Heath Bell remained seated inside the Marlins bullpen throughout Saturday's ninth inning. Only time will tell whether that will remain the embattled closer's permanent spot in crunch time.

For one night, anyhow, Steve Cishek was assigned the role by manager Ozzie Guillen.

And he delivered, recording the final five outs to preserve a 2-1 victory over the Washington Nationals. Cishek worked the final two outs of the eighth and got through the ninth to nail down an important win for the Marlins against the first-place Nationals.

"When I came in the dugout after the [eighth], he told me I was going to go back out and that got me fired up," Cishek said. "I went through the process of getting mentally prepared to go out and throw another inning."

Cishek threw 28 pitches — 21 of them for strikes — so it's possible he wouldn't be used again Sunday if the situation arises. But Guillen liked what he saw of the 26-year-old sidearmer and will likely turn to him again.

On the other hand, Guillen said he still hasn't ruled out giving the ball back to Bell.