MIAMI -- The next time the Marlins have a save situation, chances are Heath Bell will get the nod, as manager Ozzie Guillen is leaning toward returning the three-time All-Star to the closer role.
Guillen did note that he reserves the right to go with whomever he feels is right for the situation, but it appears Bell will again be given a shot, a week after he was unable to close out the ninth inning at San Diego.
"I want him to be there," Guillen said. "I'm going to give him a shot. He deserves another shot."
Bell, one of Miami's high-profile offseason acquisitions, has three saves in seven opportunities. On May 4 he allowed the tying run to score in the ninth inning at Petco Park. The Marlins eventually won the game in 12 innings, and Bell was told afterward that the club would consider other ninth-inning options.
Bell has made one appearance since then. On Wednesday he threw a scoreless 10th inning at Houston, striking out one, and the Marlins were able to pull out a 5-3 win in 12 innings.
"I like what I saw in Houston," Guillen said. "He threw the ball very well, he kept the ball down. He threw a lot of strikes. He kept us in the game."
Steve Cishek was given a chance to close at Houston, and the 25-year-old right-hander allowed the tying run in the ninth inning.
The hope has been that Bell will regain his rhythm and become the closer the team envisioned he'd be when he signed as a free agent.
"He's our closer," Guillen said. "Let's see what happens when he's back there."