Miami (29-20) at Los Angeles (23-29)

Fair Currently: Los Angeles, CA
Temp: 84° F
  • Game info: 10:10 pm EDT Sat May 28, 2011
Preview | Box Score | Recap

For the Florida Marlins to bounce back from the first loss on their nine-game western swing, manager Edwin Rodriguez will need veteran Brian Sanches(notes) to overcome any early jitters he may encounter on the mound.

With ace Josh Johnson(notes) still sidelined by a sore shoulder, Sanches will make his first career start Saturday night when the Marlins resume a three-game series with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Sanches (3-1, 1.52 ERA) gets the call after 166 relief appearances with three teams since breaking into the big leagues in 2006.

He’s appeared in 16 games this season, allowing six runs and 12 hits in 23 2-3 innings, and is not expected to go deep in this contest. The right-hander pitched a career-high four innings without allowing a hit April 3 in a 9-2 loss to the New York Mets.

Sanches got the win in a 5-4 victory over the Dodgers on April 25 with a perfect ninth inning. However, he was charged with a loss two days later when he served up a solo homer in the 10th to Andre Ethier(notes) as the Marlins fell 5-4.

Hiroki Kuroda(notes) (5-4, 3.11) will again try to earn his first win over Florida at Dodger Stadium.

The right-hander is 0-1 with a 4.12 ERA in three home starts against the Marlins. He last faced them July 7, and took the loss after giving up four runs in seven innings of a 4-0 setback.

Heading into last Sunday’s game against the White Sox, Kuroda hadn’t allowed a run in his previous 14 2-3 innings en route to wins over Pittsburgh and Milwaukee. He was tagged for a season high-tying six runs and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings in Los Angeles’ 8-3 loss.

“Since the beginning, I didn’t have my slider today, so I was mis-locating my pitches,” Kuroda said through a translator.

Coming off a sweep of defending champion San Francisco, Florida had the NL’s best road record at 15-7 heading into Friday’s opener with Los Angeles (23-29).

However with the bases loaded in the ninth inning, pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro(notes) singled up the middle of a five-man infield to lift the Dodgers to a 3-2 win.

“It kind of gets in your head a little bit because you never see that,” he said. “You just got to be ready for one pitch and hit it hard. I’ve been seeing the ball good and I’ve been hitting the ball good.”

James Loney(notes) and Ethier homered for the Dodgers, who haven’t taken two straight at home from Florida since Aug. 14 and 15, 2006.

Los Angeles native Greg Dobbs(notes) tied a season high with three hits and drove in both runs for Florida (29-20).

“It was a big loss because we had our opportunities and didn’t get the job done,” first baseman Gaby Sanchez(notes) said.

Dobbs leads the Marlins with a .348 batting average, but is 0 for 3 against Kuroda.

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Starting Pitchers

B. Sanches KC vs. H. Kuroda NYY
4-1 Record 13-16
3.94 ERA 3.07
53 K 161
36 BB 49
1.43 WHIP 1.21


Saturday, May 28