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Fernandez strong as Marlins deal Dodgers eighth straight loss

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The Canadian Press
5/11/2013 1:34:55 AM
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LOS ANGELES -- Derek Dietrich will always remember his first major league home run, and the fact that it was a timely hit for the Marlins was a bonus.

Dietrich tied the game with a three-run shot, Juan Pierre singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning and Miami dealt the Los Angeles Dodgers their eighth straight loss, 5-4 on Friday night.

The Marlins tied the game 3-all in the fourth on Dietrich's three-run homer with two outs. Placido Polanco and Marcell Ozuna sandwiched walks around a strikeout by Justin Ruggiano and a pop foul by Greg Dobbs before Dietrich sent a 3-2 pitch into the right field pavilion while playing in his second major league game.

"How special," Dietrich said. "So many greats have played here. It kind of brings chills. I'm glad my family got to see it."

Miami ended its own three-game losing streak in the matchup of cellar dwellers. The Marlins have the NL's worst record at 11-25, and got outscored 11-1 during a three-game sweep in San Diego.

"We've been waiting on a big hit," Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. "Got a young kid up there who's taking advantage of an opportunity."

Rookie Jose Fernandez (2-2) allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked two for his second major league win, having won at Philadelphia last weekend.

"I keep learning every start," he said.

Fernandez threw 17 consecutive strikes at one point in the game.

"He's one of those guys that you want to get to early because, as he gets settled, he's going to get better as the game goes on," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He was aggressive in the strike zone and he wasn't afraid of anybody. He was coming right after us."

Steve Cishek pitched the ninth to earn his fifth save in six chances.

Former Dodger Pierre singled to left field in the seventh, giving Miami a 4-3 lead. Adeiny Hechavarria grounded into a double play, scoring pinch-hitter Chris Coghlan, who doubled off the top of the wall in centre field. The umpires reviewed the play and upheld second base ump Chris Guccione's original call after Marlins manager Mike Redmond came out to discuss it.

"It was a big play at the time and I just wanted to make sure they got it right, and they did," Redmond said.

The Dodgers blew an early lead for the second straight game in equaling their longest skid since dropping eight in a row from Aug. 22-29, 2008. Five of the losses have been at home, tying their longest such skid since May 28-June 11 last year.

At 13-21, the Dodgers are last in the NL West and have yet to win in May. Mattingly is facing rampant speculation about his future with his high-priced lineup failing to contend.

Ronald Belisario (2-4) took the loss, giving up two runs and three hits in one-plus innings. He walked one and struck out none.

The Dodgers have scored three runs or less seven times during their skid. Sluggers Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier continued to slump, combining to go 1 for 8. Kemp struck out twice.

Rookie Matt Magill made his third career start for the Dodgers, giving up three runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out two and walked four in his second straight poor outing. The right-hander didn't make it out of the second inning last weekend at San Francisco.

Los Angeles closed to 5-4 in the eighth when A.J. Ellis singled in Kemp, who led off with a single and stole second. They had the tying run on third when Dee Gordon grounded out to second base to end the inning.

The Dodgers loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth, but pinch-hitter Tim Federowicz flied out to centre to end the inning.

After trailing early, Redmond noticed a change in Fernandez.

"He came out up in the zone in the first and then he turned it up after that and was lights out," the manager said. "He pounded the strike zone and kept guys off-balance."

The Dodgers staked Magill to a 3-0 lead in the first on Adrian Gonzalez's three-run homer. Carl Crawford led off with a single and Nick Punto walked to set up Gonzalez. They led 2-0 on Wednesday and ended up losing 3-2 to Arizona.

Fernandez said that his first pitch after the homer "I felt like now I'm pitching. I'm young and trying to get adjusted to the game."

NOTES: Dodgers RHP Zack Greinke and LHP Scott Elbert made their first rehab appearances for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in its game at Lake Elsinore on Friday night. Greinke allowed eight runs -- three earned -- and six hits in 4 1/3 innings, struck out four and walked none. He broke his left collarbone in a bench-clearing brawl at San Diego last month. Elbert was expected to throw one inning of relief while rehabbing from left elbow surgery. ... Marlins INF Chris Valaika had two pins inserted in his left wrist Friday in Miami. He's expected to be out six to eight weeks. ... The Marlins shuffled their rotation for Sunday's series finale. RHP Tom Koehler will start in place of LHP Wade LeBlanc. ... The Dodgers selected the contract of OF/1B Scott Van Slyke from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned IF/OF Elian Herrera back to Albuquerque three days after he had been called up. They also transferred RHP Chad Billingsley to the 60-day DL. He had Tommy John surgery on April 24.

Jose Fernandez (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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