“What did he do?” Loney asked, feigning bewilderment.
“I got my first win of the year,” Billingsley answered with a mixture of pride and relief.
The right-hander struck out eight in seven innings to help the Dodgers extend their winning streak to five games Wednesday by beating the Florida Marlins 13-1.
Rafael Furcal had a career-high five hits, Russell Martin homered, and Loney and Blake DeWitt each hit a bases-loaded triple. But it was the breakthrough by Billingsley (1-4) that made the win especially sweet for the Dodgers.
“Any pitcher wants to get that first win and get it out of the way and relax,” pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said. “That’s definitely what he’s capable of start after start.”
Billingsley allowed three hits and one run to lower his ERA from 6.53 to 5.20. He increased his strikeout total to 40 in 27 2-3 innings, a ratio that suggests he has the stuff to dominate hitters.
“He threw the ball well the whole game,” catcher Martin said. “His cutter was outstanding, and his fastball was painting the outside. It seems like everything is coming together for him.”
Furcal went 5-for-6 with a double, giving him 17 extra-base hits, the most by a Dodger at the end of April since the team moved to Los Angeles in 1958. Furcal’s batting average rose to .381.
“He’s a motivator for everybody in the clubhouse, and then he goes out and puts his money where his mouth is,” manager Joe Torre said.
Scott Olsen (3-1) allowed seven hits and four runs in five innings, and the NL East-leading Marlins lost for the first time in his six starts.
“My delivery was getting a little quick,” Olsen said. “I wasn’t staying back, and I let balls be up in the zone that they were able to handle pretty well. They put good contact on a lot of pitches.”
Torre used the same lineup for the second game in a row, which made it 25 lineups in 27 games, and again it clicked. The Dodgers had 15 hits to give them 29 in the past two games.
Billingsley was grateful for the offensive support.
“It’s big when we scored some runs early,” he said. “It allowed me to relax a little bit and focus on pounding the zone with fastballs and getting ahead of the hitters.”
Matt Kemp had three hits and three RBIs in Los Angeles’ most lopsided win this year.
“Everybody is having good at-bats,” Martin said. “We’re being patient when we need to and putting good swings on the ball. It feels like we’re starting to come together.”
The winning streak is the Dodgers’ longest since running off five in a row July 8-16 last year.
Martin’s leadoff homer in the second inning put them ahead 1-0, and they scored two runs in the third. Olsen walked Billingsley, and Furcal singled. Both runners advanced on a sacrifice and came home on Kemp’s single.
Kemp hit a two-out double in the fifth and scored on Jeff Kent’s single.
Loney cleared the bases with a triple off Taylor Tankersley in the seventh, then scored on DeWitt’s single to put the Dodgers up 8-1.
DeWitt had an RBI single in the seventh and a three-run triple in the eighth. The Dodgers batted around in both innings.
“We haven’t played one of those in a long time,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “That’s the way it goes. This game is a beautiful game. You come back tomorrow—you don’t have to wait a week or three days to take it up again.”
Marlins RHP Matt Lindstrom failed to retire any of the three batters he faced, then left the game with a tight lower back. He’ll be examined Thursday. … Florida 1B Mike Jacobs (finger) and LF Josh Willingham (back) are expected to return to the lineup Thursday, manager Fredi Gonzalez said. Jacobs received a cortisone shot Wednesday. … Dodgers RHP Jonathan Broxton (side) played catch before the game but was unavailable for the second game in a row. … Andruw Jones fell to 1-for-19 (.053) against Olsen by going 0-for-2. … With the retirement of the Miami Heat’s Pat Riley, Gonzalez has the most seniority of any manager or head coach among South Florida’s pro teams. “I hope I can catch Don Shula,” he said.