MIAMI (AP)—There was a mess on the field, and for a change it wasn’t because of the way the Florida Marlins performed.
Countless silvery pompon strands blew onto the diamond Saturday on pompom giveaway night, but the Marlins emerged from the litter with a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers to break a five-game losing streak.
Miller (1-1), activated from the disabled list before the game, won for the first time since June 16. John Baker(notes) broke a 2-all tie in the fifth inning with a two-run homer for the Marlins, who scored five of their runs with two out.
The flurry of pompom strands was heaviest in the middle innings, and some players found it distracting.
“Who wants to be playing baseball when there are streamers everywhere?” Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla(notes) said. “It wasn’t funny. It wasn’t fun. It was brutal. When was the last time you’ve seen that at a baseball game? I understand having a pompom giveaway, but you need to get the right kind of pompoms that don’t fall apart.”
Most of the strands were launched by kids from the left-field corner behind the Dodgers’ bullpen, where a 20-mph wind carried the litter onto the field.
“It doesn’t matter to complain, because the Marlins had to deal with it too,” Dodgers left fielder Juan Pierre(notes) said. “It was funny at first, and then it just got more. After that I didn’t even think about it.”
The grounds crew hustled between innings to pick up the pompom pieces but couldn’t keep up with the volume.
“It wasn’t dangerous,” Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. “It wasn’t like they were throwing Frisbees, or Disco Demolition Night. But it’s distracting to the players, because you get all that shiny stuff going through people’s line of sight. It’s hard enough to hit 94-mph fastballs without glittery stuff blowing around you.”
Left field shimmered with silver by the sixth inning, and the home team showed a little sparkle, too. Hanley Ramirez(notes) singled, walked, scored a run and extended his hitting streak to 13 games. Uggla, who came in batting .182, walked twice, singled, scored a run and had an RBI.
Two unearned runs in the eighth completed the Marlins’ scoring.
“We’ve been needing a win,” Uggla said. “We need to get on a roll here. We’ve had a lot of things not go our way the past two to three weeks, so it was nice to have the ball take some funny hops in our favor.”
Miller allowed four walks and four hits but left after five innings with a 4-2 lead. The left-hander had been sidelined nearly four weeks with a strained oblique.
“I don’t know that five innings and 98 pitches really deserves a W very often, but I’ll take whatever I can get,” Miller said. “I’m thankful for everybody that came in behind me and saved my butt.”
The Dodgers had won three games in a row.
The Dodgers’ Eric Milton(notes), making his first major-league start in two years, threw 84 pitches in four innings and left with the score 2-2. Milton is mounting a comeback from Tommy John surgery in June 2007.
Milton retired the first two batters in the third, then misplaced his control. A walk, a hit batsman and two more walks forced in a run.
“I just wasn’t myself,” Milton said. “I didn’t throw enough strikes and threw too many pitches. It wasn’t emotions or nerves; I just didn’t have the feel.”
Pierre, making his ninth consecutive start in left field in place of suspended Dodgers slugger Manny Ramirez(notes), had three hits, stole two bases and scored three times. He raised his average to .406.
Matt Kemp(notes) singled in the fourth to improve to 5 for 5 lifetime against Miller. … By activating Miller before the game, the Marlins have 13 pitchers. Gonzalez said he needs an extra reliever to spread out the busy bullpen’s workload. “If we don’t do it, you’re going to have some valuable guys in the bullpen done by June,” Gonzalez said. … Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw(notes), who will start Sunday, has a 9.47 ERA in four road starts.