Marlins 6, Dodgers 5

The Florida Marlins followed a familiar formula, mounting a

comeback capped by Jorge Cantu.

For the second game in a row Sunday, Cantu helped Florida rally

past the Los Angeles Dodgers. He tied a career high with five RBIs

and the Marlins won 6-5 in the rubber game of a three-game

series.

Florida trailed 4-0 before Cantu hit a three-run homer in the

fourth. He put the Marlins ahead 6-5 with a two-run double in the

seventh.

“We’re the kings of drama,” Cantu said. “Everybody here is

used to that.”

Cantu’s sacrifice fly capped a three-run rally in the ninth

inning Saturday, when Florida beat Los Angeles 7-6.

“Two out of three the easy way,” team owner Jeffrey Loria

joked.

Since Fredi Gonzalez became manager in 2007, the Marlins have

128 come-from-behind wins, fourth-most in the majors.

“These guys battle,” Gonzalez said. “It’s just the makeup of

the team – we don’t give up.”

Two late comeback bids by the Dodgers fell short. Clay Hensley

retired pinch-hitter Andre Ethier with runners at the corners to

end the eighth. Leo Nunez gave up a walk and a single in the ninth,

then struck out Matt Kemp and retired James Loney on a groundout

for his second save in three tries.

Florida won with just five hits. Los Angeles had 11 hits but

went 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position.

“It’s frustrating when you get guys on base and you can’t get

them in,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. “The players are far

more frustrated than I am.”

The Dodgers went 2-4 on their season-opening trip and play their

home opener Tuesday against Arizona.

The Marlins have gone 2-1 in each of their first two series,

thanks in large part to Cantu. Florida’s cleanup hitter is batting

.320 with 10 RBIs. He has at least one RBI and hit in every

game.

“I’m trying not to do too much,” he said. “I’m seeing the

ball very well.”

Dodgers knuckleballer Charlie Haeger had a career-high 12

strikeouts in six innings and allowed only three hits, but one was

Cantu’s homer. Haeger walked four, and two other Marlins reached

base when strike three was a wild pitch.

Jeff Weaver (0-1) gave up a run for the first time in five

appearances this season. Chris Coghlan singled off him to start the

seventh, and after Hanley Ramirez walked, Cantu doubled.

“Hitting behind Hanley, Cantu is going to get a lot of

opportunities,” Gonzalez said. “And he always seems to come

through.”

A dropped fly by Kemp in center field led to an unearned run in

the sixth, which scored on Cody Ross’ two-out single.

“When it it’s the glove, you’ve got to catch it,” Kemp said.

“That was a bad time to make an error.”

Hensley (1-0) pitched two scoreless innings for his first win

since July 21, 2008. Florida’s Anibal Sanchez made his first start

of the season and allowed five runs, four earned, in six

innings.

The Marlins won despite some sloppy moments. They came into the

game last in the majors in fielding and committed two errors to

increase their season total to 10.

Florida center fielder Cameron Maybin was picked off first and

had a two-base error that let two runs score, and right fielder

Ross dropped a fly for an error that led to another run.

“It was ugly at times,” Ross said. “Good teams overcome that,

but we can’t keep playing like this, or it’s not going to be good

in the long term.”

Haeger struck out seven of the first 10 batters, but he walked

Maybin and Ramirez to start the fourth, and Cantu hit his second

homer of the year to cut the Dodgers’ lead to 4-3.

“The pitch that Cantu hit was a good knuckleball,” Haeger

said. “He’s a good hitter. Obviously that was a turning

point.”

NOTES: Ethier (ankle) missed his fourth consecutive start. He’s

expected to rejoin the lineup for the team’s home opener Tuesday

against Arizona. … Dodgers LF Manny Ramirez, 3B Casey Blake and C

Russell Martin also were given the day off, although Martin entered

the game in the eighth. … Marlins president David Samson says the

team will play more day games in the new ballpark scheduled to open

in 2012. … Sanchez ended an 0-for-43 slump when he singled for

his first hit since April 27, 2007.