MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — When you’re facing one of the best pitchers in baseball, everything has to go right for you to pull out a victory.
Unfortunately for Marlins fans, everything that could go wrong did go wrong for the Fish Wednesday night as the team committed three errors in a 4-1 loss to Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Greinke improved to 12-3 and tied major-league ERA leader Kershaw and Hyun-Jin Ryu for the team lead in victories. Greinke said there’s no rivalry among the Dodgers pitchers, not even a friendly one.
“Kersh is on such another level that if you try to do better than him, you’re going to get your feelings hurt,” Greinke said.
Actually, Greinke has been tough to top lately, with an ERA of 0.41 over his past three starts.
With LeBron James watching from behind home plate, Greinke allowed Miami six hits, walked none and lowered his ERA to 2.91.
The Marlins’ lone run came on a first-inning homer by Giancarlo Stanton. They had only one base runner against Greinke over his final 4 1-3 innings.
“They actually hit him a little bit early, and you saw him make a quick adjustment and start using a lot more curveballs,” manager Don Mattingly said.
“It was kind of cool to watch him turn the page and throw more breaking balls and change speeds a lot more. All of a sudden he was getting quick innings.”
Kershaw is scheduled to pitch the final game of the series Thursday. Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said he believes the team’s starters do compete with each other, which makes them all better.
“They wouldn’t be where they’re at without a competitive nature,” Honeycutt said. “There’s a sense of pride. When Kersh goes out and sets the tone, Zack wants to go deeper in games.”
While Greinke gave the Marlins fits, sloppy defense doomed them for the second night in a row. They committed a season-high three errors, including two in the Dodgers’ three-run fourth inning.
Two Marlins errors led to two unearned runs in their 6-4 loss Tuesday.
“We’ve got to pick it up defensively. We’re making way too many mistakes,” manager Mike Redmond said. “We can’t make a lot of mistakes, especially against such a good team.”
Yasiel Puig was back in the Dodgers’ starting lineup. He appeared to tweak his lower left leg in the early going and limped slightly at times but stayed in the game.
Puig went 0 for 5 and is batting .167 (7 for 42) over his past 11 games. The rookie sensation was back in right field after being held out of the starting lineup for one game because of his slump.
“He has some good swings, I thought,” Mattingly said.
The announced crowd of 24,996 included Puig’s friend, James, making his first visit to Marlins Park.
James sat next to one of the aquariums along the backstop and drew the night’s biggest cheer when he was shown on the video scoreboard as Puig stepped to the plate.
“I think Puig thought it was for him,” Redmond said. “That was kind of funny.”
The Dodgers improved to 27-5 since the All-Star break, and they’ve won 21 of their past 24 road games. They’re unbeaten in their past 18 series since mid-June.
Los Angeles had only seven hits and went 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position. Much of the Dodgers’ offense came from Hanley Ramirez, who had two hits, scored twice and drove in a run against his former team.
Aside from Stanton’s homer, only two Marlins reached second base against Greinke, and one was picked off.
Kenley Jansen completed the six-hitter by pitching the ninth for his 21st save in 24 chances. He gave up a walk before center fielder Andre Ethier made a long run and caught Adeiny Hechavarria’s drive at the base of the wall to end the game.
That left the Marlins (48-77) back on pace to lose 100 games.
Ex-Dodger Nathan Eovaldi (2-4) hit 100 mph on the radar gun and allowed only two earned runs in seven innings. But he was again hurt by the poor run support that has plagued him this season, and fell to 0-4 in his past seven starts.
“I felt good,” Eovaldi said. “Fastball command was there, off-speed stuff was there. I just had that bump in the road in the fourth inning.”
Puig reached on a wild throw by third baseman Ed Lucas to start the fourth, and Los Angeles took advantage of the mistake.
Ramirez doubled home a run, Ethier put the Dodgers ahead with an RBI single, and Ramirez came home on a wild pickoff throw to first by Eovaldi to make the score 3-1.
Stanton’s 16th homer in the first put the Marlins ahead 1-0. Their first two batters singled in the second, but Greinke pitched out of the jam.
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