MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – After playing pretty well at home for a few weeks, the Miami Marlins have really been struggling in front of their home fans lately.
The Marlins proved for the moment that they can win without slugger Giancarlo Stanton. Doing so against Zack Greinke might be a tall order, especially if the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers can provide him with some run support.
Though the majors’ ERA leader hasn’t allowed a run in his last two starts, he’ll try again to earn his first win in almost eight weeks Sunday.
Hours after announcing baseball’s home-run leader would miss four to six weeks with a broken hand suffered a night earlier, Miami (31-45) bested Clayton Kershaw to snap a five-game skid with Saturday’s 3-2 victory.
“To get a win on a day where we lose arguably the frontrunner for the MVP is big, and it shows the character of the guys, and hopefully it’s a momentum-builder,” pitcher Tom Koehler said after he helped the Marlins to their second victory in 10 games.
Christian Yelich had four hits, Koehler threw seven solid innings and Miami benefited from two Los Angeles errors while not recording a RBI. Yelich was 2 for 15 in his previous four contests.
“It’s being opportunistic and when those situations present themselves, if you’re doing things the right way and execute, then sometimes the breaks go your way,” said manager Dan Jennings, whose team has struck out 28 times in the first two of the series and failed to score more than three runs for a sixth consecutive contest.
Miami prevailed against Kershaw, who fell to 5-6 one season after winning both the NL Cy Young Award and MVP. Things could be tougher versus Greinke (5-2, 1.70 ERA) after he yielded only a Marcell Ozuna home run in seven innings of a 5-3 win May 11.
That outing came right after Greinke won the last of five straight starts May 5 at Milwaukee and began a nine-start stretch in which he’s 0-2 but has yielded more than one run twice and none over 13 innings of the last two. The right-hander gave up three hits in six innings of a 1-0, 10-inning loss to the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.
Greinke received an average of 6.02 runs of support while going 5-0 in his first six starts, but 1.79 in the last nine.
“I don’t worry about it and just think our team’s good and by the end of the year, if everyone does their job, we’re going to be all right,” said Greinke, whose only run of support over his last three came June 13 at San Diego.
The Dodgers (42-34) totaled 16 runs during a three-game winning streak that ended Saturday. Justin Turner, who homered for one of his two hits, is batting .345 with five home runs and 10 RBIs in the last nine contests.
Los Angeles gets its first look at rookie Jose Urena (1-3, 4.34), who hopes to be more efficient after recording seven walks in his last two starts. Three came Tuesday when he allowed all three of his runs in the fourth of the five innings he lasted while not factoring in the decision of a 4-3 loss to St. Louis.
The right-hander should see Yasiel Puig (callus) in the starting lineup for the first time in five games. Puig is 2 for 17 in his last six road contests.
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