Yasiel Puig began Tuesday in the dog house and ended up being the Dodgers' savior, nailing a go-ahead solo home-run on the first pitch he saw in the eighth inning. The long ball put the blue crew ahead 5-4 and it ended up being the deciding run. By the end of the back and forth battle, the Dodgers defeated the Marlins 6-4.
The Cuban sensation got fined an undisclosed amount for showing up to the ball park late. Puig was supposed to get the day off regardless of his tardiness, instead Don Mattingly inserted him into the game on one of his routine double switches. The decision clearly paid off.
Play-by-play announcer Eric Collins said: "If anyone was wondering if Yasiel Puig is a big time player, that's his seventh home run in the seventh inning or later."
Tuesday summed up Puig perfectly, frustrating fans with inexcusable mistakes while showcasing jaw-dropping talent and charisma. Coming into Tuesday, Puig was only 3-for-23 over the previous five games.
The Dodgers obviously specialize at overcoming slow starts. Heading into the fourth frame, the Dodgers were already trailing 1-0 and failed to cash in on three separate chances with runners in scoring position. The blown opportunities happened in the first, second and third, but the fourth attempt went perfectly.
Giancarlo Stanton gave the fish the 1-0 lead on a routine groundout in the first. On the night, Stanton continued his recent tear by going 3-5.
In response, Andre Ethier and Juan Uribe rattled off consectuive singles to kick start the fourth. Skip Schumaker followed it up with his second double play.
With runners on 1st and 3rd and two outs, it looked like another missed chance for the Dodgers. Carl Crawford had different plans, driving in a RBI single off Jacob Turner's glove and tying the game up at one.
Mark Ellis proceeded with a RBI single up the middle. On Ellis's hit, shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria showcased great range to keep the ball in the infield.
On the contrary, Hechavarria's errant throw to first allowed Chris Capuano to also score, pushing the Dodgers advantage to 3-1. Adrian Gonzalez joined the RBI single club, putting his team ahead 4-1.
The Marlins immediately responded in the bottom of the fourth. The comeback began with Stanton's leadoff single, Logan Morrison's single, and Ed Lucas's walk, pushing Capuano into another tough spot. Justin Ruggiano began the comeback with a RBI groundout, and Hechavarria pulled the deficit within one on a single to left.
In the bottom of the sixth, catcher Jeff Mathis knotted it up at four at Brandon League's expense. Interestingly, the Marlins are 27-23 in games he starts.
For the starting pitching, neither hurler was involved the decision. Capuano and Turner both allowed three runs over five innings of work.
Chris Withrow came up with four clutch outs during the sixth and seventh innings. Doing so wasn't easy, as Withrow allowed back-to-back singles to start the seventh. The hard-throwing right-hander got out of the jam unscathed.
In the ninth inning, the Dodgers put some insurance on the board. Hanley Ramirez broke out of a 0-8 drought against his former team with a double. Tim Federowicz knocked Ramirez in on an infield RBI single, making the Dodgers lead 6-4.
Kenley Jansen ended the drama with a routine 1-2-3 saving.
The Dodgers and Marlins will play game three of the series Wednesday. Mattingly will turn to Zack Greinke to string together two straight wins, as the fish look to respond with old friend Nathan Eovaldi.
WP - Chris Withrow (2-0): 1.1 IP, 2 hits, no runs, two strikeouts
LP - Dan Jennings (2-5): 2 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 2 strikeouts
SV - Kenley Jansen (20): 1-2-3 inning, 1 strikeout