July 16, 2017
Los Angeles Dodgers’ Rich Hill delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, July 16, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) ORG XMIT: FLMP101
Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner, center, celebrates with teammates after hitting a home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Miami Marlins, Sunday, July 16, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) ORG XMIT: FLMP102
Miami Marlins left fielder Marcell Ozuna (13) climbs the fence as a fan attempts to catch a ball hit by Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner for a home run, during the first inning of a baseball game, Sunday, July 16, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) ORG XMIT: FLMP103
Miami Marlins’ Chris O’Grady delivers a pitch during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Sunday, July 16, 2017, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee) ORG XMIT: FLMP104
MIAMI — The Dodgers won their ninth straight game, and swept their 11th series of the 2017 season, on Sunday.
The Miami Marlins made it interesting at the end.
Kenley Jansen committed a balk and allowed an RBI single in a turbulent eighth inning. The Dodgers’ closer then pitched a perfect ninth inning to cap the Dodgers’ 3-2 victory.
Jansen needed a diving stop by third baseman Justin Turner to corral a scorching ground ball off J.T. Riddle’s bat for the final out. It was his ninth save of four outs or more. Jansen has converted all 23 of his save opportunities this season.
The Dodgers improved the majors’ best record to 64-29. They lead the second-place Arizona Diamondbacks by 10 ½ games in the National League West standings, their largest margin of the season.
The last time he pitched in Miami before Sunday, Rich Hill (6-4) threw seven perfect innings. He was removed due to a pitch-count restriction, with much ballyhoo, prior to the eighth inning of that game last Sept. 10. Dave Roberts faced no such dilemma this time.
Besides the fact that Hill’s fingers have been blister-free since May, he allowed a double to Marcell Ozuna to begin the second inning. Hill got out of that jam, and mostly succeeded in avoiding stressful situations Sunday. The left-hander allowed just one run in five innings. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out nine, two shy of his season high.
Miami got its only run against Hill in the fifth inning on a fluky infield single by a future Hall of Famer.
With one out, former Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis lined a double to left field. A single by J.T. Riddle sent Ellis to third. With the ninth spot in the batting order due up, Marlins manager Don Mattingly removed starting pitcher Chris O’Grady and inserted Ichiro Suzuki.
Suzuki’s 3,055th career hit was a tapper back to the pitcher’s mound, and it caught Hill off-balance. The pitcher fell down. Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager retrieved the ball but had no play as Ellis scored easily.
By that point the Dodgers had built a small cushion.
Justin Turner’s solo home run off O’Grady, his 11th this season, gave the Dodgers a 1-0 lead in the first inning. Turner’s sacrifice fly in the third inning allowed Logan Forsythe to tag up and score the Dodgers’ second run. A Chris Taylor triple, followed by an Austin Barnes single, made it 3-0 in the fourth inning.
Kiké Hernandez nearly hit one into the Dodgers’ bullpen in the sixth inning, but Marlins outfielder Marcell Ozuna climbed the left-field fence and caught the ball high above the railing — a long out.