For the second day in a row, Jorge Cantu was the Marlins difference between a win and a loss.
Does anyone want to stop right here and imagine what the Marlins record would look like if Cantu weren't in the lineup? Me either.
Anibal Sanchez made his first start of the season Sunday in the series finale with the Dodgers. He lasted six innings against LA, and gave up five runs (4 earned) with a little help from the Marlins less-than-stellar defense.
In the top of the fourth, Anibal ran into trouble. He gave up three straight singles, the last of which skipped by Maybin in center field and allowed Belliard to take third base. Anibal followed up Maybin's error with an RBI triple to Reed Johnson, who also ended up scoring on a squeeze play to give the Dodgers a 4-0 lead.
Cody Ross committed the Marlins second error of the game, and tenth of the young season, when he dropped a fly ball in right, allowing a run to score.
But the sloppy defense and 5 Dodger runs weren't the bad news for the Marlins, it was Charlie Haeger and his frikkin' knuckleball. Haeger baffled Florida's bats through six innings, striking out a career high 12, and allowing just three hits to the Fish. Through the first three innings, Anibal Sanchez was the only Marlin to manage a hit off of Haeger, when he singled on a line drive to center field.
In the fourth inning, though, Jorge Cantu decided he'd had enough of Haeger and his knuckleball, and launched one of them into the center field seats. The three-run shot made it six straight games that Jorge has had an RBI.
But he wasn't finished yet. An RBI single from Cody Ross brought the Marlins within a run in the sixth, and Jorge followed in the seventh with a two-run double. Cantu's five RBI matched his career high, and put the Fish in the lead, 6-5.
Even after Cantu's heroics, a win seemed unlikely as the bullpen took over for Sanchez, with only a teensy little one-run lead to work with. But, in an earth-shattering turn of events, two relievers not named Burke Badenhop managed to pitch scoreless innings. Clay Hensley didn't allow a run in the seventh and eighth, and Leo Nunez came in to close things down in the ninth.
Of course, it just wouldn't have been a Marlins game, or an inning pitched by Nunez, if things didn't get a little interesting, so Leo walked the leadoff batter and gave up a single to put runners at the corners before he got the final out of the game.
Despite bullpen drama and some really crummy defense since opening Day, the Marlins have taken their first two series of the season.