With their longest losing streak in five seasons in the past, the Los Angeles Dodgers finally have something positive to build upon.
Coming off their first victory in May, the Dodgers hope to begin a run in that positive direction Sunday against the visiting Miami Marlins .
Andre Ethier had four hits and Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched 6 2-3 solid innings as Los Angeles (14-21) snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 7-1 home win over Miami on Saturday. The Dodgers scored more than four runs once during their longest slide since August 2008 before breaking out Saturday to snap a five-game home losing streak.
"Every win is important and every win counts," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "And when you're in the midst of a losing streak, you definitely want to break it as soon as you can.
"Hopefully it's something we can build on."
Ethier, who had two doubles, was 4 for 23 (.174) with no extra-base hits in his previous six contests. This was the third time in five meetings versus Miami he's recorded a four-hit game. Ethier is a lifetime .403 hitter against the Marlins.
The Dodgers hope Chris Capuano (0-2, 10.38 ERA) has a better performance Sunday after he allowed six runs with two homers and six other hits in four innings of a 9-2 loss to Arizona on Monday. It was his first action since missing almost a month with a strained left calf."The training staff did a great job with my calf, getting it ready to play. So physically I felt great," said Capuano, who turns 35 in August. "Maybe I was pressing a little bit and missing a little bit with some pitches."
In losing both of his starts this season, the left-hander has yielded 11 runs and 13 hits in six innings.
Capuano is 5-5 with a 3.61 ERA in 14 starts against the Marlins (11-26). He gave up two hits and struck out 10 in eight innings of a 5-0 win at Miami on Aug. 12.
The Marlins' only win in the last five games was 5-4 on Friday at Dodger Stadium, and they've totaled two runs in the four defeats. Miguel Olivo homered in the seventh inning and Placido Polanco had two of the five hits Saturday for Miami, which has scored a major league-low 105 runs.
Polanco is 4 for 18 (.222) in the last five games.
Miami's Tom Koehler (0-0, 3.18) will make his first 2013 start and second of his career in place of the struggling Wade LeBlanc in the finale. The right-hander has given up all four of his runs this season over four innings of the last two appearances after throwing 7 1-3 scoreless frames in his first four.
"He's going to get an opportunity to go in and make a start, and we'll see how he does," manager Mike Redmond told the Marlins' official website.
Koehler, who began the season at Triple-A New Orleans, gave up three runs on two homers in five innings of a 4-2 loss to the New York Mets in his other career start Oct. 3.
He has never faced the Dodgers.
|May 08, 2013||Chris Valaika||15-Day DL||Fractured left wrist|
|May 06, 2013||Donovan Solano||15-Day DL||Strained left intercostal muscle|
|April 30, 2013||Giancarlo Stanton||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|April 29, 2013||Giancarlo Stanton||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained right hamstring|
|April 28, 2013||Joe Mahoney||15-Day DL||Hamstring strain|
|April 17, 2013||Adeiny Hechavarria||15-Day DL||Bruised left elbow|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|May 08, 2013||Adrian Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Left game - neck|
|May 06, 2013||Jerry Hairston Jr.||Day-to-Day||Strained groin|
|May 06, 2013||Jerry Hairston Jr.||15-Day DL||Strained left groin|
|May 04, 2013||Hanley Ramirez||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|May 03, 2013||Adrian Gonzalez||Day-to-Day||Stiff neck|
|April 30, 2013||Ted Lilly||15-Day DL||Strained right rib cage|
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Scott Van Slyke became the fourth Dodgers player to match Matt Kemp 's season total for home runs since the two-time All-Star slugger hit his first of the year April 24 in New York. That's still the only one Kemp has after 137 at-bats.
Kemp had two singles for Los Angeles on Sunday in a 5-3 victory over the Miami Marlins , giving him 1,000 career hits and extending his hitting streak to 11 games. But manager Don Mattingly insists it's only a matter of time before the homers come in bunches for Kemp, who hit a career-high 39 in 2011.
