Puig's homer carries Dodgers past Marlins

Walter Villa, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

MIAMI -- Maybe some rest was all Yasiel Puig needed.
Puig, who didn't start the game, snapped an 0-for-11 skid with a tiebreaking solo homer in the eighth inning, leading the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 6-4 win over the Miami Marlins on Tuesday night at Marlins Park.
The Dodgers snapped a two-game losing streak, their longest since June 21. They were on a 42-8 tear before their mini-skid began.
Puig's home run -- the 12th of his rookie season -- came on the first pitch he saw all night, a low fastball by reliever Dan Jennings (2-4). The ball barely cleared the wall, clanking off the top of the fence.
"In these last few games, I haven't been able to hit the ball like I wanted," Puig said in Spanish. "I was overanxious, but I felt very happy to connect."
His teammates were happy, too. They repeatedly slapped him on his helmet, and Hanley Ramirez, a former Marlin, even jumped on his back.
Marlins manager Mike Redmond was impressed with Puig.
"I'd like to have a guy like that on my bench," Redmond said. "The pitch kind of leaked back a little bit (over the middle). Still, he hasn't taken a swing all night, and the first one is a home run. That's probably a different level."
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly brought Puig into the game as part of a sixth-inning double switch. This was one day after Puig's much-hyped Miami debut.
According to TMZ, Puig, who has a home in Miami, was out late Sunday night at a South Beach club with teammates Carl Crawford and Matt Kemp and Miami Heat star LeBron James. They reportedly ran up a $20,000 tab. Then, on Monday night, Puig went 0-for-5.
None of that seemed to matter to Mattingly.
"He's fine," Mattingly said. "He's easy to talk to. He's not a problem. A lot of things happen, but he's not a guy I have to think about that much. I don't worry about him."
Meanwhile, Ramirez doubled in the ninth to snap an 0-for-18 streak against his former team. He came around to score on Tim Federowicz's infield single to give Los Angeles extra cushion.
The Dodgers' bullpen did the rest, led by Kenley Jansen, who posted his 20th save and 13th in a row. Chris Withrow (2-0) who got the win, and Miami native Paco Rodriguez struck out the only batter he faced to finish the eighth inning.
Both starting pitchers -- the Marlins' Jacob Turner and the Dodgers' Chris Capuano -- left with no-decisions. Capuano was pitching one day after his 35th birthday.
The Marlins got off to a good start, scoring a run in the first inning. Christian Yelich smacked an opposite-field double to left, advanced on Donovan Solano's sacrifice bunt and scored on Giancarlo Stanton's groundout.
Turner, who used a double play to keep the Dodgers off the scoreboard in the second inning despite having fallen into a first-and-third, no-out predicament, got into another jam in the fourth.
After the Dodgers began the inning with two singles, Turner induced another double-play ball. The Marlins then intentionally walked Federowicz to get to Capuano, but the plan backfired when Capuano drew a five-pitch walk to load the bases.
"That's really frustrating," Turner said. "You walk the eight-hole guy to bring up the pitcher, Nine times out of 10, he gets out, but I didn't do it, and it snowballed from there."
The Dodgers cashed in with three straight run-scoring singles -- Crawford's comebacker that bounced off Turner's glove, Mark Ellis' infield hit that scored two when shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria's desperation throw eluded first baseman Logan Morrison, and Adrian Gonzalez's grounder that somehow found its way to right field.
Miami scored twice in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases with no outs before Justin Ruggiano produced an RBI groundout and Hechavarria drilled a run-scoring single.
The Marlins tied the score 4-4 in the sixth when Ruggiano singled, advanced to second on an Hechavarria walk and scored on Jeff Mathis' single. The Marlins left the bases loaded when Solano struck out swinging against Withrow.
NOTES: Marlins rookie CF Jake Marisnick was benched for the second time in three games, giving way to a hotter Ruggiano. Marisnick struck out as a pinch hitter, leaving him in a 1-for-11 slump. ... In the four-game series that ends Thursday, the Marlins will avoid facing RHP Ricky Nolasco, who began the season in Miami. However, Miami will face two very tough pitchers the next two days -- RHP Zack Greinke and LHP Clayton Kershaw. The Marlins will counter with former Dodgers RHP Nathan Eovaldi, who is coming off the worst start of his career (11 runs vs. the San Francisco Giants), and RHP Henderson Alvarez.

What to Read Next