Dodgers call catcher Drew Butera to pitch in blowout loss

LOS ANGELES — It was just one of those nights. Nothing went right for the Dodgers on the field or throughout the stadium.

As the team was getting shellacked by the Marlins on the field, the scoreboard began to malfunction early in the game. There was a momentary lapse in the phones during the fourth inning, forcing Dodgers manager Don Mattingly to call timeout and send a batboy to the bullpen to deliver the message to start warming up as the Dodgers found themselves on the wrong end of a 13-3 loss to the Marlins.  

Backup catcher Drew Butera was the star of the show Wednesday and not for anything he did behind the plate or at the dish. His lone at-bat was so bad in his father’s eyes, Butera had a text message waiting for him after the game from his dad.

On Wednesday, the catcher pitched like a pitcher, throwing a 1-2-3 ninth inning against the Marlins in Mattingly’s attempt to save some arms in his bullpen.

Butera began the outing hitting 88 mph on the radar gun. By the end of the outing, he had Marcell Ozuna looking silly, way out in front of a 74 mph 0-1 changeup. The 0-2 offering was straight gas, a 94 mph fastball Ozuna couldn’t catch up with — a pitch Butera says he "blacked out" on.  

It was a momentary bright spot in what was an awful night of baseball for the Dodgers.

"It wasn’t fun because we were down," Butera said. "We were losing. That’s the reason why I’m in the game (at that moment)."

The Dodgers starter in the series finale was Paul Maholm who tied his career high with 10 runs allowed — five of which were earned — €“and lasted just 3 2/3 innings.

The second and fourth innings were gold for Miami.

Ten Marlins came to the plate in the second inning. They manufactured six hits and scored six runs. Five of those runs, however, were unearned.

Marlins starting pitcher Anthony DeSclafani hit a grounder with the bases loaded. The ball took a funny hop, going over the head of Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon. Two runs scored to give the Marlins and 2-0 lead and that opened up the floodgates.

Miami added four more runs in the inning — two coming via an Ed Lucas home run to left center — but they were far from done.

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In the fourth inning Miami sent eight to the plate, recording another six hits and adding another six runs. They hit two home runs in that inning, for a three home run night.

The 13 runs and 17 hits were both season highs for the Marlins and also the most allowed for the Dodgers this season.

The scoreboard, meanwhile, regained some of its functionality in the ninth inning in time for Butera to light it up in his second career relief appearance.

But, it was an otherwise poor ending to a homestand that saw the Dodgers win just three of seven games.