Sick as he was, Dee Gordon wasn’t about to sit out on Saturday — not with Giancarlo Stanton vanishing from the lineup with a broken wrist. And so Gordon gritted it out for nine innings, so ill that he vomited on the infield dirt after diving for a ball in the fourth inning.
“Trying to pick our fallen brother up,” Gordon said of the Marlins’ determined mind-set on Saturday after learning that Stanton would miss the next four to six weeks.
For one day, at least, they did just that.
The Marlins ended a five-game losing streak by defeating Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers, 3-2.
Tom Koehler turned in a strong performance, and the Marlins took advantage of the Dodgers’ mistakes to prevail on a day that started out on a down note.
“In lieu of what happened [Friday night], this team could have come in [Saturday] and been very deflated after the injury to ‘G’,” manager Dan Jennings said of Stanton, who sustained the injury on Friday. “You couldn’t have had a better guy [Koehler] out there [Saturday] under the circumstances that occurred [Friday night].”
Koehler (6-4) gave up a solo homer in the first and escaped major trouble in the fourth thanks to the defensive play of the Marlins’ two middle infielders, who got him out of the jam by turning a difficult double play.
Not that the Stanton-less lineup had its way with Kershaw (5-6). But it squeaked out just enough offense to get past the National League’s reigning MVP.
The Marlins took advantage of a throwing error and a wild pitch in the first to score two runs before adding a third run in the second inning when Dodgers center fielder Joc Pederson dropped Koehler’s two-out line drive.
It was all the Marlins needed.
Koehler and the bullpen did the rest, holding the Dodgers to a pair of singles and no walks over the final six innings. Carter Capps and A.J. Ramos tag-teamed the eighth and ninth innings, going 1-2-3 with two strikeouts in each frame.
Christian Yelich, who has struggled for much of the season, enjoyed his best game at the plate by coming up with half of the Marlins’ eight hits — all four off of two Dodgers lefties in Kershaw and J.P. Howell.
“With the big fellow going down — he’s been carrying us the last couple of weeks — now we’re going to have to find ways to win,” Yelich said of not being able to lean on Stanton for help. “Guys are going to have to step up, and that’s how we’re going to have to play until he gets back.”
No one can replace Stanton. Not on the Marlins.
“That’s a big hole,” Jennings acknowledged. “I think the biggest thing that [Saturday’s win] said is we’re not going to use [Stanton’s injury] as a crutch, that we lost the guy who is leading baseball in home runs and RBI.”
▪ Sunday: Marlins RHP Jose Urena (1-3, 4.34 ERA) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers RHP Zack Greinke (5-2, 1.70), 1:10 p.m., Marlins Park.
▪ Monday: Off day.