Matt Kamlet, CBSLA.com
CHAVEZ RAVINE (CBSLA.com) — The pitching mound of Dodger Stadium was a hill of desperation on Tuesday.
Josh Beckett, who last won a game 14 starts ago, on Sept. 30, 2012 vs Colorado, and Jacob Turner, who last won 15 starts ago, on July 10, 2013 vs Atlanta, represented the two longest active winless streaks in the National League.
One of them saw their daunting drought come to an end.
The Dodgers started the second quarter of the 2014 season by giving Josh Beckett his first win since 2012, 7-1, over the Miami Marlins, as Yasiel Puig extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games, going 2-for-3 from the plate.
Beckett met his first challenge in the top of the fourth, after Giancarlo Stanton reached on an infield single to lead off the inning, and stole second. He advanced to third on a ground out by Casey McGehee.
He would escape the inning unscathed after getting Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Marcell Ozuna to both strike out swinging.
Yasiel Puig, with Monday’s 3-run g0-ahead home run, and with a single in the bottom of the fourth inning on Tuesday, extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games.
Through his hitting streak, Puig came into Tuesday’s ball game with a .500 on-base percentage, with nine walks and a .694 slugging percentage. Puig, who also celebrated a bobblehead night on Tuesday, ranks 7th in the National League with a .408 on-base percentage.
Hanley Ramirez put the first runs of the ball game on the board in the bottom of the sixth. Following a Dee Gordon double to right field, Yasiel Puig walked for the tenth time of his current hitting streak. Gordon leads majors with 24 stolen bases, which is nine more than any other major leaguer (Eric Young, NYM, 15). After forcing a full count with one out, Ramirez connected to send a line drive down the left field line. The ball reached the well before LF Christian Yelich picked it up to hit the relay man, Adeiny Hechavarria, who didn’t have a prayer gunning Puig down at the plate.
Two runs scored on the play, but the Dodgers, who haven’t lost a series to the Marlins in Los Angeles since 2011, weren’t done.
Adrian Gonzalez followed with a double to right, giving the Dodgers a 3-0 lead, before scoring on a Matt Kemp single, his second hit of the night, to make it 4-0.
By the end of the inning, Los Angeles led 5-0, and every Dodger in the starting lineup, including Beckett, had a hit, except for Drew Butera.
The five-run sixth inning tied a season high for runs in an innings by the Dodgers.
In the top of the seventh, Puig nearly single-handedly prevented a Miami run from right field. After Butera let a passed-ball get by him, Garrett Jones arrived safely at third base with no outs. Ozuna flew out to right field, with Puig positioning himself to catch-and-fire.
Puig threw a laser shot to home plate with ridiculous accuracy, but Butera was slow to apply the tag on time to prevent the sacrifice, and the Marlins put their first run on the board.
Butera would join the rest of the lineup on the productivity wagon in the bottom of the eighth inning, scoring Carl Crawford from third base with a single to left.
It was the third time in 2014 the Dodgers batted around.
Puig’s fireworks were by no means over, however.
In the bottom of the 7th, Puig knocked in Chone Figgins, who had stolen second after he was hit by a pitch, with a double to deep center, giving him his second hit of the game, and giving the Dodgers a 6-1 lead.
Brandon League recorded another scoreless inning in the seventh, striking out one and getting through the inning, in its entirety, with a total of 10 pitches, and lowering his ERA to an impressive 1.66.
On Wednesday, which will mark the final meeting between the two clubs in the 2014 regular season, the Dodgers will send Paul Maholm (1-3) to the mound against Anthony Desclafani (0-0).