Fish Cap: Miami Marlins 7, L.A. Dodgers 9 (11)

Marc Serota

The Miami Marlins dropped back to .500, losing a heartbreaker in eleven innings to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday night in Marlins Park. Despite home runs from Jeff Baker, Jeff Mathis, and Marcell Ozuna, the Marlins pitching staff could not contain the Dodgers bats enough to secure a win.

For the third Saturday in the last 4 weeks, the Miami Marlins played a game that went to extra innings. Tonight, they fell just short thanks to an eleventh inning 2-run home run by Carl Crawford, his first of the season, off of Marlins hit-or-miss reliever Carlos Marmol.

The Dodgers and Marlins traded 1-run innings in the second and third innings before Dee Gordon, who had 5 hits in the night, dumped a 4th inning 2-out blooper RBI single into shallow left field that scored Juan Uribe. The next batter, Yasiel Puig, hit a 452-foot, 3-run blast off of struggling Marlins starter Jacob Turner that hit just to the center field side of the Budweiser Bar in the concourse above left field to stake the Dodgers to a 6-2 lead.

After the Dodgers tacked on another run in the top of the 6th inning, the Marlins mounted an impressive comeback thanks to some great at-bats against Dodgers relief pitchers. After fouling off numerous Brian Wilson offerings, Marcell Ozuna finally connected with a 3-run home run in the bottom of the 7th inning that brought the Marlins to within 1 run.

The Marlins would load the bases in the 8th inning for slugger Giancarlo Stanton against Dodgers reliever Chris Withrow, against whom Stanton was 2-2 with a home run. Withrow would easily dispose of Stanton to get out of the inning, striking him out on three pitches.

This would set the stage for the bottom of the 9th inning with the Marlins trailing 7-6 and the Dodgers sending out Chris Perez instead of their usual closer, Kenley Jansen. After a Casey McGehee double, a walk to Garrett Jones and a single by Jeff Baker, the bases were once again loaded, this time for Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Salty narrowly drew a walk to send home the tying run after a hard fought at bat. Unfortunately for the Marlins, Christian Yelich and Derek Dietrich were unable to bring the winning run home from third base, and Perez was able to escape the ninth.

After a relatively uneventful tenth inning which featured an effective Steve Cishek versus an effectively wild Brandon League, the game headed into the eleventh and final inning. Marlins reliever Carlos Marmol promptly issued a walk to Juan Uribe before striking out Miguel Olivo. The next batter, Carl Crawford delivered what would end up being the game-winning two-run home run, his first homer of the season.

With the loss, the Marlins evened their record to 15-15, while the Dodgers improved to 18-13. The Marlins will send their ace starter Jose Fernandez to the mound on Sunday afternoon for the series' rubber game against Dodgers right-hander Stephen Fife.

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