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Late collapse does in Dodgers in 5-4 loss to Florida

Mistakes by the Dodgers' Jonathan Broxton, Jamey Carroll and Jerry Sands allow a two-run ninth inning and walk-off victory for the Marlins.

April 25, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Florida's Omar Infante (13) is congratulated by teammate Emilio Bonifacio after delivering the winning hit against the Dodgers at Sun Life Stadium on Monday night.
Florida's Omar Infante (13) is congratulated by teammate Emilio… (Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images )

Reporting from Miami

The inevitable happened on Monday — and, no, this isn't about how Commissioner Bud Selig appointed former Texas Rangers president Tom Schieffer to monitor the Dodgers' day-to-day operations.

Nor is this about how Andre Ethier collected another hit to extend his hitting streak to 22 games, equaling an April record set by his former manager.

Jonathan Broxton blew a save.

Dodgers-Marlins box score

But the two-run ninth inning that sent the Dodgers to a 5-4 defeat to the Florida Marlins at Sun Life Stadium offered no more definitive answers about Broxton's form than did the five games he has saved.

Broxton was as unfortunate Monday as he was fortunate in his previous five save opportunities, of which only one required him to protect a one-run lead.

As the Marlins celebrated their walk-off victory in the infield, Broxton wasn't alone in feeling responsible for the collapse that dropped the Dodgers back to .500.

Jamey Carroll had let a ground ball get under his glove. Jerry Sands had taken a wrong step that caused a line drive to sail over his head.

"Guys are going to make mistakes," said Broxton, who lowered his earned-run average from 4.66 to 4.35.

Dodgers-Marlins: How the runs were scored

But, as Broxton pointed out, he had a significant role in his own demise.

"I made a two-out mistake," he said.

By walking Emilio Bonifacio with the bases empty.

"He's the kind of guy you want to swing his way on," Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said.

Former batting champion Hanley Ramirez, whose severe slump has sent him to the bench, hit a pinch-hit single to right field that moved Bonifacio to third.

But Broxton then threw a split-finger fastball that Scott Cousins hit weakly to the player Mattingly said was "the one guy you want the ball hit to."

The ball rolled under Carroll's glove.

Bonifacio scored. The score was tied, 4-4.

"Just whiffed it," Carroll said. "Went hard after it. Just missed it."

Broxton intentionally walked Chris Coghlan, who hit two home runs against starter Jon Garland, to load the bases.

Omar Infante hit a catchable line drive to left field — well, catchable if Sands hadn't taken a step in, which he did.

The ball cleared Sands' outstretched glove. The game was over.

But if the play betrayed Sands' youth — he was called up to the majors for the first time only one week earlier — the way he handled himself after his first major mistake offered a glimpse of an athlete mature beyond his 23 years.

"What's going on, fellows?" he asked reporters who approached him.

Sands took a few minutes to talk about how the step he took forward prevented him from recovering in time to catch the hard-hit ball by Infante.

"I just knew I didn't want to get beat in front of me," he said. "It was probably a bad jump on my part."

Sands was three for four with a double and a run batted in, raising his average from .154 to .233.

Ethier was one for three with a walk, his first-inning single ensuring him a place in baseball history.

Only one player has ever had as long a hitting streak in April as Ethier: Joe Torre, who had an identical 22-game hitting streak as a member of the St. Louis Cardinals from April 6-28, 1972.

As for the news that Selig had entrusted the Dodgers to a former Texas politician and business partner of George W. Bush, it didn't resonate here nearly as much as it did at Dodger Stadium.

The few players and team officials who talked about Schieffer did so only because they had one question: Who was this guy?

Mattingly said he wasn't sure whether he knew him.

"I don't think I've met him," he said.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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