Dodgers end 8-game skid, beating Marlins 7-1
By JOE RESNICK
LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers don’t like the view from the NL West basement, and Saturday night they did something about it.
Andre Ethier had a pair of doubles among his season-high four hits, Dee Gordon hit a rare home run and Los Angeles snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 7-1 victory over the Miami Marlins.
“It feels great to shake hands after a game,” catcher A.J. Ellis said. “Every win is important and every win counts. And when you’re in the midst of a losing streak, you definitely want to break it as soon as you can.”
“Hopefully it’s something we can build on. Having great at-bats, getting guys on and moving guys up and getting guys in has been our struggle this year. So tonight was good for us,” he said.
The Dodgers have had four losing streaks longer than eight games since moving from Brooklyn to Los Angeles in 1958. Two of them were nine games (1973 and 1987), the others 10 games each (1961 and 1992). The franchise record is 16, which occurred in 1944.
“It all starts with one win,” center fielder Matt Kemp said. “Right now everybody’s having fun, and the kids are laughing and running around in the clubhouse. We missed that. I don’t think anybody wanted to be around kids until they got home, because of the way the locker room has been the last week.”
“We want to see everybody happy. I think a lot of us looked good at the plate tonight and I’m just glad we got a win. We’ve just got to keep grinding this thing out and take it game by game,” he said.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-2) allowed one run and five hits in 6 2-3 innings. The left-hander took a three-hit shutout into the seventh before Miguel Olivo homered.
Ethier’s four-hit game was his first since last Aug. 24-25, when he had back-to-back four-hit efforts against the Marlins at Dodger Stadium — each of which included a home run. The two-time All-Star is batting .403 against the Marlins in during his eight-year career.
“He’s been grinding and working so hard in the cage to get his swing right,” Ellis said. “I was with him today down there with (coaches) Mark McGwire and John Valentin, and they really put a good session in. They had a new plan of attack and he was able to execute. Those were four great at-bats and four great swings.
“One of the highlights for me as a player is hitting behind Andre at Dodger Stadium and being in the on-deck circle while he’s hitting. It’s such a pretty picture for me to see that open side when he’s squaring the ball up and doing that. It’s fun to watch,” Ellis said.
Kevin Slowey (1-3) gave up five runs, 11 hits and three walks in 4 2-3 innings.
“We just went in there against him being ready to hit,” said Adrian Gonzalez, who got two hits. “He’s got a sneaky fastball, and we knew it going in from the guys that have already faced him. Don’t let the radar gun fool you. Even though it’s in the 80s to low 90s (mph), it feels harder. It plays harder. He’s not the kind of guy you want to let get the ball deep on you because it’ll be by you. So you have to treat him like a hard thrower.”
Slowey, who pitched seven scoreless innings of two-hit ball against Philadelphia last weekend, hasn’t won consecutive starts since Sept. 12-18, 2010 with Minnesota. He acknowledged that it was a battle for him.
“There will be those games over the course of the season, and you hope to survive it probably a little better than I did today,” Slowey said. “I made some good pitches that they were able to fight off into the outfield. And when I left the ball over the plate, they hit it pretty well. I had opportunities to get out of some innings, and work around some walks. I just have to execute a little better earlier in counts.”
Ethier led off the Dodgers’ second with a double, ending a drought of 30 at-bats between extra-base hits. He advanced on Ellis’ first sacrifice bunt of the season and scored the game’s first run on a broken-bat bloop single by Skip Schumaker.
Gordon led off the third with a drive that just cleared the fence in right-center. It was his second homer in the big leagues and first since May 1, 2012.
“Slowey has been great,” Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. “Today, you could tell he was battling from the start. But he went out there and continued to compete and tried to keep us in the game. That’s what he’s done. He’s done a great job for us. Today was a little bump in the road. Offensively, we didn’t really get anything going either.”
Schumaker, starting at second base for the sixth time in 13 games while Mark Ellis has been sidelined with a right quad strain, turned in the defensive play of the game in the fifth — robbing Matt Diaz of hit with a diving stop in the hole and throwing him out with runners at first and second to end a Marlins threat.
“(Dodgers third base coach) Tim Wallach moved me the pitch before. He’s always looking at charts and he’s right on top of everything,” Schumaker said.
In the bottom half, Schumaker singled home a run and Juan Uribe hit a sacrifice fly to extend the Dodgers’ lead to 5-0. The Dodgers tacked on two more runs in the seventh against A.J. Ramos with Uribe’s RBI single and a passed ball by Olivo that let Ethier score.
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