Miami Marlins at Los Angeles Dodgers game preview
The Miami Marlins have been baseball’s best team at home, but they haven’t seen that success translate to the road.
Considering the way Tom Koehler shut down the Los Angeles Dodgers last month, they may have a good shot to turn things around Monday night at Chavez Ravine.
The surprising Marlins (20-18), who own the majors’ best home record at 17-5, won eight of nine in Miami from April 29-May 7. However, they followed that by losing the final three of four in San Diego, dropping baseball’s worst road mark to 3-13.
Miami’s rotation failed to produce a quality start in the last three games while the lineup struck out 31 times. The Marlins rallied with a four-run eighth and loaded the bases in the ninth of a 5-4 loss Sunday.
Giancarlo Stanton is serving as a microcosm of the Marlins’ inconsistency, batting .354 in 22 home games compared to .217 in 15 road contests, though he owns a .482 on-base percentage with 11 RBIs during a career-best 13-game hitting streak overall.
"We’re coming off a monster homestand where everybody pitched well and everything was going great," manager Mike Redmond said. "Now we’re being tested on the road and we’ll find out what we’re made of."
Stanton has seven homers and 10 RBIs during a 10-game hitting streak versus Los Angeles and was 5 for 11 with two home runs as Miami took two of three from the Dodgers at home May 2-4.
Koehler (3-2, 1.99 ERA) yielded three hits over seven innings in a 6-3 victory on May 2, then followed that by allowing two hits over eight in a 1-0 victory over the Mets on Wednesday.
"They’ve got a quality lineup from top to bottom," Koehler told the team’s official website regarding the Dodgers. "So you want to go out there and get outs as quickly as possible and keep our defense off the field, and then try to get into a groove offensively."
Los Angeles (20-19) has also floundered lately, dropping four of five. Adrian Gonzalez is 3 for 21 during that stretch while Hanley Ramirez is 3 for 17. Ramirez hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth Sunday against San Francisco to force extra innings, but Kenley Jansen surrendered three runs in the 10th in a 7-4 loss.
"We have to play with that sense of urgency," said Clayton Kershaw, who gave up three runs in seven innings. "I think over the past few days it’s slowly gotten better. Today I feel like we really played good baseball. Everybody knows how to play the game the right way. It’s just a matter of doing it collectively as a team."
Trying to pick the Dodgers up will be Dan Haren (4-1, 2.68), who comes off his first loss after allowing three runs and seven hits over six innings at Washington on Wednesday. Haren surrendered two first-inning runs for a second straight start. Opponents are batting .300 against him in the first inning this season but he’s generally settled down afterward as that average dips to .257 in all other innings.
Haren is 0-4 with a 4.85 ERA over his last five starts versus Miami, including three losses in four matchups last season. Stanton is 4 for 10 against him.
Dee Gordon was 9 for 15 in the first series, while Matt Kemp is 14 for 33 (.424) over his last nine games overall and is batting .426 in his last 12 against the Marlins.
Yasiel Puig is hitting .413 with 11 RBIs during an 11-game hitting streak.