The Dodgers mini three game winning streak came to an end at Land Shark Park 6 - 3 as the bullpen gave up four runs and the offense was absent other then Juan Pierre.
Eric Milton making his first major league start in over two years was only able to go four innings but he left with the game tied 2 - 2. From the time he left the game the offense could only manufacture one more one while Weaver and the defense of Furcal allowed the Marlins to score 4 times and win the game 6 - 3.
Milton had displayed excellent command in AAA but Land Shark Park is not AAA and while he ended his outing with an excellent 11 pitch 4th inning, the first three innings were a wild adventure with four walks and a hit batter. Only two runs scored but one of them was via a based loaded walk. He ended his night with 84 pitches and was noticeably losing arm strength by the time he had finished his four innings with some fastballs being clocked at 85, a far cry from the 89-90 he was throwing in the first inning. Milton would not make excuses for his poor lack of command.
I just wasn't myself today, said the 33-year-old former All-Star. I didn't throw enough strikes. Too many pitches mean I didn't throw enough strikes. I just didn't have a feel today. I was totally off. I wouldn't say it was emotions or nerves. Four walks is what killed me. I didn't do my job. I have nobody to blame but myself. That's the bottom line and all there is to it.
Jeff Weaver who went to the bullpen so Milton could join the rotation came out to pitch the fifth and gave up the go ahead two run home run to John Baker after thinking he had struck out Jorge Cantu for the 3rd out. He didn't get the borderline call and Cantu followed the with a single and then Baker put it into the seats for a 4 - 2 lead that the Marlins never relinquished. The Dodgers tried to come back with a run in the 7th but an error by Furcal allowed the Marlins to score two unearned runs in the 8th to put the game out of reach.
Juan Pierre did everything a lead off man is supposed to do with three hits, three runs scored, and two stolen bases. Unfortunately he was the only Dodger to score. Rafael Furcal continued his craptastic season at the plate and in the field by going 0 - 5 and picking up his sixth error. Luckily Orlando Hudson was able to bring home Pierre twice so the Dodgers could make a game of it.
Eric Milton was expected to get his next start skipped since they don't need a 5th starter next week but the Dodgers received word that Eric Stults jammed his left thumb last night. Stults said the thumb is sore and swollen and he will probably postpone his Sunday bullpen session.
"I didn't even realize it at the time," said Stults, who allowed a walk and a double to the next two hitters before ending the inning and coming out of the game for a pinch-hitter. "It's still a little sore. I probably won't throw tomorrow."
The injury occurred when Stults took a header on a close play at first base and he broke his fall with his pitching hand.
Tomorrow the Dodgers will try to end the road trip 4 -2 with a victory and their 2nd series win by sending Clayton Kershaw their 3rd successive southpaw to the hill.