"I feel like he's still going to hit his homers," Mattingly said. "They're going to come, but when you're forcing them, they don't seem to come. That's the one thing I don't want him to do - try to force home runs. When he's having good swings and starts to get his hits, the power is right there with it."
Dodgers starter Chris Capuano (1-2) allowed a run and five hits in 6 1-3 innings with seven strikeouts and one walk. Last Monday, in his second start of the season and first off the disabled list, the left-hander gave up six runs over four innings against Arizona and threw a mini-tantrum in the dugout after being taken out.
"It's been a bit of a nightmare the past week. It's nice to wake up from it," Capuano said. "I was trying to watch some of the good games I had last year, look at what I did to be successful and try to stick with my strengths instead of worrying about getting to the hitters' weaknesses. I think it's a good approach with any lineup, not trying to get too caught up in a hitter's weaknesses. I had a pretty good changeup working today. And with the humidity and the moisture, I had that pitch working."
Capuano started against the Marlins for the first time since last Aug. 12, when he threw eight innings of two-hit ball in a 5-0 win at Miami.
"The last time I remember him being a little more fastball-friendly, to be honest. Today he just kind of off-speeded us to death and did a good job mixing his pitches," said Marlins center fielder Justin Ruggiano , who homered off Capuano in the sixth. "We swung at a lot of pitches we shouldn't have been swinging at, so that shows you that they were pretty good off-speed pitches. But we've got to take some of the blame for that, too, because we've got to get the ball up on him."
Brandon League finished in a non-save situation, giving up a two-run double by Adeiny Hechavarria with two outs in the ninth after allowing a game-deciding home run in each of his previous two appearances.
The Dodgers, who ended an eight-game slide Saturday night with a 7-1 victory, took two of three in the series. This is the first time they've won consecutive games against the same team since April 10-11 at San Diego. Los Angeles remains last in the NL West with a 15-21 record and trails division-leading San Francisco by seven games.
"Well, that's two," Mattingly said. "Once you've lost eight in a row, it doesn't sound like much to win a series. But it's a start. That's the way it feels."
Van Slyke, recalled from Triple-A on Friday, opened the scoring against rookie Tom Koehler (0-1) with his third big league homer leading off the second.
"That home run was off a guy I'd actually faced a lot the last two to three years (in the minors)," Koehler said. "He kind of sped up his bat with a cutter right there and he did a good job of staying on it. But the first run's not the one that kills you, so the key there is basically making sure that's the only one. And that team, with all the veterans they have, if you let them start building momentum, they can put up a crooked number real quick."
Koehler threw 79 pitches over five innings in his second big league start and first this season, allowing two runs and seven hits. The 26-year-old right-hander was recalled from Triple-A New Orleans on April 19 and made six relief appearances before replacing a struggling Wade LeBlanc in the rotation.
Koehler faced a lineup loaded with left-handed hitters except for Kemp, Van Slyke and Tim Federowicz , who were a combined 4 for 7 against him. During his stint in the bullpen, righties were 1 for 23.
"I don't feel much different than if I would have been starting consistently. So I guess that's a good sign, and now I can build off it," Koehler said.
After Nick Punto 's sacrifice fly gave Los Angeles a 2-0 lead in the fourth, Ruggiano got the Marlins on the board in the sixth with his seventh homer - all on the road.
The Dodgers extended the margin to 5-1 during a three-run seventh, as Mike Dunn gave up RBI singles to Van Slyke and Carl Crawford and a bases-loaded sacrifice fly by Andre Ethier that followed an intentional walk to Kemp. The first two runs in the inning were charged to Jon Rauch .
NOTES: Miami RF Marcell Ozuna turned Kemp's first-inning fly ball into a double play with a perfect, one-hop throw to third to get Crawford after he tagged up. ... Marlins reserve OF Austin Kearns , who has eight hits in 14 career at-bats against Capuano, was moved from the bereavement list to the restricted list. He will be spending more time with his mother, who had a heart attack on May 5. ... Dodgers 1B Adrian Gonzalez , who is 14 for 28 with runners in scoring position, got the day off because of persistent discomfort in his neck, which affects him in the field but not at the plate.