LOS ANGELES -- Just when the Los Angeles Dodgers seemed to have caught a little breeze of momentum, they kicked a hole in their own keel, playing their worst game of 2014.
The only thing worse than their fielding was their pitching in a 13-3 loss to the Miami Marlins on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
How it happened: Aware of his bullpen's heavy workload, Don Mattingly left Paul Maholm on the mound to dangle in the wind for a while though the veteran left-hander appeared to have little working for him. A costly Dee Gordon error and some shoddy Dodgers defense opened the door for five unearned runs in the second inning, but otherwise, it was all Maholm's doing.
The Marlins batted around twice. The upshot was Maholm's ERA took a beating, as he gave up five earned runs (10 total) and 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings.
Catcher Drew Butera pitched the ninth inning for the Dodgers and put on a clinic for the pitchers who came before him. He threw strikes, had a nice breaking ball and hit 94 mph in striking out Marcell Ozuna during a perfect inning. It was the second scoreless outing of Butera's career. He had one in 2012 for the Minnesota Twins in Milwaukee.
Hits: The Marlins had most of the hits, but there were some bright spots for the Dodgers. Yasiel Puig kept his torrid hitting going, with an RBI double extending his career-best 14-game hitting streak, Carl Crawford stayed hot and Juan Uribe had his first at-bat since last Thursday. He doubled down the left-field line, was able to jog to second and didn't seem to reinjure his right hamstring.
Misses: When he's off, Maholm tends to put up some crooked numbers. He hadn't given up this many hits in a start since 2010, but on July 20, he gave up seven earned runs in three innings at the Chicago White Sox. Maholm has had more success pitching in relief this season and it looks as though he could be headed back into that role as Hyun-Jin Ryu appears likely to come off the disabled list next week.
Up next: The Dodgers are off Thursday before starting a three-game series in Arizona on Friday night. The Diamondbacks are 16-27 and 11 games out of first place, so the Dodgers have that going for them.