On Saturday night the awful stench emanating from Dodger Stadium wasn’t merely the Dodgers in their 6-1 loss to the Florida Marlins.
During the game a small fire broke out in a storage warehouse for paper products for Levy Restaurants between the top deck and reserve levels near Section 13 on the right field side of the stadium. Billowing smoke emanated from the stairwell of both levels forcing fans on the right side of those levels to be relocated. The Top of the Park Store was also evacuated.
The fire was contained and extinguished by the Los Angeles Fire Department within 20 minutes with no injuries reported. Unfortunately for the Dodgers there was also no stoppage of play.
“It was something different,” Manager Don Mattingly said.
Unfortunately what wasn’t different was the play of the Dodgers. Despite missing Marlins’ ace Josh Johnson, who is on the 15-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, the Dodgers still could not capitalize on the procession of relievers they faced all night.
“I don’t know why there were so effective,” Mattingly said. “Obviously we weren’t able to scratch anything together.”
The only damage they did was against the starter Brian Sanchez in the third inning. Sanchez, who was close to hitting his 50-pitch count limit at that point, gave up a leadoff walk to Dodgers’ starter Hiroki Kuroda. With Andre Ethier on first and Kuroda on third with two outs, Matt Kemp hit a double to score Kuroda for the lone run.
Against reliever Edward Mujica (W, 5-2) who in 16 appearances against the Dodgers had given up a .329 batting average and 17 runs? Nothing for two innings.
Against reliever Burke Badenhop who gave up seven runs in four appearances against the Dodgers? Also nothing for two innings.
“You’ve just got to have a plan, stick with it and try to execute,” Casey Blake said. “We just didn’t have enough runners on base, didn’t get enough big hits tonight. A team can be effective like that sometimes throwing four, five guys out there like that.”
The Marlins had no such problems against Dodger pitching. Every Marlins position player reached base safely and only Mike Stanton went hitless. That of course meant that Kuroda (L, 5-5) wasn’t able to rebound from his poor performance on the South Side of Chicago on May 22. The Marlins touched him up for five runs in 5 1/3 innings on 10 hits.
“He’s tough,” Marlins’ first baseman Gaby Sanchez said about Kuroda. “His ball moves a lot, moves all over the place. We just went up there and tried to hit his mistakes.”
“He didn’t seem to have command of his fastball tonight,” Mattingly noted. “That always puts you in a little bit of trouble.”
Kuroda acknowledged the poor locations of his fastball but attributed it to his sliders.
“One of the reasons I gave up a lot of hits tonight was my slider didn’t have a lot of movement,” Kuroda said. “I went to challenge a lot of hitters in the strike zone, and they got the best out of me.”
Minnesota Twins defeat LA Angels 1-0 (10).
Chivas USA tied Columbus Crew 3-3.
LA Galaxy defeat New England Revolution 1-0.
LA Angels at Minnesota Twins. 11:10 a.m. FSWest, AM 830 KLAA.
Florida Marlins at LA Dodgers. 1:10 p.m. FS Prime Ticket, AM 790 KABC.