Aug 11, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis (17) during the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Dodgers Fall to Fish and Fall Back to Second in the Standings

Dodgers 3 11 1

Marlins 7 11 2

WP- Nolasco (9-11)

LP- Blanton (8-10)

Clutch hitting continues to be the Achilles’ heel for the Dodgers. They left 10 men on base today and were only 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position. Both teams each had the same number of hits with 11, but the Dodgers could only translate those hits into 3 runs while the Marlins tacked on 7 against Dodger pitching. Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier combined for 5 hits, but it wasn’t enough. Joe Blanton was sailing smoothly through four innings, but the Marlins would attack in the fifth for four runs to take over the lead. The Fish would add another 3 runs to their lead off the struggling newcomer Brandon League in the eighth. A meaningless run in the ninth would be the last whimper of offense by the Dodgers tonight as Miami tied the series up.

In the top of the first, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier hit consecutive singles with two outs. Hanley Ramirez hits a hot grounder to Nick Green at third. Green’s throw to second pulls Solano off the bag. They throw to first, but Hanley who isn’t running down the line fast barely makes it safely on the fielder’s choice and Green error. The Dodgers have loaded up the bases for James Loney. Of course Loney’s fly ball kills the rally, and the Dodgers come up empty against Ricky Nolasco.

Joe Blanton has a very quick 1-2-3 inning in the home half of the first.

Jerry Hairston Jr. leads off the second inning with a single. Blanton lays down a good bunt to move JHair over to second. Shane Victorino draws a walk. Nolasco hits Mark Ellis with a pitch, and once again the Dodgers have the bases juiced with two outs. Matt Kemp strikes out swinging on a slider down and away, and once again the Dodgers leave the bases loaded.

Giancarlo Stanton doubles off the wall to the right center gap with one out in the bottom of the second. Donovan Solano‘s fly ball to center allows Stanton to move over to third. Blanton strikes out Nick Green to end the inning and strand the runner.

The former Fish, Hanley Ramirez, singles with one out in the third. James Loney continues his frustrating  ineptitude by grounding into an inning ending double play.

Blanton pitches another easy inning in the bottom of the third as each of the three Miami batters groundout to Jerry Hairston at third.

Joe Blanton is cruising along until a disastrous fifth inning meltdown. Photo: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

 

In the fourth inning, A.J. Ellis gets a stand-up double with one out. Joe Blanton manages to poke a single to center. Ellis moves to third on Blanton’s hit. Shane Victorino knocks in a Dodger run on a force out, and the Flyin’ Hawaiian beats out the throw at first. Nice hustle! Dodgers take a 1-0 lead!

Joe Blanton sends down the Marlins in order again in the bottom of the fourth.

Matt Kemp leads off with a single in the fifth inning and steals second with Dre at bat. That’s Kemp’s 5th stolen base of the season. Ethier singles in Matt, and the Dodgers lead 2-0. Hanley hits into a double play. Loney ends up with a single on a groundball to second which he beats out. That’s the Dodgers 9th hit of the day. Hairston pops up to John Buck in foul territory for the final out.

The typical fifth inning meltdown commences right on cue. Giancarlo Stanton barely missed going deep on a borderline foul, but Blanton somehow comes back to whiff him. Solano, Green, and Buck then proceed to hit consecutive doubles. The Marlins tie the game up at 2-2. the Marlins come up with their fourth hit in a row with a Austin Kearns pinch-hit single. The Marlins take the lead as they score on a sacrifice bunt by Gorkys Hernandez. Justin Ruggiano continues the onslaught as his single scores the fourth run of the inning for the Fish. The Dodgers finally get out of the inning when A.J. Ellis throws out Ruggiano attempting to steal second.

 

Ricky Nicaso isn't very effective, but the Marlins' offense comes to the rescue. Photo: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Ricky Nolasco pitched 5 innings, allowing 9 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout on 90 pitches.

Carlos Zambrano comes into pitch the sixth inning for the Marlins. Zambrano sends the Dodgers down in order.

Joe Blanton pitched 5 innings, allowing 6 hits, 4 runs, no walks, and 3 strikeouts on 78 pitches.

Javy Guerra comes out of the Dodger pen to pitch the sixth. Jose Reyes leads off the frame with a single. Javy gets the next three batters including strikeouts to Carlos Lee and Solano.

Matt Kemp singles in the seventh inning for his third hit of the game. The Marlins hook Zambrano and bring in Mike Dunn, a lefty, to pitch to Ethier. Dre flies out. Matt Kemp steals his sixth base of the year with Hanley in the box. HanRam grounds out to end the inning.

Javy Guerra allows a Buck single in the bottom of the seventh, but he induces a double play from Bryan Peterson to end the inning.

Heath Bell comes into pitch the eighth inning for the Marlins. A.J. Ellis reaches safely after Nick Green sails his throw away. That’s his second error of the game. It doesn’t matter though, because Juan Rivera makes out to end the frame.

 

Carlos Lee adds more pain with a two-RBI double in the eighth. Photo: Steve Mitchell-US PRESSWIRE

Brandon League gets the ball for the bottom of the eighth. Hernandez reaches second with a single and an error on A.J. Ellis who tried to sidearm a throw to first. Hernandez goes to third on a wild pitch by League. Don Mattingly has a little meeting at the mound, but it doesn’t matter because Carlos Lee promptly doubles off the center field two more runs score. Stanton flies out. Solano singles, and the Marlins score their third run of the inning. 7-2 Marlins. They have to hook League, and they bring in Shawn Tolleson to get the last out. Green flies out to finally end the inning.

Steve Cisek is in to pitch the ninth for Miami. Shane Victorino doubles to left field as Ruggiano totally loses his eye on the ball out there. Victorino advances to third on a Mark Ellis groundout. Victorino crosses home plate on a Matt Kemp grounder, and the score is now 7-3. Andre Ethier strikes out to fittingly end the game.

The Dodgers fall to 61-53. Since the Giants won against the Rockies earlier, the Dodgers fall back to second place and 1 game back in the standings. Jerry Hairston also left the game with tightness in his left hip which has been nagging him for awhile apparently. We will keep you updated with his prognosis.

Tomorrow morning the Dodgers finish off the series with the rubber game in Miami at 10:10 am before leaving for Pittsburgh. Chris Capuano will counter Wade LeBlanc.

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