One day after perhaps their most painful loss of the season, the Miami Marlins returned home and produced what could be their most substantial victory of the year.
The Marlins hope some of that momentum carries over when they face the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday in the second game of a four-game series.
Miami blew a 7-3 lead in the ninth inning Sunday, losing 8-7 in 10 innings to the host Atlanta Braves.
On Monday, the Marlins beat the reigning World Series champions 5-4, snapping the Dodgers’ nine-game win streak.
That had been the longest active win streak in the majors, but it all went away after Jorge Alfaro’s two-out, two-strike solo homer to left-center broke a 4-4 tie in the eighth inning.
“I wasn’t looking for a specific pitch,” Alfaro said. “I was just trying to get on base for my teammates. Whenever I’m at the plate, I’m just looking for a pitch that I can drive to the middle.”
The Marlins were aggressive, stealing three bases in four attempts.
“We’ve got a few guys who can run,” Miami manager Don Mattingly said. “(The running game) is a style we want to play. We took advantage of some counts.”
Perhaps the Dodgers took the Marlins lightly as they rested 2021 All-Stars Mookie Betts and Max Muncy and 2019 National League MVP Cody Bellinger. All three were used as pinch hitters in the top of the eighth, when the Dodgers rallied to tie the score 4-4.
However, Los Angeles reliever Victor Gonzalez gave up the homer to Alfaro in the bottom of the eighth.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts looked at the positives after the game, pointing out that his team was able to knock Marlins rookie All-Star left-hander Trevor Rogers out of the game after just five frames.
“We took some good at-bats against their ace,” Roberts said of Rogers. “We had some opportunities to win the game late against their bullpen.”
Dodgers catcher Will Smith and second baseman Zach McKinstry both made throwing errors, so the team will look to improve on defense Tuesday.
Los Angeles will start right-hander Tony Gonsolin (1-0, 2.81 ERA) against Miami right-hander Pablo Lopez (4-5, 2.97 ERA).
Gonsolin, 27, will make his fifth start of the year and the 19th of his career. In 25 total career appearances, he has a stellar 2.63 ERA.
Gonsolin, who has never faced the Marlins, earned the win in his most recent outing. He pitched three innings of one-run relief to beat the host Washington Nationals on Thursday.
Lopez won his only career appearance against the Dodgers, when he threw five innings of two-run ball on May 16 at Los Angeles.
The 25-year-old will be pitching for the first time since taking a highly unusual loss Friday. He threw just one pitch against the Braves, but he was ejected when that delivery hit Ronald Acuna Jr. Acuna came around to score, and Atlanta held on for a 1-0 win.
Prior to that, Lopez had won four of his previous five decisions.
All three of the Dodgers’ 2021 All-Stars, Chris Taylor, Betts and Muncy, figure to be in the Tuesday starting lineup against Lopez.
–Field Level Media