There wasn’t a perfect-game effort from Rich Hill but he was largely dominant on the afternoon, and the Los Angeles Dodgers hung to defeat the Miami Marlins, 3-2, to extend their winning streak to nine games.
Los Angeles joined the 1955 Brooklyn team in having two winning streak of nine games or better in a single season. What’s more, the Dodgers are now 29-4 in a dominant run that’s propelled them to the best record in the Majors at 64-29.
Hill retired the side in order in the first inning but any thoughts of a no-hitter or perfect game were erased when Marcell Ozuna led off the second with a double.
That did not amount to anything for the Marlins, however, as Hill proceeded to strike out five consecutive batters. He worked around a Christian Yelich one-out double in the fourth but failed to keep the Marlins off the board in the fifth.
A.J. Ellis doubled with one out and JT Riddle followed with a single to put runners at the corners. Ichiro Suzuki hit a soft line drive off Hill for an RBI infield single that trimmed the Dodgers’ lead to 3-1.
Hill struck out Martin Prado and retired Giancarlo Stanton to limit the damage. He only went five innings due a high pitch count (94), allowed the one run on five hits, and collected nine strikeouts without issuing a walk.
Over his last five starts, the veteran left-hander has thrown a combined 31 innings, allowed 19 hits, six earned runs, and collected 44 strikeouts.
Justin Turner was responsible for the Dodgers’ offense early, hitting a solo home run in the first inning and lifting a sacrifice fly in the third. Chris Taylor’s leadoff triple in the fourth set up Austin Barnes, who lined an RBI single into center field.
The Dodgers went quiet over the last five innings. Kiké Hernandez was robbed of a home run by Ozuna, who climbed the short fence in left field for the third out in the sixth.
Los Angeles stranded seven baserunners to close out the game, including leaving the bases loaded in the seventh and eighth innings. Corey Seager was picked off at second base to end the seventh with Cody Bellinger at the plate. Joc Pederson went down looking and Chase Utley flied out to deep right field in the eighth.
While the Dodgers spun their wheels at the plate, the bullpen did its part to secure a series sweep of the Marlins. Josh Fields, Luis Avilan, Brandon Morrow and Kenley Jansen combined to throw four shutout innings.
Morrow faced a bit of a jam in the eighth but struck out Stanton on three pitches with Dee Gordon at second base. Jansen was called for a balk, allowed an RBI single to Yelich and a base hit to Ozuna before getting out of the eighth and proceeding to record his ninth four-out save this season.