Dodgers Can't Solve Volstad, Marlins Win 4-2

MIAMI GARDENS, FL - APRIL 26: Chris Volstad #41 of the Florida Marlins pitches during a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Sun Life Stadium on April 26, 2011 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Mike Stanton's two-run single off Clayton Kershaw in the bottom of the sixth proved to be enough, giving the Marlins a 4-2 win, their second straight win over the Dodgers. After giving up 14 runs in 15 innings this season before tonight, Chris Volstad pitched seven strong innings, allowing just two runs, picking up his second win of the year.

Kershaw threw 65 pitches through five innings, and appeared poised for another long outing. However, after giving up three singles and two walks to the six batters he faced in the inning, Kershaw's night was done. Facing Stanton with the bases loaded and one out with the game tied at 2-2, Kershaw threw five straight fastballs away, the last of which catching a little too much of the plate. Stanton drove a hard single to right center field to drive in two runs, giving the Marlins their first lead of the night. Kershaw was pulled one batter later after throwing 23 pitches in the inning while only recording one out.

The key play of the night, aside from Stanton's two-run single, was probably the hit-and-run single in that fateful sixth inning by Hanley Ramirez. With one out and Chris Coghlan on first base in a tie game, Ivan DeJesus broke toward second base to cover the running Coghlan, just as Ramirez grounded right to where DeJesus was previously standing. The woulda-coulda-shoulda 4-6-3 inning-ending double play turned into a first-and-third situation, which was eventually cashed in by Stanton.

In the fifth inning, Kershaw made a spectacular diving stop of a drag bunt by Emilio Bonifacio, retiring the speedster at first. It was very similar to the play Kershaw made in his last start against the Braves (the play is at the 0:50 mark of this video), although the bunt by David Ross was to the third base side.

Notes

  • Andre Ethier's RBI double in the bottom of the first inning extended his hitting streak to a career-high 23 games, a new MLB record for longest hitting streak in April. The last Dodger to have a 23-game hitting streak was Brett Butler in 1991. Up next on the LA Dodger hitting streak chart is John Shelby, who hit in 24 straight in 1988.
  • Kenley Jansen had his second straight solid outing, striking out three in his two scoreless innings, allowing only a walk to Gaby Sanchez. In his last two outings, Jansen has retired 10 of 11 hitters, six by strikeout.
  • Jerry Sands nearly hit his first major league home run in the fourth inning, lining a ball off the clock on the top of the wall in left field. Sands settled for a double, his fifth double in just nine big league games. Since 1919, the only other Dodger to hit five doubles in their first nine MLB games was Jim Lefebvre, who hit five doubles in his first six games en route to winning the 1965 Rookie of the Year award.
  • James Loney was 4-for-4 tonight, the seventh four-hit game of his career. Loney is now hitting .204/.225/.245 on the season, the first time his batting average has been at or above .200 since his first-inning home run on April 6 in Colorado, when he was 4-for-20.
  • For the second straight night, Marlins' reliever Randy Choate was brought in to face one batter -- Ethier -- in the later innings; the seventh inning last night, eighth inning tonight. In both instances, Choate struck Ethier out
  • Chad Billingsley tries to stave off the sweep in tomorrow's breakfast finale, against Anibal Sanchez

WP - Chris Volstad (2-1): 7 IP, 7 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts

LP - Clayton Kershaw (2-3): 5 1/3 IP, 6 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts

Sv - Leo Nunez (7): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts

Box Score

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