In a game the Dodgers seemed destined to give away, they emerged victorious thanks in large part to the two players on the roster perhaps most in need of redemption. Carl Crawford hit a two-run home run in the 11th inning to make a winner out of Brandon League, who pitched the final two innings of a 9-7 victory over the Marlins in Miami.
Crawford didn't start Saturday, hitting nothing on the season and in the midst of a 4-for-45 slump. But as a pinch hitter against old friend Carlos Marmol in the 11th, he cranked a line drive deep into the right field seats to reclaim the lead.
League, the much-maligned deposed closer, pitched a scoreless 10th inning to keep the Dodgers alive, then did the same in the 11th to close out the win. League in his last seven appearances has pitched 11 innings without allowing an earned run, with two walks and seven strikeouts
The Dodgers led 7-2 thanks in large part to fellow reclamation project Dee Gordon, who set a career high with five hits, and to Yasiel Puig, who hit a mammoth home run.
Gordon singled and stole second base in the first inning, he singled and scored in the third inning, he singled home a run in the fourth then stole a base and scored on Puig's home run. Gordon then singled home another run in the sixth. He also singled and stole second in the 11th.
Gordon, who was 0-for-10 in the doubleheader before hitting a single in his final at-bat on Thursday, has nine hits in his last 12 at-bats. His three stolen bases give him 19, six more than any other player in the majors.
Gordon is the first Dodgers player dating back to at least 1914 with five hits and three stolen bases in a game.
In the fourth, Puig did this to a 78-mph curveball from Jacob Turner:
The three-run blast widened the Dodgers' lead to 6-2 and gave Paul Maholm some breathing room.
Maholm pitched a quality start by definition, allowing three runs in his six innings of work, with three strikeouts and two walks. He gave up the first home runs of the season to a pair of Jeffs, Baker in the second inning and Mathis in the sixth.
Maholm left after six innings and with a 7-3 lead, then watched Brian Wilson continue his tap dance through the minefield of pitch execution in the seventh. After hitting Adeiny Hechavarria and walking Giancarlo Stanton, Wilson with two outs lost an eight-pitch battle with Marcell Ozuna, who deposited a slider into the left field seats for a three-run shot to cut the Dodgers' lead to 7-6.
Wilson this season has allowed 12 runs and 20 baserunners, while recording 23 outs.
The drama didn't end there, as Chris Withrow allowed a walk and a double to put runners on second and third base with two outs in the eighth. With the powerful Stanton looming on deck, Withrow walked Hechavarria to load the bases. Then, invoking memories of his showdown with Colorado's finest last Saturday, Withrow made quick work of Stanton, striking him out on three pitches.
Kenley Jansen, leading the world in appearances this season, was given a second night off after throwing a season-high 34 pitches on Thursday, meaning Chris Perez pitched the ninth.
A leadoff double by Casey McGehee, a walk to Garrett Jones and a single by Baker loaded the bases with one out, then Perez walked pinch hitter Jarrod Saltalamacchia to tie the game. Perez recovered to strikeout Christian Yelich and get Derek Dietrich to fly out, ending the inning and sending the game to extra innings, the eighth extra-inning game of the season for the Dodgers.
Puig has a five-game hitting streak, during which he is hitting .478 (11-for-23).
Miguel Olivo was 2-for-5 with two runs scored on Saturday and is 5-for-12 (.417) in three games since getting called up from Triple-A Albuquerque, where he was hitting .390/.438/.661.
Matt Kemp was 3-for-5 with a double and a run scored. He was also thrown out trying to steal for the first time in four attempts this season. It was the first caught stealing for Kemp since Sept. 13, 2012, snapping a string of 12 straight successful steals.
One night after his first full game off all season, Juan Uribe was 2-for-4 with an RBI and a walk. He scored on Crawford's home run.
The Dodgers go for a series win on Sunday, sending Stephen Fife to the mound against Marlins ace Jose Fernandez.
Home runs: Yasiel Puig (4), Carl Crawford (1); Jeff Baker (1), Jeff Mathis (1), Marcell Ozuna (5)
WP - Brandon League (1-1): 2 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
LP - Carlos Marmol (0-2): 1 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts