Los Angeles at Florida

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L.A. Dodgers «14020300010150
Florida001000100282

Billingsley strikes out seven, Dodgers win eighth straight game

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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MIAMI -- The streaky Los Angeles Dodgers have things going in the right direction now.

Rafael Furcal hit a three-run triple, Chad Billingsley struck out a career-high seven in six strong innings and the Dodgers beat the Florida Marlins 10-2 Saturday night for their eighth straight win.

The Dodgers' winning streak is their longest since April 12-20, 2005, and it comes immediately after they lost 13 of 14 following the All-Star break.

"If I knew exactly what I did to pull this off, I would have done it before we lost 13 of 14," manager Grady Little said.

Billingsley (3-3) gave up one run and three hits. The 21-year-old rookie has won three of his last four starts.

"I had really good command of my fastball and I got ahead of the hitters," Billingsley said. "It was great to get those runs. It gave me a cushion."

Josh Johnson (9-6) pitched three innings for the Marlins, allowing five runs and eight hits. He struck out three in his shortest outing in 17 starts this season. His ERA went from a NL-leading 2.52 to 2.85, second behind Arizona's Brandon Webb.

"It was bad from the get-go," Johnson said. "I was battling after the first batter, it was my location mainly, and I couldn't get through it this time."

Andre Ethier hit a bases-loaded double in the fourth that drove in two runs and stretched the Dodgers' lead to 7-1.

Los Angeles scored four runs in the second inning, when it sent nine batters to the plate. After loading the bases with no outs, Furcal hit a hard grounder just inside first base that rolled into the right-field corner for a three-run triple. Furcal scored on Kenny Lofton's single to make it 5-0.

Furcal finished 2-for-4 and extended his hitting streak to 12 games. Ethier was 3-for-3.

"When you're facing a good pitcher, you have to take advantage of the scoring opportunities when you can," Furcal said. "He didn't look like the same pitcher he has been."

Later in the second, Marlins manager Joe Girardi was ejected by plate umpire Chris Guccione after arguing about a called ball on Ethier.

"It wasn't a good game," Girardi said. "We didn't play good defense and we didn't pitch well. You can't do that against a team that's real hot. You can't do that against any team."

The only run allowed by Billingsley came when he walked Josh Willingham with the bases loaded in the third.

Dan Uggla drove in Florida's other run with an infield single in the seventh off reliever Giovanni Carrara.

Newly-acquired Julio Lugo scored the Dodgers' first run on J.D. Drew's double in the first.

Notes

  • The Dodgers won their first series against Florida since taking two of three from May 4-6, 2004.
  • Girardi's ejection was his second this season. He was ejected on May 19 in a 5-4 loss at Tampa Bay.
  • Catcher Paul Hoover made his Marlins debut in the ninth. He is the 21st rookie used by the Marlins this season and his single was his first hit in the major leagues since his last appearance, which came for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Sept. 22, 2002.
 
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Rafael Furcal takes off toward first before legging out a two-run triple in the second inning.  (AP)
Rafael Furcal takes off toward first before legging out a two-run triple in the second inning. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

R. Furcal
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 3
Los Angeles

C. Billingsley
IP 6.0
H 3
ER 1
BB 3
K 7
 

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Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS5123000.285
Kenny Lofton, CF5121001.301
Julio Lugo, 2B5220011.301
J.D. Drew, RF4021012.280
Andre Ethier, LF3132103.352
Wilson Betemit, 3B4100014.279
Russell Martin, C4221002.304
James Loney, 1B4122001.276
Chad Billingsley, P3100120.067
Totals371015102514
BATTING
2B - J Drew (20); A Ethier (16)
3B - R Furcal (4); J Loney (3)
RBI - R Furcal 3 (42); K Lofton (26); J Drew (61); A Ethier 2 (45); R Martin (46); J Loney 2 (6)
BASERUNNING
SB - J Lugo (20)
CS - K Lofton (3)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Chad Billingsley 6.03113703.67
Florida Marlins
Alfredo Amezaga, CF3010010.272
Dan Uggla, 2B3100011.289
Mike Jacobs, 1B3010002.285
Miguel M. Cabrera, 3B3000010.326
Josh Willingham, LF2001110.258
Hanley Ramirez, SS2000110.272
Joe Borchard, RF2010100.226
Miguel Olivo, C2000011.286
Reggie Abercrombie, PH-CF1000010.216
Brian Moehler, P1000001.083
Totals22131375
BATTING
RBI - J Willingham (56)
Florida Marlins
Josh Johnson 3.08552302.85
Brian Moehler 4.07530206.75