Kershaw Not Quite Good Enough; Marlins Win

Clayton Kershaw is not Sandy Koufax, at least not yet, and while he was very good he wasn't quite good enough and the Florida Marlins bullpen out-pitched their Dodgers counterparts in a series-opening 6-3 decision.

However, the height of expectation when Kershaw starts is Koufaxian and an indication of just how well 21-year-old Kershaw has pitched over the last two months. He allowed only two earned runs over six innings but critics were disappointed.

Kershaw, working pitch for pitch against Florida ace Josh Johnson, gave up three runs, two earned for the first time in eight starts, on nine hits (a number of them of the seeing-eye variety), over six innings and left with the score tied, 3-3.

Compared to an early season Kershaw, it certainly wasn't bad, but coming in like he did with a 0.63 ERA and 5-0 record over the past month, it just wasn't good enough this night.

And this game a number of little things conspired to keep him from extending the Dodgers five-game winning streak.

A run-scoring double in the fifth tied the game 1-1 and was just the second earned run he had allowed in over 28 innings. But the Dodgers bullpen lost for only the fourth time since May 22.

Three Florida pinch-hitters reached base successfully, two of them were hits, one a home run, and they generated three runs. A wild pitch led to a run and an error by second baseman Orlando Hudson gave Florida a 3-1 lead, the Dodgers tied it briefly and then James McDonald and Ramon Troncoso surrendered three more runs and that was it.

The Marlins had no trouble with Manny Ramirez, hanging and 0-for-3 on him. In the first inning, he was hit on the arm by a fastball. Ramirez popped out in the fourth inning; bounced a ball back to the mound in the sixth with two on and no out; then fouled out with a runner on first in the ninth.

Casey Blake led off the second with a triple and scored on a wild pitch to give the Dodgers a 1-0 margin. Florida tied the game with a looping single to left, a double and a ground ball in the fifth.

Johnson started the sixth inning rally with a two-out single. Another bloop hit into left field and a wild pitch broke the 1-1 tie and yet another hit to short center made it 3-1, advantage Florida.

Rafael Furcal and Hudson singled to start the bottom of the inning but Ramirez bounced to the mound before Andre Ethier dropped a double into right field to tie the score. Blake fanned and James Loney bounced out to end the Dodgers' scoring for the evening

McDonald allowed a two-out single by former Dodger Cody Ross. Then a walk brought in Brent Leach and he gave up a single to right to untie the game but Ethier threw a runner out at third to end the inning.

Florida tagged Troncoso for a pinch-homer and a pair of singles to make it a 6-3 games in the eighth.

The Dodgers could only manage a single hit over the final three innings, a second double by Ethier, who had three of the Dodgers six hits.

"We couldn't make the pitches when we needed to," Los Angeles manager Joe Torre said. "When we have a tie game in the seventh inning at home, I feel that's where we're at an advantage. Unfortunately, we just didn't get the job done in the bullpen."

The game was the first of 20 consecutive games the Dodgers will play over the next 20 days. Their next day off, as designated by the schedule-makers oujie board, is August 13.

With the Dodgers five-game winning streak a thing of the past, tonight RHP Hiroki Kuroda (3-5, 4.73 ERA), who allowed three runs, including a two-run homer, in his most recent start gets the Dodgers nod. He will face rookie RHP Rick VandenHurk (1-0, 3.00 ERA) who beat the Padres for his first win since 2008.?

  Score by Innings
Florida 	000 012 120-6
Los Angeles	010 002 000-3

  Los Angeles	ab r  h  bi  ave
Furcal ss	3  1  1  0  .256
Hudson 2b	4  1  1  0  .288
Ramirez lf	3  0  0  0  .340
Ethier f	4  0  3  2  .263
Blake 3b	4  1  1  0  .275
Loney 1b	4  0  0  0  .280
Martin c	3  0  0  0  .259
Kemp cf        	4  0  0  0  .316
Kershaw p	2  0  0  0  .129
 McDonald p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Leach p	0  0  0  0  .000
 DeWitt ph	1  0  0  0  .133
 Troncoso p	0  0  0  0  .000
 Vargas p	0  0  0  0  .000
---------------------------------
  Totals  	32  3  6  2   
  Florida	40  6 14  4

  Error- Hudson (5). 2B- Ethier 2 (21).
3B- Blake (3). RBI- Ethier 2 (61).
LOB- Los Angeles 5, Florida 14. 

  Los Angeles	 in  h r-er bb so  era
Kershaw	        6.0  9  3-2  3  6  2.96
McDonald(2-2)	0.2  1  1-1  1  0  5.17
Leach	        0.1  1  0-0  0  0  3.98
Troncoso	0.2  3  2-2  0  2  1.95
Vargas 	        1.1  0  0-0  1  2  1.29
  WP- Kershaw. HBP- Ramirez, Martin, by 
Troncoso 2. T- 3:16. Att- 51,565.
Dodger Blue Notes-- The Dodgers are 12-6 in July but after the loss dropped a game to both Colorado and San Francisco, who each won. ...Kershaw has an 0.92 ERA (five earned runs in 48.2 innings) over his last eight starts since June 16, which is the best in baseball over that time. ...Dodgers reliever Ramon Troncoso gave up an earned run Friday for the first time since June 16, a span of 15 appearances. ...Andre Ethier went 3-for-4 with two doubles and two RBIs on Friday. The two doubles give him 21 on the season and make him the 10th player in the Majors with at least 20 homers and 20 doubles.

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