez and the Dodgers.
After cruising through the first five innings, Buehrle gave up four runs in the sixth, while Ramirez drove in a pair in his return to Miami, and the Marlins dropped their series opener against the Dodgers, 5-2, at Marlins Park.
Buehrle has won at least 10 games in each of the last 11 seasons, but has been stuck on nine wins since July 14. He gave up just three hits through five innings, but ran into trouble in the sixth as a pitching duel and a one-run Miami lead quickly turned into a three-run deficit. Shane Victorino led off with a double, and two batters later, Matt Kemp tied the game with a double of his own.
Ramirez, playing in his first game at Marlins Park since being traded to Los Angeles on July 25, drove in Kemp with a single. Ramirez, who was serenaded with a chorus of boos from the 28,130 in attendance each time he came to the plate, went 3-for-5 with two RBIs. It was his first three-hit game since May 30.
"I kind of stepped back just to give him his moment, I guess, to tip his hat, but he got booed too much, he couldn't even do that," Buehrle said. "That's the type of hitter he is. He's been struggling all year ... but he's a great hitter and he showed it tonight."
Said Ramirez of the reception from the fans: "It's OK. I have a lot of love for them. We won, thank God, and we come back tomorrow and try to win the series."
Juan Rivera hit a two-out homer to cap the four-run frame for the Dodgers, who chased Buehrle after six innings.
"That first pitch to Rivera was the one I'd like to have back, but other than that, I felt great," Buehrle said.
Since Buehrle recorded his ninth win of the season, the Marlins are winless in his last five outings.
While Buehrle labored in the sixth, Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw kept Miami's lineup in check, giving up just two runs on three hits over 6 1/3 innings.
With one out in the first, Justin Ruggiano belted a full-count offering from Kershaw 430 feet to left-center field to give Miami an early 1-0 lead. It was Ruggiano's 10th homer of the season and the first allowed by Kershaw since June 26.
Kershaw settled in after that. The reigning National League Cy Young Award winner retired the next 14 Marlins hitters he faced, striking out seven of them.
The Marlins had a chance to mount a comeback in the sixth, but fell short despite loading the bases with no outs. Ruggiano grounded into a fielder's choice that got the lead runner at home, and Carlos Lee followed with a sacrifice fly to center to cut the deficit to two.
Giancarlo Stanton stepped to the plate as the go-ahead run, but came up just short, flying out to the warning track in left field.
Ramirez came to the plate again in the seventh after the Marlins intentionally walked Kemp to load the bases with two outs. Ramirez came through again, driving in A.J. Ellis with a dribbler down the third-base line.
"I would do it too," Ramirez said of walking Kemp to get to him. "I'm hitting .240. But I've been feeling good at home plate."
It was Ramirez's 14th RBI with the Dodgers, and his fourth multi-RBI game since being traded.
"I wasn't surprised about it, he's that good," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "That kid has so much talent, he can hurt you any time. It's just something I think he needed to change scenarios, and I think it's good for him and his family and he's going to play better for them."
Miami again had the bases loaded in the seventh, but Donovan Solano grounded out to end the inning. In the ninth, the Marlins got the tying run to the plate, but Scott Cousins grounded out to first for the final out of the game.
"We got a couple chances," Guillen said. "When you're going to face a kid of that caliber, you got to bring your best stuff. It's not going to be easy to beat him. We got a few chances early and we couldn't get it done."
Tom Green is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.