Dodgers-Marlins: Casey Blake Breaks Out of Funk With Walk-Off Single in 4-3 Win

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Dodgers-Marlins: Casey Blake Breaks Out of Funk With Walk-Off Single in 4-3 Win

The Los Angeles Dodgers' Casey Blake blooped a Texas League single into shallow center field as LA drowned the Florida Marlins, 4-3.

Tomorrow marks the one-year anniversary of Blake’s move to LA and he celebrated in walk-off style with an RBI single in the bottom of the ninth.

Blake had been mired in a post All-Star break slump, but perhaps this will be the boost in the arm he needs to find his stroke at the plate. 

Rafael Furcal scored the winning run after a brilliant bunt single to start the rally, but Manny Ramirez fanned with runners at first and second in the ninth for the second out of the inning.

Andre Ethier then followed with his second walk of the night to load the bases and bring Blake to the plate for his game-winner.

Hiroki Kuroda found his touch for the Dodgers (62-35) and fanned nine Marlins (50-48). He had just nine strikeouts in his past four starts entering the game, but gave up just three runs, two earned, on six hits in six innings of work.

Kuroda went six innings for the first time since June 28 against the Seattle Mariners.

More importantly, he allowed just one walk after losing his control and walking two batters in each of his past three starts.

Ethier was once again the offensive standout as he banged out his second consecutive three-hit night. He went 3-for-3 with a double and in his past ten plate appearances, Andre has gone 6-for-6 with three doubles and four walks.

Orlando Hudson also added a 3-for-5 night as the Dodgers racked up 13 hits but just four runs in a scrappy victory.

The Marlins were able to jump on top in the first with a Jorge Cantu RBI double, yet as they always seem to do, the Boys in Blue fought right back in the bottom of the inning.

Furcal flew around the bases with a leadoff triple into the right field corner and then Orlando Hudson singled him home to even the count quickly at 1-1.

Each team put up zeros for the next two frames until Kuroda issued a walk to Cantu starting the fourth. The inning saw two hit-and-run plays work out very differently for each team, but neither was executed correctly.

Cantu took off on a hit-and-run but was dead to rights at second base. Russell Martin’s throw skipped into center field and allowed Cantu to advance to third. A good throw would have surely cut down Cantu and sure enough, former Dodger Cody Ross drove him in with a two-out RBI single to give the Marlins a 2-1 lead.

Los Angeles squandered a potential scoring opportunity in the bottom half of the inning when they botched a hit-and-run of their own.

James Loney was issued a leadoff walk by Rick VandenHurk, which brought Martin to the plate. Someone got their signals crossed and the two botched a hit-and-run attempt that left Loney high and dry on his way to second.

Kuroda gave up an additional run in the sixth on an RBI single from Jeremy Hermida, which pushed the Marlins lead to 3-1.

But you can’t keep the Dodgers down for long, as it became déjà vu all over again for Florida. For the second time in as many nights, LA scored twice in the sixth to knot the game at 3-3.

Renyel Pinto relieved VandenHurk and promptly gave up a single and a walk to start the inning.

Loney then stroked an RBI single into right field to score Ethier from second, but made another big out on the play. When Loney rounded the base at first, the Marlins had thrown behind him and tagged him out.

It was costly because Casey Blake advanced to third on the hit and the Dodgers had a chance to have first and third with no outs but instead notched the first out of the inning.

Martin picked up the pieces and brought home Blake with a single through the hole between first and second for his 29th RBI of the season.

The base knock tied the game at 3-3 and took Kuroda off the hook for a loss; it also erased a quality effort from VandenHurk, who was in line for a victory when he handed the ball to the bullpen.

One night after the Dodger bullpen took its first loss since July 3, Guillermo Mota worked a swift seventh and eighth innings in relief set the table for Blake’s heroics later in the game. Mota allowed just one runner to reach base on a two-out walk in the eighth.

 

 

 

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WP: Broxton (7-0)

LP: Meyer (2-1)

 

Notes from Saturday night

 

20/20 Vision

Andre Ethier went 3-for-3 and added another double tonight. He has now hit safely in six straight games and is batting .591 (13-for-22) in that span, raising his average from .248 to .269.

Ethier has 20 home runs and 23 doubles this season, and is just one of 10 Major League players to have those numbers.

 

 

50-RBI Club

Orlando Hudson became the fifth Dodger to have at least 50 RBI when he hit a first inning RBI single. The Dodgers are just the second team to have five players with 50+ RBI, as the Philadelphia Phillies accomplished the feat this afternoon when Pedro Feliz drove in his 50th and 51st run against the St. Louis Cardinals.

 

Comeback Kids…Some of the Time

The Dodgers fell behind 1-0 in the first inning tonight but reversed the trend of the season, as they are just 16-21 when their opponent scores first after the win. 

 

PJ Ross is a Featured Columnist for the Los Angeles Dodgers

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