LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers found a power stroke but not much else, while the Marlins sought warmth in the soft underbelly of a tired bullpen and the relative inexperience of someone making his fourth major league start. The result was a 3-2 win for Miami, making a winner out of Don Mattingly in his first game back in Los Angeles.
Ross Stripling came within five outs of throwing a no-hitter in his major league debut, 17 days ago, but in many ways is Monday night outing stretched him to his limit. After a 28-pitch first inning he managed to last into the sixth but allowed single runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings to give the Marlins a one-run advantage.
Stripling threw a career-high 105 pitches in the game, five pitches more than his no-hitter flirtation.
"I have to find a way to start pitching more efficiently, and start getting guys out earlier in counts," Stripling said.
The Dodgers stacked their lineup full of right-handed bats to start against Wei-Yin Chen, though the only inning it paid off was in the fourth, with solo home runs by Yasiel Puig and Trayce Thompson, the latter hitting his first as a Dodger.
It was just the fourth multi-homer game by the Dodgers as a team this season, though that was all Chen would allow, pitching into the seventh inning for his first win of the year.
Stripling has received four runs of support while he was in the game in his four major league starts.
"We just couldn't put it together, that's the bottom line," manager Dave Roberts said.
The Dodgers put the tying run on base in the ninth inning with a walk by Joc Pederson, but Miami closer A.J. Ramos struck out Adrian Gonzalez and Corey Seager to end the game.
It's incredibly hard
Yasmani Grandal got the start at first base on Monday, his second game at the position this season but first start, giving Adrian Gonzalez a night of mostly rest. In the second inning, Grandal was quick to snag a line drive by Adeiny Hechavarria and turn it into an inning-ending double play. And in the eighth inning, Grandal made a diving grab to rob J.T. Realmuto.
But in the fifth inning with Christian Yelich on first base and two outs, the ever dangerous Giancarlo Stanton lifted a foul pop behind first base near the warning track. Grandal went back and tracked the ball, but then lost it, and the ball dropped unscathed, the inning still going and, more importantly, Stanton still at the plate.
"That is tough. It's never what you want, to give a guy a second or third chance in one at-bat, especially when I have already thrown the kitchen sink at him and he's seen everything I had," Stripling said. "I made a bad pitch, even thinking in my head I had to make a perfect pitch here. I still didn't get the cutter to the outside corner, and he was all over it."
Stanton made them pay with a rocket double to the wall in right field, measured by Statcast at 116 mph off the bat, to score Yelich, tying the game at 2-2.
"I'm not saying it was an easy play, it's still a tough play. Adrian makes plays look like that look very easy, but he's a Gold Glove first baseman," Roberts said. "If Yaz makes that play, Stanton doesn't beat us, but that's part of the game."
At 95 pitches through five innings, Stripling was allowed to pitch into the sixth, with three different relievers in the bullpen having pitched in at least each of the past two days.
But the cost of that decision was a near-immediate run, with Realmuto hitting a single then scoring on the triple by Derek Dietrich.
"It wasn't a pitch count thing, it was about getting outs, and I just felt with the matchups I felt he could get another inning for us," Roberts said. "I felt good with him getting those guys out."
In his first two times through the order the Marlins were 4-for-15 (.267) with Stanton's home run and three walks by Stripling.
But in his third time through Miami's lineup, Stripling allowed 4-for-8 (.500) with Stanton's double and Dietrich's triple.
Home runs: Yasiel Puig (2), Trayce Thommpson (1); Giancarlo Stanton (5)
WP - Wei-Yin Chen (1-1): 6⅔ IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
LP - Ross Stripling (0-1): 5⅓ IP, 8 hits, 3 runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
Sv - A.J. Ramos (4): 1 IP, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts