MIAMI — — In case Chris Capuano was unaware of what was at stake Sunday, there was a heckler near the on-deck circle at Marlins Park to remind him every time he prepared to hit.
Capuano had a no-hitter.
The heckler shouted at him in the fifth inning and again in the seventh.
At one point, Capuano turned around and told the man, "Yeah, I know."
Capuano smiled as he told the story.
"I think I probably made a mistake by acknowledging him," he said.
Capuano's no-hitter was broken up in the seventh inning when Jose Reyes singled up the middle.
But no-hitter or no no-hitter, the Dodgers' 5-0 victory over the Miami Marlins was a game Capuano ranked among the best individual performances of his eight-year major league career.
Capuano improved to 11-8 and lowered his earned-run average to 3.11 by limiting the Marlins to two hits and three walks over eight innings. The left-hander struck out 10 batters and ended a personal three-game losing streak.
"This is as good as I'm going to feel out there," said Capuano, who was signed by the Dodgers to a two-year contract over the off-season.
Capuano's gem allowed the Dodgers to claim two of three games in Miami to start a 10-game trip that will include stops in Pittsburgh and Atlanta. Hanley Ramirez drove in five runs in his return to Miami, including three in the series finale.
With the Dodgers leading by only one run entering the seventh inning Sunday, Manager Don Mattingly said he wasn't thinking too much about the possibility of witnessing history.
But Mattingly's counterpart in the Marlins' dugout was.
With the second, third and fourth hitters in the Marlins' lineup due up, Manager Ozzie Guillen thought the seventh inning might be the last chance for his team to break up Capuano's no-hitter.
Guillen thought about what the postgame news conference would be like. He wondered how many times he had been no-hit and when it had last happened.
"All those things went through my mind," Guillen said.
Reyes, the No. 3 hitter, spared him the indignity. Hideo Nomo remained the last Dodgers pitcher to throw a no-hitter, in Colorado in 1996.
"Thank you, Reyes, for that one," Guillen said.
The Dodgers blew the game open in the eighth inning, after starter Wade LeBlanc was replaced by Heath Bell. Ramirez drove in two runs with a single to left field to increase the Dodgers lead to 3-0. Ramirez scored on a single by Andre Ethier, who, in turn, scored on a double by Luis Cruz.
The Dodgers were up 5-0.
With Capuano scheduled to pitch in five days and his pitch count at 102, Mattingly elected to have Jamey Wright pitch the ninth inning.
"We're looking at the long haul," Mattingly said. "It's the best thing for him and it's the best thing for us. We want him strong the next time out."
What made Capuano particularly effective, according to Reyes, was his changeup.
"He's got an unbelievable changeup," Reyes said. "When he throws that fastball at 88, it looks like 100."
Mattingly said he could see how a team with as many inexperienced players as the Marlins could be troubled by that.
"He can really pull the string and rock you back and forth — hard, soft, hard, soft," Mattingly said. "That's tough for young hitters."