Florida at Los Angeles

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Florida (50-48)100101000360
L.A. Dodgers (62-35) «1000020014131

Blake's bases-loaded, walk-off blooper propels Dodgers past Fish

CBSSports.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- Luis Ayala thought he had already done the hard part of his job when he struck out Manny Ramirez with two runners on in the ninth inning of a tied game.

When the Florida reliever tried the same slider against Casey Blake moments later, he learned just how tough it really is to beat the Los Angeles Dodgers in close games.

Blake's two-out, bases-loaded bloop single ended Los Angeles' 4-3 victory over the Florida Marlins on Saturday night, the 27th comeback victory for the club with the majors' best record.

Los Angeles has won 10 games this season on its last at-bat, the most in the majors. This one had an unlikely hero in Blake, the veteran third baseman who has been slumping since the All-Star break.

Blake's chip shot to shallow right-center wasn't exactly emphatic, but it was decisive for the Dodgers, who are a major league-best 20-9 in one-run games.

"I was just trying to get myself mad and fired up and ready to step in there and battle him," said Blake, who was called out on a dubious strike in the third inning. "I found a hole. I thought it might hang up a little bit and let their guy get there, but I was fortunate. You get some luck in this game, and right now I'll take anything I can."

After Rafael Furcal's one-out bunt single in the ninth, Orlando Hudson singled to left off Dan Meyer (2-1). Ayala then got Ramirez, but walked Andre Ethier to load the bases before Blake connected on a 2-2 pitch to end Los Angeles' sixth win in seven games.

"There aren't many other people you want up there instead of him, in terms of coolness," Los Angeles manager Joe Torre said. "You know he's going to fight for it. Casey's not going to go just quietly. ... I told him when he came off the field that he just bought himself the day off [Sunday]."

Blake had been in a 7-for-43 drought before his winner, including a 5-for-31 slump during the Dodgers' eight-game homestand. Ayala sent his dugout into celebration after fanning Ramirez, but the right-hander couldn't finish.

"I tried to get him to swing a little and get a ground ball, but things like that can happen," said Ayala, who was dropped by the Minnesota Twins last month after angering manager Ron Gardenhire. "It's a tough situation."

Ramirez's seventh-inning single was his first hit since his pinch-hit grand slam Wednesday. He also was awkward on two early plays in the field, but made a nice running catch on Dan Uggla's drive to the gap in the ninth inning.

James Loney and Russell Martin tied it in the sixth with run-scoring singles for the Dodgers, who improved to 62-35 while snapping the Marlins' four-game winning streak on their West Coast road trip.

Jonathan Broxton (7-0) pitched a perfect ninth for the Dodgers, who have lost back-to-back games just once in July. They still haven't lost three straight all season.

One night after pounding the Dodgers' bullpen, Florida managed just six hits, none after the sixth inning.

Rick VandenHurk labored through five effective innings in his second start of the season for Florida, yielding five hits and three walks, but just one run.

"Of course you want to go deeper, but I was battling and trying to keep it close," said VandenHurk, who's hoping to nail down a regular spot in the Marlins' rotation. "It's a very good lineup. They're experienced, and they've got good hitters."

Hiroki Kuroda matched his season high with nine strikeouts and allowed just one extra-base hit in six innings of six-hit ball, but the Marlins manufactured three runs against the Japanese right-hander by stealing bases and exploiting the Dodgers' fielding imperfections. Hanley Ramirez stole second before scoring on Jeremy Hermida's sixth-inning single to put the Marlins up 3-1.

After VandenHurk left in the sixth, Los Angeles swiftly tied it against Florida's usually reliable bullpen. After Ethier's leadoff single and Blake's walk from Renyel Pinto, Loney and Martin hit back-to-back RBI singles.

Notes

  • Guillermo Mota pitched two hitless innings of relief for Los Angeles on his 36th birthday. He has thrown 19 consecutive scoreless innings in his last 15 appearances since June 24.
  • Kuroda got his first hit of the season in the fifth inning.
  • During the 51st annual Hollywood Stars celebrity softball game, actor Rob Lowe charged the mound and tackled pitcher Dave Annable, his co-star on Brothers & Sisters. No actors were harmed in the ensuing bench-clearing brawl. Sugar Shane Mosley and Tom Arnold were co-MVPs.
 
