LOS ANGELES -- Dioner Navarro walked to the plate to pinch-hit with the bases loaded in the ninth inning and found Florida's five-man infield staring back at him.
He didn't flinch, singling up the middle to give the Los Angeles Dodgers a 3-2 victory over the Marlins on Friday night.
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"It kind of gets in your head a little bit because you never see that," said Navarro, who notched his first pinch-hit of the season. "You just got to be ready for one pitch and hit it hard. I've been seeing the ball good and I've been hitting the ball good."James Loney and Andre Ethier hit two-out home runs for the Dodgers, who improved to 4-9 in their past 13 games. They are 2-2 in one-run games, having played four straight.The Marlins' three-game winning streak ended as they dropped two games behind NL East-leading Philadelphia.Rubby De La Rosa (1-0) pitched two innings and was credited with his first major league win in his Dodger Stadium debut despite giving up the tying run in the eighth on Greg Dobbs' second RBI single of the game.Clay Hensley (0-1) came on in the ninth and gave up a single to deep shortstop by Casey Blake, who had come off the disabled list earlier Friday. Ethier followed with a single to right and Blake got to third as Mike Stanton mishandled the ball for an error.Matt Kemp was intentionally walked, setting the stage for Navarro, who batted for De La Rosa and lined a 2-0 pitch into center field after Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez called in center fielder Chris Coghlan to be the fifth infielder."That would have been a single even with six infielders," Rodriguez said.Blake scored the winning run and saved a run with a diving stop off the bat of Javier Vazquez."It felt like I hadn't missed much time at all," said Blake, who had been out with a left elbow infection. "I haven't dived in a month. It kind of came natural. I thought I might hesitate."Dodgers starter Jon Garland allowed one run and five hits in 6 1/3 innings, walked four and struck out two."I didn't feel that great. I got behind a lot of guys," he said. "I was effectively wild the first couple innings. It kind of helped me out, kind of kept them off-balance."Vazquez started for the Marlins and gave up two runs and three hits in six innings, walked one and struck out three.Loney gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the second with his second homer of the season and first since April 6, at Colorado, a drought of 45 games. He hit a 1-0 pitch into the lower right-field seats with two outs.The Marlins tied the game 1-1 in the sixth on Dobbs' two-out RBI single, scoring Hanley Ramirez, who walked.Ethier put the Dodgers back in front 2-1 when he homered with two outs in the sixth in his first start since last Sunday at Chicago. He sent an 0-1 pitch into the Marlins' bullpen in right field.The Dodgers tied a season high by turning four double plays, the last in the eighth after the Marlins had tied the game.Stanton popped out in foul territory near the Marlins' dugout and Loney leaned over the railing to catch the ball. He casually tossed it to De La Rosa, who failed to realize Gaby Sanchez broke for the plate. Sanchez got caught in a rundown and was eventually tagged out by De La Rosa, who chased him back toward third base."He was trying. Nobody was covering the base," Rodriguez said. "He tried to score on a heads-up play, but they were paying attention."
The Marlins fell to 18-12 in their 30 games that have been decided by two runs or less. ... Stanton, who came in batting .303, went 0-for-3 with a walk. ... The Dodgers optioned IF Russ Mitchell to Triple-A Albuquerque. ... Retired Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who now works for the commissioner's office, and his wife attended the game.