Dodgers end 6-game losing streak
MIAMI (AP) — For one afternoon, finally, the Dodgers were better than last.
Justin Turner tied a career high with five RBIs and Kenta Maeda pitched eight innings Thursday to help Los Angeles beat the Marlins 7-0 and end a streak of six consecutive losses, all against last-place teams.
With the win, the defending National League champions climbed out of the cellar themselves in the NL West. Rap music blared in the postgame clubhouse, a contrast to the somber atmosphere of late.
“I thought the radio in the clubhouse was out the last six days,” manager Dave Roberts joked. “But we fixed it. So we have music. The worm has turned.”
Turner, who broke his left wrist in spring training and made his season debut Tuesday, hit a three-run double for the Dodgers’ first hit in the third inning. He added a two-run double in the fourth and also singled to finish 6 for 13 in the series (.462).
“We had felt like we were close to breaking out and having a good day,” Turner said. “Hopefully this can stick, and we can put together a run.”
Maeda (3-3) allowed two hits and no walks in his longest outing of the season. He said he took the mound mindful of the losing streak.
“But obviously we’re a really good team,” the Japanese right-hander said through a translator. “I’m not worried about that.”
Maeda retired the final 17 batters he faced while throwing 96 pitches.
“He was mixing pitches well,” Miami’s Miguel Rojas said. “He was working quick, throwing a lot of sliders, and we couldn’t figure it out.”
Kenley Jansen gave up two hits in the ninth but struck out three to complete the Dodgers’ sixth shutout of the year. Roberts said he thought about letting Maeda pitch the ninth but wanted to give Jansen work.
Matt Kemp had two doubles and a single for the Dodgers to hike his average to .318. Yasiel Puig hit his third home run of the season, all in the past four games.
Kemp said Turner was contagious.
“We got one of our best hitters back and he had a big day, and I think that kind of relaxed everybody,” Kemp said. “To see him battle, it’s kind of a domino effect.”
Caleb Smith (2-5) threw 60 pitches before he gave up a hit. But he walked the bases loaded in the third, and Turner cleared them with a double.
“You miss Justin because you know what he can do,” Roberts said. “And once you see him in the box and see it play out, it makes you realize how valuable he is.”
After the game, the Marlins designated RHP Junichi Tazawa for assignment. Tazawa, who will make $7 million this year, gave up three runs in one inning and has an ERA of 9.00 in 22 games.
“I’m hoping a change of scenery will benefit me and get me back on track,” Tazawa said in a statement released by the Marlins. “I do feel fine, and that is the frustrating part about all of this.”
RHP Tyler Cloyd was optioned to Triple-A New Orleans after pitching five shutout innings of mop-up relief to lower his ERA to 10.80.
Marlins rookie Lewis Brinson went 0 for 3 to drop his average to .168. He was the most highly touted prospect acquired during their busy offseason.
“You just stick behind these guys,” manager Don Mattingly said. “There’s a reason we acquired Lewis, and you know that talent is there.”
The crowd of 13,820, the largest of the six-game homestand, included thousands of school youngsters taking part in a pregame weather education program. They began departing in the third inning.
Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) took another step in his recovery progressing by playing catch from 120 feet for the first time. He’s not expected to throw from a mound until next week.
Dodgers: RHP Ross Stripling (0-1, 2.20) is scheduled to face Max Scherzer (7-1, 1.69) to start a three-game series Friday in Washington.
Marlins: Miami plays 16 of the next 19 games on the road, starting Friday when RHP Dan Straily (1-0, 5.54) is scheduled to pitch at Atlanta to begin a three-game series.
By Steven Wine of the Associated Press.