Copyright 2015 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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The Dodgers engage in a little postgame jubilee thanks to Casey Blake (center), who delivers in the ninth.  (AP)
The Dodgers engage in a little postgame jubilee thanks to Casey Blake (center), who delivers in the ninth. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

A. Ethier
AB 3
R 1
H 3
HR 0
RBI 0
Florida

J. Cantu
AB 2
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Florida Marlins
Chris Coghlan, LF4000010 .248
Emilio Bonifacio, 3B4110000 .253
Hanley Ramirez, SS4110031 .346
Jorge Cantu, 1B2111201 .289
Jeremy Hermida, RF4011013 .249
Dan Uggla, 2B4000021 .226
Cody Ross, CF4011011 .267
John Baker, C4010011 .265
    Luis Ayala, P0000000 .000
Rick VandenHurk, P2000021 .000
    Renyel Pinto, P0000000 .000
    Kiko Calero, P0000000 .000
   a- Ross Gload, PH1000000 .273
    Brian Sanches, P0000000 .000
    Dan Meyer, P0000000 .000
    Ronny Paulino, C0000000 .252
Totals33363211  
a-flied out for Calero in the 7th
Batting
2B - Jorge Cantu (24, Kuroda)
RBI - Jorge Cantu (56), Jeremy Hermida (38), Cody Ross (53)
2-OUT RBI - Jorge Cantu (24), Cody Ross (29)
SB - Hanley Ramirez (15, 2nd base off Kuroda/Martin), Jorge Cantu (2, 3rd base off Kuroda/Martin)
Team LOB - 5
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Jeremy Hermida 1
DP - Uggla-H. Ramirez-Cantu
Florida Marlins
Rick VandenHurk 5511330 2.45
Renyel Pinto (H,5) 0.1222100 3.15
Kiko Calero (BS,1) 0.2100000 1.72
Brian Sanches 2200010 1.08
Dan Meyer (L,2-1) 0.1211000 2.13
Luis Ayala 0.1100110 3.82
WP - Rick VandenHurk (1)
Pitches-Strikes - Rick VandenHurk 92-55, Renyel Pinto 13-6, Kiko Calero 11-6, Brian Sanches 34-20, Dan Meyer 11-7, Luis Ayala 17-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rick VandenHurk 5-5, Brian Sanches 3-2
Batters Faced - Rick VandenHurk 21, Renyel Pinto 3, Kiko Calero 3, Brian Sanches 8, Dan Meyer 3, Luis Ayala 3
Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS5220002 .258
Orlando Hudson, 2B5031000 .292
Manny Ramirez, LF5010024 .336
Andre Ethier, RF3130200 .269
Casey Blake, 3B4111125 .275
James Loney, 1B3011102 .280
Russell Martin, C4011000 .259
Matt Kemp, CF4000011 .313
Hiroki Kuroda, P1010100 .083
   a- Blake DeWitt, PH1000001 .129
    Guillermo Mota, P0000000 .000
    Jonathan Broxton, P0000000 .000
   b- Juan Pierre, PH1000000 .314
Totals36413455  
a-flied out for Kuroda in the 6th
b-lined out for Broxton in the 9th
Batting
2B - Andre Ethier (22, VandenHurk)
3B - Rafael Furcal (2, VandenHurk)
RBI - Orlando Hudson (50), Casey Blake (58), James Loney (59), Russell Martin (29)
2-OUT RBI - Casey Blake (27)
CS - James Loney (2, 2nd base by VandenHurk/Baker)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
E - Russell Martin (4, Throwing)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Hiroki Kuroda 6632190 4.57
Guillermo Mota 2000110 3.00
Jonathan Broxton (W,7-0) 1000010 2.76
Pitches-Strikes - Hiroki Kuroda 95-61, Guillermo Mota 36-19, Jonathan Broxton 13-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Hiroki Kuroda 6-3, Guillermo Mota 2-3
Batters Faced - Hiroki Kuroda 25, Guillermo Mota 7, Jonathan Broxton 3
Game Information
Attendance - 50248
Game Time - 3:28
Temperature - 75
Umpires - Home - Mark Carlson, First Base - Bob Davidson, Second Base - Angel Campos, Third Base - Jeff Nelson