MIAMI(AP) At first,
's pitching had teammates sprinting and diving for balls. Then he found a groove and flirted with a no-hitter.
The bid ended with
' double leading off the eighth inning, and the
Los Angeles Dodgers
settled for a four-hitter to beat the
The double came on the 112th and final pitch by Kershaw, a career high.
''I had fun today,'' the 21-year-old left-hander said. ''I felt good the whole game.''
Kershaw (2-3) benefited from three fine defensive plays in the first two innings, then settled down. Given a 6-0 lead by the
third, he struck out nine and pitched around four walks. Kershaw even stymied
, who went 0-for-4, ending his 13-game hitting streak.
It was a performance reminiscent of another Dodgers left-hander,
, who threw four no-hitters in the 1960s. Manager
predicted Kershaw will come close again.
''He's got the Koufax dominance, stuff-wise - the same type of curveball,'' Torre said.
Kershaw caught the Marlins looking at third strikes with his curve, and he had success throwing about a dozen changeups, a
season high. Those pitches complemented a 94 mph fastball.
Kershaw struck out
with his 100th pitch to start the seventh and went on to strike out the side for the only time. He had never pitched more
than seven innings in his previous 28 major league starts, but Torre thought the youngster had enough left to complete a no-hitter.
Although Kershaw's pitch count was in triple figures, taking him out before he allowed a hit would have been difficult, Torre
and pitching coach
''No-hitters are sacred,'' Honeycutt said. ''They don't come along too often.''
No decision was necessary. Ross started the eighth by pulling a high fastball into the gap on a 1-2 count to start the eighth.
''You don't want to be on the lineup card on the wall inside a pitcher's house,'' Ross said.
Kershaw's undoing might have been in the top of the inning, when he sat while the Dodgers scored four runs to make it 10-0.
''Every time there has been a long inning this season, it's hard for me to get loose,'' Kershaw said. ''But I don't think
that's the reason I gave up a hit.''
Torre sat four regulars for the day game following a night game, but the Dodgers' defense was first-team caliber. Three of
Florida's first five batters had a shot at a hit but were robbed on catches by second baseman
, left fielder
and right fielder
In the third, Kershaw's strikeout total began to rapidly rise. Torre has witnessed at least five no-hitters, including two
perfect games, and he said it was evident the lefty had no-hit stuff.
Torre tried not to jinx it.
''I never changed my seat after about the second inning,'' Torre said.
Following Ross' double, Torre summoned reliever
. He gave up
's sacrifice fly in the eighth and a grand slam by Ross in the ninth.
hit his first home run and scored three times for the Dodgers, who completed a 4-2 trip. They're 5-5 without suspended slugger
but still have the best record in the majors.
Pierre, Ramirez's replacement, had two doubles, a single and three RBIs to hike his average to .419. He finished 8 for 14
in the series with six runs and five RBIs.
''Manny who, you know?'' Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said. ''You almost wish Manny were here.''
(0-2) was no match for Kershaw, committing two early throwing errors to give up two unearned runs.
''It was kind of embarrassing the first couple of innings, throwing those balls away,'' Koronka said. ''It took us right out
of the game.''
Koronka was designated for assignment.
Notes: Before the game, Florida selected the contract of OF
Alejandro De Aza
from Triple-A New Orleans and optioned RHP
to New Orleans, and RHP
(elbow) was transferred to the 60-day disabled list. ... Dodgers LHP
, who jammed his pitching thumb on a defensive play Friday, delayed his scheduled bullpen session for at least one day and
may miss his next start.