Florida, who trails Philadelphia by 1 1/2 games in the National League Central, jumped all over Chan Ho Park, scoring four runs --three earned-- and nine hits over 88 pitches and four innings in his first bad start of the season.
Even so, he is now 1-2 with a fine 2.16 ERA in five starts after beginning the season in the bullpen, and will remain in the rotation until Brad Penny recovers from the shoulder problems that have sidelined the two-time All-Star since June 13.
Los Angeles tied the game 3-3 in the third inning, tied it again in the sixth, then went quiet the rest of the night until Ramirez ended things with his 23rd home run on the first pitch he saw from reliever Brian Falkenborg.
With Arizona's win in Washington, the Dodgers slide back to 45-47 and into second place again. The Giants, Rockies and Padres also lost.
Park gave indications that all was not well with him when he surrendered a walk, a pair of singles, a double and committed a balk in the first before a double play ended it with L.A. trailing only 2-0. Baker homered in the second to put Florida up 3-0.
Five of seven Dodgers had struck out before Angel Berroa got the third-inning rally underway with a one-out single and was bunted to second by Park. Matt Kemp singled in the first run and stole second, his 20th of the season.
Andre Ethier drove him in with a single and he also stole second (#3) before Russell Martin's RBI single. Jeff Kent flew to deep center to end the inning.
After the Florida pitcher had sliced a two-out double into the left fielder corner in the fourth, Ramirez untied the game for the first time with a single that nearly took Park's cap off.
Kuo took over for Park and worked three scoreless innings, adding a single in his only plate appearance, boosting his average to .375, a number that manager Joe Torre looked at longingly.
Martin homered (#10) to deep left field to open the sixth inning to tie the game at four each. Blake DeWitt singled in the seventh inning for the final Dodgers hit, starting an arid 1-for-14 stretch. After going 3-for-3 with runners in scoring position, all in the third inning, they went 0-for-5 the rest of the night.
Jonathan Broxton held the Marlins without a run in the eighth and Takashi Saito added a pair of scoreless innings, running he bullpen's mark of six scoreless innings, before Ramirez's shot off Falkenborg cleared the wall in right-center.
The Dodgers had won 14 of their last 23 games and their last four series. With their four runs against the Marlins, the Dodgers increased their run total in July to 45, more than half of their total of 84 in June.
Former Dodger Cody Ross, one of the really nice guys in baseball, extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the eighth.
Lefty Eric Stults knows that with Brad Penny and Jason Schmidt perhaps on their way back into action and with Clayton Kershaw waiting in the minor leagues, he might have just one more chance tonight to earn a slot, if not in the starting rotation, at least on the pitching staff, when he starts against the Marlins.
"It's just another start, just like any other start," Stults said, without actually whistling in the dark. "You prepare the same way. You try to get a scouting report on them and come out with the same game plan."
The 28-year-old had two exemplary starts --one run in 15 innings-- and two so-so starts as Penny's replacement and will be facing a Marlins lineup that's the third-highest scoring team in the National League, averaging 4.9 runs per game.
He will be opposed by RHP Chris Volstad (1-0, 0.00 ERA), the Marlins' first-round Draft pick in 2005 who got his first win with two scoreless innings of relief against the Rockies after being called up from Double-A Carolina.
Score by innings Florida 210 010 000 01-5 Los Angeles 003 001 000 00-4 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Kemp cf-rf 4 1 1 1 .280 Ethier rf-lf 4 1 2 1 .285 Martin c 4 1 2 1 .301 Kent 2b 4 0 0 0 .256 Saito p 0 0 0 0 .000 LaRoche ph 1 0 0 0 .179 Falkenborg p 0 0 0 0 .000 Loney 1b 4 0 0 0 .299 Young lf 3 0 0 0 .253 Jones cf 2 0 0 0 .169 DeWitt 3b 5 0 1 0 .263 Berroa ss 4 1 1 0 .194 Park p 0 0 0 0 .000 Kuo p 1 0 1 0 .375 Garciaparra ph 1 0 0 0 .245 Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000 Maza 2b 1 0 0 0 .211 Totals 39 4 9 4 Florida 43 5 13 5 Error- Kemp (2). HR- Martin (10). RBI- Kemp (48), Ethier (40), Martin 2 (44). S- Parl. Berroa. SB- Kemp (20), Martin (10), Ethier (3). LOB- Los Angeles 7, Florida 9. DP- Loney, Berroa and Park; Kent, Berroa and Loney. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Park 4.0 9 4-3 1 4 2.63 Kuo 3.0 2 0-0 1 3 1.69 Broxton 1.0 1 0-0 0 0 3.49 Saito 2.0 0 0-0 1 1 2.21 Falkenborg 1.0 1 1-1 0 0 7.94 WP- Kuo. Balk- Park. T- 3:51. Att- 40,417.Colletti Not Interested in Bonds
In the biggest non-news flash of the day, the Dodgers (like most other Major League teams) are not interested in signing Barry Bonds. When asked about perhaps acquiring the all-time major league home run leader, General Manager Ned Colletti gave Ken Gurnick of MLB.com a simple but eloquent "No."
McCourt Becoming Restless
Bill Plaschke of the Los Angeles Times reports that Dodger owner Frank McCourt is weary of talking only about championships. He's weary of spending money for injuries and weary of testing his fans' patience. "I think, yes, we are on the right track," McCourt said. "But we are also a work in progress. We need to reestablish a culture of winning ... and that takes the right people, the right personnel, the right approach, and we are gaining on that. But on the other hand, we still have a ways to go."
Raffy Says He's Pain Free
Rafael Furcal made his first appearance in the clubhouse since his surgery and said that he feels great and thinks he will play again this season. Says he is going to play it
"I think I will play again, because I feel so much better than before," he told Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Times. "We have three months left. They say ... six, seven, eight weeks. But I don't want to go on the field just because I feel good. I want to get a little bit stronger."
Dodger Blue Notes --The Dodgers scored in the first inning during six of their seven games on last week's road trip but have not scored in the first inning in any of the first four games of their current homestand. ...Despite the 5-4 loss, the Dodgers are 14-9 since June 17, the second-best record in the National League in that time. ...Former Dodger Luis Gonzalez made his first trip to Dodger Stadium since leaving in the offseason. He grounded out pinch-hitting in the eighth.