Matt Kemp and the Dodgers failed to capitalize after loading the bases each… (Sarah Glenn / Getty Images )
The Dodgers did not just have Marlins right-hander Ricky Nolasco on the ropes, they had him hanging on the edge of a cliff by his fingernails, standing over him and all but laughing.
And they let him up. Let him and the Marlins all the way up to a 7-3 victory Saturday night in Miami that knocked the Dodgers back out of a tie for first in the National League West.
The Dodgers loaded the bases with two outs in the first, and James Loney flied out to center. They loaded the bases again in the second with two outs, and Matt Kemp struck out. Kemp is 0-for-4 with the bases loaded this season.
That’s six men left on base in just two innings. It’s the kind of thing that can come back to haunt, and it did.
Nolasco, who had lost his last five starts and eight of his last 10 decisions, actually hung around for five innings to earn the victory.
Right-hander Joe Blanton, making his second start for the Dodgers after being acquired from the Phillies on Aug. 3, pitched four strong innings. Trouble was, he also pitched the fifth.
The Dodgers had taken an early 2-0 lead. They scored one in the fourth when Shane Victorino used his speed to beat out a double-play relay, allowing A.J. Ellis — who had doubled — to score. They scored a second in the fifth when Matt Kemp singled, stole second and scored on an Andre Ethier base hit.
But in the bottom of the fifth, the Marlins scored four times. And that was after Giancarlo Stanton struck out following a foul ball he crushed about 450 feet.
The Marlins started it with three consecutive doubles by Donovan Solano, Nick Green and John Buck. They added a single by Austin Kearns, an RBI sacrifice bunt by Gorkys Hernandez and a run-scoring single by Justin Ruggiano.
Blanton (8-10) allowed only six hits in his five innings, but five of them came in the fifth.
The Marlins scored three times against Brandon League, the reliever who’s been just short of a disaster since being acquired from the Mariners on July 30.
League threw hard, but did not appear to have much movement. A hit, a wild pitch and an intentional walk preceded a two-run double by Carlos Lee, the man who would not be a Dodger. Solano singled in Lee.
In his first five appearances as a Dodger, League has a 16.88 earned run average.
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