Nearly five years ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers were mired in an eight-game skid. They bounced back in a big way, winning their next eight in a row.
They can only hope a similar rebound awaits this time.
The Dodgers lost 5-4 to the Miami Marlins on Friday night, extending their skid to eight games, the longest since the same slide from Aug. 22-29, 2008.
They blew an early lead for the second straight game. Five of the losses have been at home, tying their longest such skid since May 28-June 11 last year.
At 13-21, the Dodgers are last in the NL West and have yet to win in May. Manager Don Mattingly is facing rampant speculation about his future with his high-priced lineup failing to contend.
Ronald Belisario (2-4) took the loss, giving up two runs and three hits in 1-plus innings. He walked one and struck out none.
The Dodgers have scored three runs or less seven times during their skid. Sluggers Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier continued to slump, combining to go 1 for 8. Kemp struck out twice.
Rookie Matt Magill made his third career start for the Dodgers, giving up three runs and five hits in five innings. He struck out two and walked four in his second straight poor outing. The right-hander didn’t make it out of the second inning last weekend at San Francisco.
”I wasn’t hitting my spots like I needed to, and I take full responsibility for the loss,” Magill said. ”My team shouldn’t have been in that situation. I just need to get better and I’m going to get better.”
Derek Dietrich tied the game with his first major league home run and Juan Pierre singled in the go-ahead run in the seventh inning as the Marlins ended their own three-game skid.
Miami has the NL’s worst record at 11-25, and got outscored 11-1 during a three-game sweep in San Diego.
Rookie Jose Fernandez (2-2) allowed three runs and eight hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked two for his second major league win, having won at Philadelphia last weekend.
Steve Cishek pitched the ninth to earn his fifth save in six chances.
Former Dodger Pierre singled to left field in the seventh, giving Miami a 4-3 lead. Adeiny Hechavarria grounded into a double play, scoring pinch-hitter Chris Coghlan, who doubled off the top of the wall in center field. The umpires reviewed the play and upheld second base ump Chris Guccione’s original call after Marlins manager Mike Redmond came out to discuss it.
Los Angeles closed to 5-4 in the eighth when A.J. Ellis singled in Kemp, who led off with a single and stole second. They had the tying run on third when Dee Gordon grounded out to second base to end the inning.
The Dodgers loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth, but pinch-hitter Tim Federowicz flied out to center to end the inning.
The Marlins tied the game 3-all in the fourth on Dietrich’s three-run homer with two outs. Placido Polanco and Marcell Ozuna sandwiched walks around a strikeout by Justin Ruggiano and a pop foul by Greg Dobbs before Dietrich sent a 3-2 pitch into the right field pavilion while playing in his second game.
”It was in the middle of the plate,” Magill said. ”Not being able to attack and not being able to throw the ball over the plate, the walks will hurt you.”
The Dodgers staked Magill to a 3-0 lead in the first on Adrian Gonzalez’s three-run homer. Carl Crawford led off with a single and Nick Punto walked to set up Gonzalez. They led 2-0 on Wednesday and ended up losing 3-2 to Arizona.
NOTES: Dodgers RHP Zack Greinke and LHP Scott Elbert made their first rehab appearances for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in its game at Lake Elsinore on Friday night. Greinke allowed eight runs – three earned – and six hits in 4 1-3 innings, struck out four and walked none. He broke his left collarbone in a bench-clearing brawl at San Diego last month. Elbert was expected to throw one inning of relief while rehabbing from left elbow surgery. … Marlins INF Chris Valaika had two pins inserted in his left wrist Friday in Miami. He’s expected to be out six to eight weeks. … The Marlins shuffled their rotation for Sunday’s series finale. RHP Tom Koehler will start in place of LHP Wade LeBlanc. … The Dodgers selected the contract of OF/1B Scott Van Slyke from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned IF/OF Elian Herrera back to Albuquerque three days after he had been called up. They also transferred RHP Chad Billingsley to the 60-day DL. He had Tommy John surgery on April 24.