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Marlins To Challenge Dodgers Saturday

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Miami Marlins

MIAMI (AP) — Times have become so tough for the Los Angeles Dodgers that even the offensively challenged Miami Marlins are finding ways to beat them.

Los Angeles, on the verge of its longest losing streak in nearly 21 years, looks to get back on track Saturday night in another matchup of last-place clubs.

The last-place Dodgers (13-21) have been one of baseball’s biggest early season disappointments despite a roster filled with high-priced former All-Stars that raised expectations. They haven’t lived up to the billing, though, dropping their eighth straight after squandering a three-run lead before falling 5-4 to NL-worst Miami on Friday.

Los Angeles, which got its only runs on a three-run homer from Adrian Gonzalez in the first inning, hasn’t lost nine straight since a 10-game skid June 10-21, 1992.

Carl Crawford went 3 for 5 on Friday and is hitting .353 over his last nine and Matt Kemp has a nine-game hitting streak for the Dodgers, who are batting a solid .270 during the losing streak.

The pitching staff, though, has posted a 5.37 ERA during that stretch, and Hyun-Jin Ryu will try to improve that mark and help end the skid when he takes the mound Saturday.

Ryu (3-2, 3.71 ERA) suffered his first loss in six starts after allowing four runs and eight hits in six innings of Sunday’s 4-3 defeat at San Francisco. The rookie left-hander has gone at least six frames in each of his outings and has 48 strikeouts in 43 2-3 innings.

He’ll face a Marlins offense that ranks among the worst in numerous categories but mustered enough runs to end a three-game losing streak Friday.

Derek Dietrich’s first major league homer – a three-run shot in the fourth – tied the game before Miami (11-25) added two more runs in the seventh. It had been outscored 11-1 during a three-game sweep at San Diego prior to beginning this series.

Juan Pierre, who played for the Dodgers from 2007-09, had the tie-breaking RBI single and is 7 for 15 over his last four games.

“We’ve been waiting on a big hit,” manager Mike Redmond said. “Got a young kid up there (Dietrich) who’s taking advantage of an opportunity.”

The Marlins still rank last in the majors in batting average (.224), runs (104) and home runs (20) and have an NL-worst .288 on-base percentage, though they had their best offensive performance the last time Kevin Slowey took the mound.

Slowey (1-2, 1.81) had his winless streak end at 22 appearances after he gave up two hits in seven scoreless innings of a 14-2 win at Philadelphia on Sunday. He hasn’t allowed more than three runs in any start and he finally got some help from his offense, receiving 12 runs of support after being provided with only four over his previous six outings combined.

“I’m really thankful for the opportunity to get a win,” Slowey said. “When you don’t have a win since 2010, you’re thankful to still get the ball every fifth day.”

The right-hander, who has never faced the Dodgers, has a 0.98 ERA in three road starts this season.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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