Thursday afternoon was a good example of what happens when the starting pitching and bullpen of the Dodgers don’t exactly fire on all cylinders.
After outscoring the Marlins by a combined score of 24-2 in the first two games of the series, the Dodgers couldn’t capitalize in the finale, losing to the Fish by a score of 13-7.
With the win, Miami prevented Los Angeles from walking away with a season series sweep. Earlier in July, the Dodgers defeated the Marlins in all three games at Chavez Ravine by a total margin of 21 runs to seven.
Unlike his masterpiece against the Marlins on July 21, Walker Buehler struggled mightily with his control throughout his four-plus innings of work. Miami led 1-0 after just one inning when a pair of singles led to Jon Berti scoring after he was hit by a pitch.
In the bottom of the third, Berti slashed a double to center and scored again on a Starlin Castro sacrifice fly, stretching the Miami lead to two runs. It was a lead the Marlins would never relinquish.
Buehler was eventually pulled from the game in the fifth inning, but reliever Pedro Baez was unable to limit the Miami damage. By the time the smoke cleared on the entire fifth frame, the Fish managed to put up a whopping six runs. The Dodgers used three total pitchers—Buehler, Baez and JT Chargois—in an inning that seemingly extended the game by eons.
Buehler’s final stat line ended with 4.0 innings pitched, five earned runs surrendered on five hits and three walks, alongside six punchouts.
The Dodgers made it interesting in the top of the sixth inning when Max Muncy homered to right field after a Will Smith walk. Two batters later, Corey Seager blasted a long ball to center, cutting the lead to 8-4.
Nevertheless, the Fish tacked on five more runs in the bottom of the sixth after victimizing Chargois and lefty reliever Caleb Ferguson. The highlight of the inning for Miami was a Jorge Alfaro double down the left field line which plated both Castro and Garrett Cooper. As the game headed into the seventh, the Marlins were cruising with a 13-4 lead.
The biggest highlight of the game for the Dodgers was Cody Bellinger‘s MLB-leading 40th home run in the seventh frame. The shot to right field scored Smith and A.J. Pollock, shrinking the Miami lead to six. More importantly, the blast made Bellinger just the eighth player ever in a Dodgers’ uniform to hammer 40 HR. Bellinger’s long ball also tied him with Gary Sheffield for the fastest player in Dodgers’ history to mash 40 home runs.
Lefty starter Caleb Smith, who pitched the minimum of five full innings, registered the win for the Marlins. The victory was his eighth of the year.
Buehler suffered the loss, moving his record to 10-3.
Following the game, the Dodgers boarded a quick flight for Atlanta, where they will begin a three-game set against the NL East-leading Braves beginning on Friday.