MIAMI -- Don't blame wear and tear for Steve Cishek's struggles in September. The Marlins right-hander certainly isn't using it as an excuse.
Cishek, who has handled the closer's role since the All-Star break, had a rough ninth inning on Tuesday, giving up three runs in one-third of an inning.
The sidearm-throwing Cishek entered with a 3-0 lead, but three of the four batters he faced reached. Technically, the blown save went to Mike Dunn, who allowed the game-tying, two-run double to Brian McCann.
Miami did pull the game out, 4-3, in 10 innings. Afterward, manager Ozzie Guillen praised how well Cishek has pitched all season.
"For some reason, it's not going my way," Cishek said. "I go out there with the same mentality. I feel great, physically and mentally right now. I'm not getting the job done right now. That's basically it."
Tuesday wasn't his only spotty appearance of late. In September, Cishek has three saves, but in 6 1/3 innings, he has given up eight runs (seven earned).
The tough month comes after he was 7-for-7 in save chances in August, with a 2.70 ERA. For the season, he has a 2.87 ERA, with 14 saves in 18 chances.
Cishek has established career highs in innings pitched (59 2/3) and games (64). In 2011, his first full big league season, he appeared in 45 games, throwing 54 2/3 innings.
"I feel like I'm pitching the way I have all year, attacking with my fastball and slider," he said. "I'm keeping the ball relatively down. It's just not working my way right now. It happens. I'm trying to do my best to finish the season strong and help the team win."
Gorkys to put in extra offseason work
MIAMI -- There will be very little rest for Gorkys Hernandez in the offseason.
Nine days after the Marlins finish the season on Oct. 3, Hernandez plans on being ready for the Winter League opener in Venezuela.
The 25-year-old outfielder plans on starting his preparation early for 2013.
"I'm going to play winter ball," the Venezuela native said. "I'm going to try to be ready for next year, that's what I want. When I come in next year, I want to make the team. I don't want to go to another team, or the Minor Leagues.
"Next year is a big year for me. I will go to Venezuela to prepare for next year."
The Venezuelan season starts on Oct. 11, and Hernandez will once again play for Caribes.
It's common for players, especially those from Latin America, to play winter ball. But a number of them will take a month or two to rest before joining their clubs.
Hernandez hasn't been playing regularly in the big leagues, so he wants the extra work. The Marlins acquired him from the Pirates on July 31 for Gaby Sanchez.
Defensively, Hernandez is big league ready. He still needs to work on his offense. He's had a good series against the Braves, driving in a run with an single in Tuesday's 4-3 win in 10 innings.
On Monday, he had a single, double and triple. The Marlins have never had a player hit for the cycle, and Hernandez also hasn't had a cycle at any level.
"Very nice surprise," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "I like when those kids go out and perform that way. It's a good thing to see those kids doing that."
Spring Training will be crucial for Hernandez, because he will no longer have Minor League options. If he doesn't make the team, the Marlins risk losing him.
"If you want to be here, you have to keep working for next year to make the team," Hernandez said.
Ozzie to Chipper: Why are you retiring?
MIAMI -- If you're hitting close to .300 with 14 home runs and 60 RBIs, obviously you can still play.
So Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen has a question for Atlanta's Chipper Jones.
"I asked him, why does he want to stop playing?" Guillen said.
Jones, who is retiring after the season, played his final game in Miami against the Marlins on Wednesday. The Marlins paid tribute to Jones before the game. Team special assistant Jeff Conine and Jose Reyes greeted the Braves slugger at home plate, presenting Jones with a fishing rod and fishing supplies.
The veteran still can do damage. He entered the game batting .297.
"We're not going to miss him," Guillen joked. "The Braves should miss him."
Guillen, a former teammate of Jones, said the Braves veteran is a great ambassador for the game.
"I think Chipper was very underrated in his career," Guillen said. "All his numbers and stuff, although people talk about it now, when I played with him, he was another player on the field. Not too many people talked about him."