Miami, FL – Justin Ruggiano capped a four-run fifth inning with an RBI single to help the Miami Marlins beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 7-3, in the middle installment of a three-game series.
Carlos Lee had two RBI and a run scored for the Marlins, who bounced back from a 5-2 loss in the series opener on Friday. Donovan Solano, Nick Green, John Buck and Gorkys Hernandez each drove in a run.
Miami starter Ricky Nolasco (9-11) gave up two runs on nine hits over five innings to pick up the win.
Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Shane Victorino had an RBI apiece for the Dodgers, who trail the Giants by one game in the NL West. San Francisco beat Colorado on Saturday.
Joe Blanton (8-10), making his second start for Los Angeles, allowed four runs on six hits over five innings to take the loss.
"It just kind of happened, and it happened quick," said Blanton, who had a one-hitter through 4 1/3 innings.
The Dodgers, who left the bases loaded in the first, broke a scoreless tie in the fourth. A.J. Ellis doubled to left, move to third on Blanton's single and scored when Victorino beat out a double play.
Los Angeles tacked on another run in the fifth. Kemp led off with a single, stole second and raced home on Ethier's base hit to right-center field.
But Miami finally got to Blanton in the bottom half. Solano, Green and Buck hit three straight doubles with one out to plate a pair of runs. Pinch-hitter Austin Kearns followed with a single to put men on the corners. Hernandez's sacrifice bunt scored another run, and Ruggiano added an RBI single to right- center field to make it 4-2.
"[Blanton] had a good mix of stuff going, but we stuck with it and continued to keep having good at-bats and made him pay when it counted," said Buck.
The Marlins tacked on three more runs in the eighth to essentially put the game away. Brandon League gave up a single to Hernandez and intentionally walked Jose Reyes to put men on the corners with one out. Lee's two-run double and Solano's RBI single made it a 7-2 game.
The Dodgers got one run back in the ninth. Steve Cishek gave up a leadoff double to Victorino, who moved to third on Mark Ellis' groundout and scored on Kemp's groundout. Ethier struck out looking to end the game.
Blanton fell to 7-5 in 13 career starts against the Marlins, while Nolasco improved to 1-2 in five career starts against the Dodgers...Los Angeles fell to 8-1 in the eastern time zone this year...Kemp had three hits.