Dodgers fall and stay behind, losing to Florida, 4-0

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Josh Johnson scattered six hits over eight innings and lowered his major league-leading ERA to 1.70 to help the Florida Marlins to a 4-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night.

Johnson (9-3) threw 117 pitches and came within three outs of his first shutout in 94 big league starts, striking out eight and walking one. Jose Veras finished up with a perfect ninth.

Johnson, who signed a four-year, $39 million contract extension in January, has yielded fewer than three earned runs in 15 of his last 16 starts and has a 34-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his last four outings.

Rookie Mike Stanton completed a successful homecoming with a three-run homer, helping the Marlins win their first season series against the Dodgers (4-2) since 2005. The 20-year-old right fielder, who played his high school ball at Notre Dame High in nearby Sherman Oaks — and came within one game of getting a chance to play at Dodger Stadium for the city championship — went 4 for 12 with two homers and six RBIs in his first series at Chavez Ravine.

Hiroki Kuroda (7-7) gave up four runs and six hits over seven innings and struck out four without walking anyone.

The Marlins did all of their scoring in the second, as Cody Ross hit an RBI single and Stanton drove a 3-1 pitch into the left field pavilion with two outs for his fourth homer.

Johnson retired his first two batters in each of the first six innings. The Dodgers put runners at the corners in the fourth on singles by Andre Ethier and James Loney before Casey Blake struck out. They got two more on base in the sixth, but Blake fouled out to third baseman Jorge Cantu — who nearly collided with on-deck hitter Garret Anderson.

NOTES: Dodgers C Russell Martin had a very special visitor before the game. It was 3-year-old Janelle Briseno, who had undergone surgery for a fractured skull after being struck by a line drive off Martin’s bat during batting practice on June 7. He presented her with a youth-sized Dodgers jersey with her name and age on the back. Janelle, whose favorite Dodger is Manny Ramirez, watched the game with her parents from the “Mannywood” section in the left field corner. During her three-day stay in the hospital, several members of the organization brought her some stuffed animals and presented game tickets to the medical staff who cared for her. … Stanton, the Marlins’ 20-year-old right fielder, attended numerous games at Dodger Stadium while growing up. He usually sat in the right field pavilion behind his favorite player, Raul Mondesi. … Johnson was 8-2 with a 2.74 ERA at the All-Star break last year. … Johnson hasn’t allowed a home run in six career starts against Los Angeles, spanning 34 innings, and is 3-0 with a 3.46 ERA in four starts at Dodger Stadium.

Updated 07/08/10