MIAMI (AP) — The Dodgers’ difficulty with last-place teams has become an issue coast to coast.
Los Angeles went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position against Wei-Yin Chen and four relievers and was beaten by a cellar-dweller for the fifth straight game, losing to the Miami Marlins 4-2 Tuesday night.
The Dodgers managed only five hits after being swept in a four-game series at home by woeful Cincinnati.
“We hit a lot of balls hard and didn’t get rewarded for it,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “The fight was there, and it just didn’t happen. I know it sounds redundant, but these are our guys, and we’ve got to keep going.”
Chen, who came into the game with an ERA of 10.22, allowed no runs but departed after 4 1/3 innings and 83 pitches.
“The Dodgers have a great team and great lineup,” the Taiwanese left-hander said through a translator. “During the whole game, the only thing I was thinking about was keeping the ball down.”
Dodgers infielders Justin Turner and Logan Forsythe were activated before the game from the disabled list but couldn’t spark the defending NL champions, who have scored 11 runs during their skid.
Turner lined out sharply with runners at second and third to end the fifth.
“We didn’t get any love from that,” Roberts said.
The manager said Chris Taylor’s popout with a runner at third and one out in the third was a pivotal moment.
“I don’t know if it was wanting to do too much, but I know he wishes he had that at-bat back,” Roberts said.
The Dodgers’ Yasiel Puig hit his second homer of the season , and his second in two games.
Alex Wood (0-4) lost despite allowing only one earned run in six innings for the Dodgers (16-25), who are off to their worst start in 60 years. Miami (15-26) could pass them by sweeping the three-game series.
“Losing’s not much fun,” Wood said. “We’re not the type of team that’s mentally weak. We have the fortitude, we have the players. Now it’s just a matter of putting it all together.”
The Marlins scored an unearned run in the first inning. Forsythe made a wild throw trying to turn a double play that would have ended the inning, which allowed Martin Prado to score from second base.
Miguel Rojas hit a sacrifice fly in the fourth, and J.T. Realmuto and Brian Anderson had two-out RBI hits in the seventh. Realmuto has at least one hit in all 20 career games against the Dodgers.
3B Prado charged hard and snared Wood’s bunt popup with a diving catch that sent him sliding across the first-base line.
“That’s just incredible coming over from third base,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said. “That’s why we all love him — because of the way he plays.”
With runners at second and third and one out in the second inning, Chen bounced into a bizarre 5-3 double play. Turner caught the grounder in front of third base and simultaneously tagged out Cameron Maybin, who was trying to get back to the bag. Turner then threw to first for the second out.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (left biceps tendinitis) is expected to play catch from 90 feet for the first time Wednesday, but he’s not expected to throw from a mound before next week at the earliest.
Marlins: SS Rojas (bruised left wrist) and RF Anderson (bruised finger) were back in the starting lineup after leaving Sunday’s game with injuries. … RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (right forearm strain) is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment Wednesday with Class A Jupiter.
Dodgers RHP Walker Buehler (2-1, 1.64) is scheduled to start Wednesday night against LHP Caleb Smith (2-4, 3.63).
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