It was a third inning to forget for Caleb Smith. The fourth inning wasn’t much better for Junichi Tazawa.
And it ultimately was a homestand finale to forget for the Miami Marlins.
Smith gave up four runs to the Los Angeles Dodgers in his third and final inning on the mound Thursday, a frame that set the tone for the Marlins’ 7-0 loss.
After laboring through two scoreless innings to open the game, Smith walked the based loaded in the third with one out. The Dodgers’ Justin Turner quickly made Smith pay, ripping a high fast ball to the left-field fence for a three-run double.
A ground-rule double one at-bat later from Matt Kemp gave the Dodgers a 4-0 lead that
Smith walked off the mound at the end of the inning and was immediately pinch hit for. His day was over. His ERA jumped from 3.67 to 4.34. His brief streak of success quickly halted.
And with that, the Marlins turned to their bullpen for support. Things got worse before they got better.
Tazawa gave up three more runs in the fourth inning on a Yasiel Puig home run and a two-run double from Turner to add to the Marlins’ deficit. Turner tied a career-best with his 5 RBI.
After Tazawa’s stint ended, reliever Tyler Cloud shined with five scoreless innings, scattering four hits and a pair of walks while striking out one.
But the damage was already done.
The Marlins were shut out for the fifth time this season and managed just four hits in the game. Two came in a last-ditch effort in the ninth inning, back-to-back hits from JB Shuck and Cameron Maybin, both of whom entered as defensive replacements in the sixth inning. Justin Boar and Brian Anderson both struck out to end the game.
It was the 11th game this year in which the Marlins recorded five hits or fewer. The Marlins struck out 10 games.
The Marlins now head to Atlanta to start its second series against the Braves in a week. The Braves, who held an NL-best 26-16 record heading into Thursday, took three of four games at Marlins Park. They outscored the Marlins by a combined score of, coincidentally, 26-16.
▪ J.T. Realmuto, who was not in the starting lineup, struck out in his pinch-hit appearance to lead off the bottom of the ninth. It marked the first time in Realmuto’s 22 career games against the Dodgers that he didn’t reach base.