Key Marlins players continue to be mentioned as trade possibilities.
And while their miniscule hopes of getting back into playoff contention shrunk even more this weekend at Marlins Park, the likelihood of moves happening soon continue to grow.
Less than 48 hours after they were one strike from victory, the Marlins dropped another tough one, 3-2, to the team with the best record in the majors.
The Marlins (41-49), who fell 10 games behind the second wild-card spot in the National League, dropped their third consecutive game to the Los Angeles Dodgers (64-29) after winning six of eight before the All-Star break.
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“We’ve just got to rebound and get going,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “We were playing pretty well going into the break. We ran into a little bit of a buzzsaw here. We had a chance to win that first one, and we were in this one. But we’ve just got to move on and get to the next series.”
Kenley Jansen, whom the Marlins pursued but failed to sign in the offseason, converted his 23rd save, but not without some resistance in the eighth inning. With two outs, Christian Yelich’s single scored Dee Gordon, who reached with a pinch-hit single, to cut the Dodgers’ lead to one.
Marcell Ozuna followed with a single to put two runners on base. But Jansen proceeded to strike out pinch-hitter Justin Bour and then worked a perfect ninth. It was, however, the first time since May 21 that Jansen allowed multiple hits in an outing.
Eight days after picking up his first career victory, Chris O’Grady went five innings, allowed three runs and struck out six while walking two. O’Grady gave up a solo homer to Justin Turner in the first and allowed another run in the third on Turner’s sacrifice fly. He gave up a third run on a single by Austin Barnes in the fourth.
O’Grady (1-1) recorded seven of his outs on fly balls, as he kept the Marlins’ outfield busy.
Ozuna made a spectacular catch in the sixth when he leaped, placed his right hand on the top of the padding above the fence in left field and robbed Enrique Hernandez of a home run.
“First thing when I was running back, I just said this is a chance to make a good play,” Ozuna said. “If you can keep the game closer, that’s the most important thing. You make a catch like that you feel great. You feel happy.”
Giancarlo Stanton jumped near the wall in right-center field on a fly ball hit by Chris Taylor in the fourth, but he couldn’t reach it in time. As he leapt, his glove popped off his hand and went over the wall. Unable to recover it initially, the Marlins rushed out one of Stanton’s other gloves to him. Stanton said after the game he got the glove he dropped back.
“It just hit my wrist at the top of the fence, and the glove just popped off,” Stanton said. “There’s not enough space for me to go down there and get it, but I could see it down there. I’ve seen it happen before, just not where you have no chance of going to get it. Not too many parks have the crevice back there like that.”
Dodgers starter Rich Hill (6-4) pitched five innings, allowing one run and striking out nine, giving him at least that many strikeouts in each of his past three starts.
Ozuna’s leadoff double in the second inning broke a string of eight consecutive perfect innings for Hill against the Marlins — a streak dating to his perfect seven-inning start on Sept. 10 of last season. Hill also struck out nine in that game.
The Marlins broke through in the fifth when Ichiro Suzuki hit a grounder back up the middle that Hill tried to barehand but couldn’t come up with, allowing A.J. Ellis to score. Ichiro’s hit tied him with Rickey Henderson for 23rd on the all-time list with 3,055.