Dodgers-Marlins Preview

The Associated Press

Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez will likely play his final game in Miami this season Sunday.

Chris Capuano will try to send him out a winner while ending his recent woes.

The left-hander will seek his first win in four starts as the Dodgers conclude their series with the Marlins.

After playing six-plus seasons in Miami and earning three All-Star nods, Ramirez was sent to Los Angeles in a four-player deal July 25. He batted .226 in his first eight games with his new team but has picked things up lately, going 10 for 31 (.323).

Ramirez had three hits and drove in two runs during a victorious return to Miami on Friday, but couldn't help the Dodgers (61-53) keep their momentum. The Marlins (52-62) hit a season-high five doubles during Saturday's 7-3 win, with Carlos Lee driving in two runs with one in the eighth inning.

The first baseman has 13 RBIs in his 11 games this month but hasn't homered since July 17.

"Carlos is an RBI machine," manager Ozzie Guillen said. "That's the reason why he's made a lot of money over his career."

The loss dropped Los Angeles one game behind San Francisco in the NL West and snapped a season high-tying four-game road win streak.

Capuano (10-8, 3.29 ERA) will try to help his team bounce back and avoid losing his fourth straight start. The left-hander's latest defeat was a hard-luck one as he gave up two runs over seven innings to Colorado on Monday in a 2-0 defeat.

Capuano had given up a combined 11 runs over his two previous games.

"Cappy got better as the game went along," manager Don Mattingly said. "It seemed like he was in trouble a little early, but then he found his groove and was kind of rolling along. He kept his pitch count down and gave us a chance."

The left-hander, who is 1-6 with a 4.59 ERA over his last eight outings, has struggled in recent matchups with the Marlins, going 0-3 with a 5.65 ERA in his last five. He gave up six runs over four innings during his last start in Miami on Sept. 5.

His counterpart Sunday, Wade LeBlanc (1-1, 1.50), is 1-6 with a 4.80 ERA in eight career starts versus the Dodgers, losing the last four. In his most recent outing against them, he struck out a season-high 10 in a 2-0 defeat Sept. 23 while with San Diego.

The left-hander has allowed one run in each of his two games since joining the Marlins rotation, but a strict pitch count has kept him from earning victories. He reached 85 pitches after allowing a home run to open the fifth inning in Tuesday's game against the New York Mets.

"I'm keeping the team in the game. But I'd like to do it for more than four innings," he said.

With his pitch limit increased to around 90, LeBlanc might have a chance to go a little longer in this game and earn his first win as a starter since Sept. 28.

Matt Kemp will try to prevent that while improving on his .462 average (24 for 52) over the last 13 games. Kemp, however, is 3 for 16 lifetime against LeBlanc.

Ramirez is 0 for 5 versus the left-hander and Lee is 3 for 17 against Capuano. The Marlins' Austin Kearns has fared much better, going 8 for 13.

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