LOS ANGELES – Kenta Maeda suffered his first loss, Giancarlo Stanton hit another home run, and the Los Angeles Dodgers lost another game to the Miami Marlins as they dropped their fourth in a row, 5-3, on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
Miami swept the Dodgers for the first time in franchise history thanks to Stanton and their bullpen. The Marlins slugger had an RBI in every game of the series, totaling eight to go with three home runs over the four-game sweep.
The Marlins bullpen allowed just one run (a wild pitch) over 11 innings of relief in the series, and had shutout the Dodgers for 10 consecutive innings before the bottom of the ninth on Thursday.
"They pitched us well all series," said Dodgers second baseman Chase Utley. "They made the big pitches when they needed to."
Utley reached base in all four plate appearances, but ended a potential rally when he overran second base in the seventh. With runners at first and second and two outs, Adrian Gonzalez hit a chopper to second base that Dee Gordon bobbled for an error. Gonzalez was safe on the play, but Utley was halfway to third, and was thrown out trying to get back to second to end the inning.
"I didn't do a good job picking up the lead runner," Utley said after the game. "I was overly aggressive. It was my fault that inning didn't get extended."
"Maeda-Mania" swept through Chavez Ravine earlier in the game as the Japanese right-hander made his fifth career MLB start opposite Marlins' ace Jose Fernandez.
Maeda was solid –allowing only a solo shot to J.T. Realmuto – until he ran into trouble in the top of the seventh. Maeda allowed back-to-back singles to Realmuto and Adeiny Hechavarria before Dee Gordon knocked in a run with a single to left.
Maeda exited the game for reliever Pedro Baez who didn't fare much better, surrendering an RBI single to Martin Prado before he was called for a balk, allowing Gordon to score from third.
Maeda (3-1) suffered the first loss of his Major League career, allowing four runs on seven hits with five strikeouts in 6 and 2/3 innings. Moreover, his ERA tripled after the game, jumping from 0.36 to 1.41.
"It was my first loss," Maeda said. "I learned a lot from this process and am going to make the necessary adjustments for my next start."
Fernandez (2-2) struggled early, allowing two runs to cross the plate in the first thanks to an RBI double for Yasmani Grandal and single for Yasiel Puig. The 23-year-old star would settle down and struck out five of the next six batters he faced, cruising to victory after the Dodgers anemic offense was unable to score (other than on a wild pitch) after the first inning.
Players of the Game:
Jose Fernandez: 2 runs on 5 hits with 8 strikeouts in 6IP.
Giancarlo Stanton: Solo home run in the eighth inning.
J.T. Realmuto: 2-for-4 with a home run and two runs scored.
1. Fish Fillet: The Miami Marlins swept the Dodgers for the first time in franchise history and were the first team to sweep L.A. at Dodger Stadium since May 2012.
2. Not so fast, Dee: MLB announced after the game that Marlins' second baseman Dee Gordon tested positive for two banned performance-enhancing substances and would be suspended for 80 games, effective immediately.
3. Made in Japan: Dodgers' starter Kenta Maeda struck out his boyhood hero, Ichiro Suzuki in their first meeting in the second inning. "That was somebody I looked up to as a child and it was an honor to face him," Maeda said.
Marlins (10-11): Miami heads to Milwaukee riding high after a four-game sweep of the Dodgers and will look to make it six in a row when Adam Conley takes the mound on Friday.
Dodgers (12-11): After a four-game sweep by the Fish, the Dodgers will look to get back to their winning ways against the San Diego Padres on Friday night at 7:10PM PST.
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