With Hyun-Jin Ryu being placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday, the Los Angeles Dodgers called up Stephen Fife to start opposite Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez in the rubber match of the three-game set.
Fernandez was dominant in the first, striking out Dee Gordon and Yasiel Puig, then exchanging words with Hanley Ramirez after fielding a comebacker. Fife’s first inning of work wasn’t nearly as easy, as the Marlins took the lead on a Giancarlo Stanton two-run homer. Matt Kemp drew a one-out walk in the second but was then forced out at second on a Carl Crawford ground ball. Fernandez ended the inning by getting Juan Uribe to ground out.
Adeiny Hechavarria reached on an infield single in the bottom of the second but Fife easily retired Fernandez for the final out. As they did on Saturday, the Dodgers engineered a two-out rally to get on the board. Fernandez walked Dee Gordon and a Puig single put runners on the corners for Ramirez. The former Marlin hit Fernandez’s first offering into right-center to score Gordon. Before Fernandez could get out of the inning, he threw a passed ball that allowed Puig to score from third and tie the game.
The next base runner for either team wouldn’t come until the bottom of the fourth on a Garrett Jones two-out double. Jones’ hit wouldn’t prove to be costly for Fife and the Dodgers as he retired the next batter. Gordon reached with two outs in the fifth on a ball lined off Fernandez’s left leg. Fernandez would need a moment to regather himself and would remain in the game. With Puig standing at the plate, Gordon was caught stealing to end the inning. With two outs in the bottom of the fifth, Fife allowed his second home run of the game, this time a solo shot to Christian Yelich that put the Marlins ahead, 3-2.
The Dodgers answered in the sixth on a two-out Crawford RBI single that scored Gonzalez from second and put runners on the corners. The bases were loaded on an intentional walk to Uribe, but Drew Butera was unable to make the Marlins pay as he went down looking without ever swinging the bat. Stanton broke the tie in the bottom of the sixth with a lead off home run, which was his second homer of the game.
In what wound up being his last inning, Fernandez kept the Dodgers at bay in the seventh, picking up his 10th strikeout of the game along the way. Fife’s day was over after he put the first two batters on base in the bottom of the seventh with a walk and hit by pitch. J.P. Howell inherited the jam, which turned into runners on second and third with one out following a Yelich sac-bunt.
Pinch-hitter Jeff Baker hit into a fielder’s choice that Uribe went home with to get Hechavarria, who was trying to score. Howell then walked Stanton to load the bases with two outs, but got out of the inning by getting Casey McGehee looking. Lefty Mike Dunn took over for the Marlins in the eighth. Scott Van Slyke pinch-hit for Crawford and drew a two-out walk, but was stranded and the Dodgers still trailed 4-3.
Andre Ethier and Jamey Wright both entered the game in the bottom of the eighth as part of a double switch. Wright worked a 1-2-3 inning to keep the Dodgers within one run. A.J. Ramos took the mound in the ninth looking for his first career save.
Chone Figgins pinch-hit for Butera to leadd off the ninth and worked a walk. Ethier tied the game on a sinking liner to right field that got past a diving Stanton. Ramos intentionally walked Puig to face Ramirez, who nearly delivered an RBI single. Instead, Hechavarria made a stop on a ball hit up the middle and flipped it to second to record a force out. Ramos got Gonzalez to ground out and the game went to the bottom of the ninth tied at 4-4.
Hechavarria was at the center of things again, leading off the home half of the inning with a single. Donovan Solano pinch-hit for Ramos and laid down a bunt to advance Hechavarria to second. The Marlins shortstop would reach third on a Yelich ground out and scored on a Baker double that resulted in Puig crashing into the fence. With the 5-4 win, the Marlins took two of three from the Dodgers.
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