Marlins Look To Bounce Back In Gordon's Return To L.A.
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LOS ANGELES (CBSMiami/AP) – The Miami Marlins have played well enough to be above .500 but their bullpen has let them down time and time again.
Now Miami is hoping that a series against the first place Los Angeles Dodgers will get things back on track.
Some said the Marlins gave up too much to acquire Dee Gordon, but he's rewarded them with baseball's best batting average.
He'll dig in against his former team Monday night when Miami visits the Dodgers, who hope Zack Greinke's dominant stretch continues.
Gordon came to Miami in a seven-player deal that also brought Dan Haren over from the Dodgers. Acquiring Gordon, coming off his first All-Star season, seemed like a no-brainer, though the Marlins had to part with Andrew Heaney, their top pitching prospect. Los Angeles went on to flip Heaney for Howie Kendrick, who is batting .288 with 16 RBIs.
Gordon has made general manager Mike Hill and company look good so far, as he's batting a big league-best .439 and his 54 hits through 29 games are tied for the third-most in history. He's also 30 for 54 during a 13-game hitting streak, extending it with two doubles in Sunday's 3-2 loss at San Francisco after missing two games with a hamstring injury.
The second baseman is just 1 for 6 with three strikeouts against Greinke, who is looking to match teammate Clayton Kershaw's 11 straight winning decisions from last year. Greinke (5-0, 1.56 ERA) owns a 1.99 ERA in 14 starts since his last loss. He's thrown at least six innings in all six outings this year, allowing one or no runs four times.
The right-hander is 3-0 with a 3.97 ERA in six games against the Marlins, including five starts.
The Dodgers (20-10) have won eight of 10 and boast baseball's second-best record, trailing only St. Louis (22-9). They won 9-5 at Colorado on Sunday with Justin Turner coming off the bench to put them ahead with a two-run homer during a four-run eighth inning. Turner is 9 for 24 over his last 10 games with five home runs and 11 RBIs and is a career .390 hitter versus Miami.
Adrian Gonzalez continued his tear with two doubles and has 11 RBIs during a nine-game hitting streak.
"It's impressive, the at-bats these guys are having," Kershaw, who was bailed out after giving up five runs in 5 2-3 innings, told MLB's official website. "Clutch hits. The bench guys. A pretty complete team."
Miami's bullpen remains vulnerable, posting a 5.57 ERA during the club's 3-5 stretch after it had won nine of 10. Closer Steve Cishek gave up two runs in the ninth Sunday, blowing his third save in five chances. Cishek, who converted 73 of 79 opportunities the last two seasons, saw his ERA climb to 8.18.
"I just got to keep sticking to what I do," he said. "My routine, the work I do before the game has always been the same in the past and has always worked for me I don't want to push the panic button now and try to reset everything."
Miami (15-17) is looking for Tom Koehler (2-3, 5.18) to resolve his struggles, as he's 1-2 with an 8.59 ERA in three road outings compared to a 2.45 ERA at home. He gave up five runs and a career-high three homers over six innings in a 7-5 loss at Washington on Wednesday.
Koehler is 0-2 with a 6.23 ERA in two starts at Dodger Stadium.
Gonzalez is 1 for 4 off Koehler, though lefties are hitting .297 with seven home runs against him.
The Dodgers have won 15 of the last 23 meetings but split six matchups last year.
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