Marlins-Dodgers Preview


Hanley Ramirez shined earlier this month in a three-game series against his former club. The Los Angeles Dodgers could use a repeat of that performance after being swept at home.

Ramirez and the Dodgers look to get back on track as they open another three-game set against the Miami Marlins on Friday night.

The Dodgers (67-58) fell out of the top spot in the NL West after a three-game sweep by first-place San Francisco to start the week. Los Angeles scored six runs in the series after totaling 64 while winning eight of their previous 11.

Though Ramirez had a solo homer and two RBIs against the Giants, he went 3 for 11 after batting .395 and driving in 14 runs in his previous 10 contests.

Acquired from Miami on July 25, Ramirez was 6 for 13 with five RBIs in his first series against his former club Aug. 10-12, helping Los Angeles take two of three. The Dodgers have won five of the last seven meetings with the Marlins (57-69), and they'll look to continue that domination behind the red-hot Chad Billingsley.

Billingsley (10-9, 3.44 ERA) has won all six of his starts with a 1.30 ERA since a stint on the disabled list due to inflammation in his pitching elbow. He hasn't allowed a run in his past 15 innings.

The right-hander pitched seven innings of three-hit ball in a 5-0 victory over Atlanta on Sunday. Billingsley, 4-0 with a 2.37 ERA in six career starts against the Marlins, can become the first Dodger to win seven consecutive starts since Kevin Brown from May 14-June 17, 2003.

Nathan Eovaldi (4-8, 4.03) will try to prevent Billingsley from pulling off that feat in his first start against his former club.

Eovaldi, sent to Miami as part of the Ramirez trade, has alternated wins and losses in his five starts for the Marlins, giving up two or fewer earned runs in four of them. He allowed one run in 6 2-3 innings of a 6-5 victory over Colorado on Saturday but walked four, giving him 13 in his last three outings.

"He was still a little bit off," manager Ozzie Guillen told the team's website. "This kid only needs to throw strikes. He's got a great arm. He's got a great idea of what he wants to do."

Guillen's club started 4-2 on its 11-game road trip before getting swept by Arizona in a doubleheader Wednesday. Miami totaled two runs in those games after scoring 18 in the first two contests of the series.

The Marlins won 7-3 in their only victory over the Dodgers this season Aug. 11 but plated a combined two runs in the other two matchups. Los Angeles scored 13 runs in that series with help from Ramirez and Matt Kemp, who was 6 for 14 in the three games.

Kemp, though, has seen his team-best average drop to .331 by going 2 for 25 in the last seven games. Andre Ethier is 3 for 26 over that same span.

"Those are the guys you count on," manager Don Mattingly told the team's website. "We are going to need production from those guys to be a part of (the playoff race)."

Miami shortstop Jose Reyes has batted .414 in his last seven games against the Dodgers but is 1 for 9 all-time against Billingsley.

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