The Dodgers are rolling now. Hey, when you’re coming off an eight-game losing streak, you embrace anything resembling positive momentum.
That ripple of momentum arrived on a warm Sunday afternoon when the Dodgers downed the Miami Marlins, 5-3, behind the pitching of Chris Capuano and the hitting of Scott Van Slyke, to earn their second consecutive victory. Beats losing eight in a row.
The Dodgers welcomed an encouraging start by Capuano, who easily had his best appearance of the season. Actually, it was his best appearance since he held the Marlins scoreless for eight innings with 10 strikeouts last Aug. 12.
After two early relief appearances, Capuano had made a pair of starts separated by a stint on the disabled list with a strained calf. In his two starts, Capuano had thrown a total of six innings, giving up 10 earned runs and 13 hits while striking out two.
On Sunday he went 6 1/3 solid innings, holding the Marlins to one run and five hits and striking out seven. This was big-time progress, weak-hitting Marlins or not.
Capuano gave up his only run in the sixth, when Justin Ruggiano hit a solo home run to left field.
But it was all Dodgers from then on. They gave the bullpen some room to work by scoring three times in the seventh inning.
Punto and Juan Uribe opened with singles, then Carl Crawford bounced a run-scoring hit to left field. Dee Gordon’s bunt advanced the runners, and after an intentional walk to Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier’s fly to left was deep enough to bring Uribe home. Van Slyke singled in Crawford to complete the scoring.
Kemp singled twice Sunday, his second the 1,000th hit of his career. By at-bats, he is the third fastest Los Angeles Dodger to reach the mark.
Right-hander Kenley Jansen recorded all four of his outs via strikeouts before Brandon League gave up a pair of runs on three hits in the ninth inning. It was the third consecutive rough outing for League, who is in danger of losing his closer's role.