Navarro's pinch-hit single in ninth gives Dodgers 3-2 victory
Pulling out a ninth-inning victory. Being the team that rushes the field in celebration, not the one walking off dejected and bewildered.
The Dodger have suffered their share of late-inning collapses lately, but Friday night it was the Dodgers who scored in the ninth inning to pull out a 3-2 victory over the Florida Marlins.
With the scored tied at 2-2, the Dodgers loaded the bases with no outs in the bottom of the ninth and brought in Dioner Navarro to pinch hit. The Marlins played their infield in, and brought in center fielder Chris Coghlan as an extra infielder.
Narvarro, however, lined a drive past a diving Coghlan to the right of second base for the game-winning hit.
The rally gave rookie Rubby De La Rosa his first victory.
The Dodgers had only three hits through eight innings, but two were solo home runs by James Loney and Andre Ethier.
The Dodgers' initial three hits came against Javier Vazquez, who entered the game with a 3-4 record and a 6.41 earned-run average. They made the two of them count, though.
Otherwise, it was a lot of three up and three down. Vazquez went six innings, walking one and striking out three. Oh, while lowering his ERA to 6.02.
Jon Garland was coming off his worst start of the season -- seven runs on 11 hits in 3 2/3 innings against the White Sox -- but he was firmly in control Friday.
Loney’s only other home run of the season came April 6, or 161 at-bats ago. There was no doubt about this one, however. Loney actually stood at the plate and watched it travel into the Florida bullpen.
It remained a 1-0 game until the sixth, when Garland gave up a leadoff walk to Hanley Ramirez. After a single by Logan Morrison advanced him, Ramirez scored on a single by Greg Dobbs.
The score did not remain tied for long. Ethier, who had one extra-base hit in 73 at-bats in May, drove a Vazquez fastball out to right for his fifth home run of the season. His only other extra-base hit this month was also a home run.
The Marlins tied the score in the eighth against the Dodgers’ latest rookie wunderkind, De La Rosa.
De La Rosa gave Ramirez another leadoff walk, and again it proved costly. This time Ramirez stole second, took third on a Gaby Sanchez singles to left field and scored on another Dobbs hit.
Sanchez, however, had a brain cramp that might have cost Florida a second run. After Loney made a nice backhanded catch of a Mike Stanton foul while reaching into a photo well, he threw the ball back to De La Rosa in front of the plate. When De La Rosa turned toward the mound, Sanchez inexplicably broke for home. He was easily caught in a rundown.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers catcher Dioner Navarro flips his bat after seeing his pinch-hit single drive in the winning run against the Marlins on Friday night at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire