The Miami Marlins headed into this home series versus the Los Angeles Dodgers as winners of three straight, having just swept the division-leading Atlanta Braves. Tonight, they continued their run of excellence by easily disposing of the Dodgers thanks in large part to starting pitcher Tom Koehler. Koehler had his second legitimately good start of the season, striking out four batters and walking just two on his way to seven shutout innings. After a rough first inning during which Miami's defense had to bail Koehler multiple times, he settled down and delivered a fine performance.
That first inning was the only early threat the Dodgers ever really posed. Koehler allowed three baserunners to reach, as Dee Gordon, Yasiel Puig, and Adrian Gonzalez all got aboard. Most frustratingly, Puig and Gonzalez reached on pitcher problems, as Koehler walked and hit them by pitch respectively. Gordon was thrown out by Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and the Fish got the groundouts needed to escape despite Puig stealing a bag.
From there, however, it was the Marlins' offense that took over. It started with Saltalamacchia, who was celebrating his 29th birthday today. He did so with a two-hit night, including his sixth home run of the season. Salty hit a short-porch shot down the right field line against starter Josh Beckett, but even those homers are not cheap shots in the spacious Marlins Park. Saltalamacchia is now hitting .310/.416/.595 (.436 wOBA) after those hits and yet another walk.
Salty scored again when Garrett Jones doubled in the fourth inning to give Miami a two-run cushion. The hit was deep to right field and came off of the glove of Puig, who then made a throw directly to second and allowed Saltalamacchia time to hustle down the third base line at third base coach Brett Butler's behest. Jones's bat was heating up, and it continued tonight, as he picked up three hits on the night.
The seventh inning blew the game wide open for the Fish, as Miami scored the four remaining runs on the night. The inning began with Jones's second double and continued until Jones recorded the final out in the frame nine batters later. In between, the highlights included a triple from Christian Yelich and a scary moment on a hit-by-pitch to Derek Dietrich.
Miami will go for it again tomorrow night against the Dodgers, with Jacob Turner making his rotation return from the disabled list.
Hero of the Game: Tom Koehler (0.369 WPA)
Goat of the Game: Derek Dietrich (-0.043 WPA)
Play of the Game: Jarrod Saltalamacchia homered in the third inning. (+0.127 WPA)