MIAMI (AP) — Chris Martin has exceeded the Los Angeles Dodgers’ expectations since they traded for him in late July.
The well-traveled reliever inherited a bases-loaded jam in the bottom of the 10th inning and got the final two outs as the NL-West-leading Dodgers defeated the Miami Marlins 3-2 on Monday night.
“He’s come in here and allowed us to poke holes or add to his mix and find out what he plays best,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “and he’s just come in, whether it’s the location, the order, the pitches he decides. I am using. They bought him from the start.”
Freddie Freeman led off with a grounder in the top half of the inning.
Trea Turner recorded his 1,000th career hit with an infield single against reliever Huascar Brazoban (0-1) to start the Dodgers 10th, advancing pinch runner Cody Bellinger to third.
Freeman hit a grounder to first baseman Charles LeBlanc, who was forced out to second as Bellinger scored. Freeman had two previous hits and leads the majors with 163.
Jon Berti walked to lead off the second inning against reliever Craig Kimbrel (4-5) and Brian Anderson reached on a fielder’s choice, advancing pinch runner Joey Wendle to third. Kimbrel then walked JJ Bleday.
Martin relieved Kimbrel and struck out Garrett Cooper and retired Jacob Stallings on a popout to lead off for his first save since posting one for Atlanta last year.
“There’s nothing like experiencing those situations,” Martin said. “Obviously, the playoffs help you with that in the regular season. But these games count, in my opinion, equally. Just go out there and just compete on every pitch. That’s all I’m trying to do.”
Now with his sixth major league team, the Dodgers acquired the 36-year-old right-hander from the Chicago Cubs for reliever Zach McKinstry.
The Dodgers, with a league-best 89 wins, have taken three of four in the series.
“You’ve got to win those games in the postseason,” Turner said, “so a little bit of practice, a little bit of intensity and adrenaline — those last four games have been pretty tough for the most part. They played us really well this series. We had to fight for these three victories.”
The game was tied in the fifth when Lewin Diaz hit an RBI single for Miami to make it 2-2.
The Dodgers jumped ahead in the third after Will Smith hit a two-run shot up the middle for his 19th home run of the season. Smith, the Dodgers All-Star, has been named to Team USA at the World Baseball Classic, which will be held in the spring of 2023. He joins teammate Mookie Betts, who announced last week that he will be on the team .
“As a kid, dreaming and seeing people wear the USA jersey, you hope that one day you’ll be in that position and have that opportunity,” Smith said.
Joey Wendle hit a leadoff double in Miami’s first and later scored on Brian Anderson’s groundout to give the Marlins a 1-0 lead.
Earlier in the day, the Dodgers placed All-Star pitcher Tony Gonsolin on the injured list with a strained right forearm. Gonsolin has an NL-best 2.10 ERA and is tied with Houston’s Justin Verlander and Atlanta’s Kyle Wright for the most wins in the Big 16.
Michael Grove was recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City and started in place of Gonsolin. The right-hander allowed five hits, two runs, walked one and struck out four in 4 2/3 innings.
Diaz and Wendle had two hits for the Marlins, who were 1-for-13 with runners in scoring position.
“We had chances in the game to win it,” Marlins manager Don Mattingly said, “but we just couldn’t get that hit to put us on a run.”
Betts, a six-time All-Star who homered in the first three games of the series, did not start but entered as a defensive replacement in the 10th.
Marlins starter Pablo López was lifted after six innings. He allowed two runs, five hits, walked three and struck out six.
“I felt really good today,” López said. “I think we had a really good mix. We chose our times to keep the fastball alive and we chose times to give good hitters a different look. But one time I tried to keep the fastball very live on Will Smith, who’s a very good player.”
Bertie ended the Dodgers’ scoring threat in the first with a jumper at third base to rob Justin Turner of a base hit and keep the game scoreless.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (lower back soreness) had a bullpen session Monday and continues to improve toward a possible return later this week.
Marlins: INF Jazz Chisholm Jr. (right lower back strain) is completing core and lifting programs at the team’s spring training complex in Jupiter, but has not started baseball activities.
Dodgers: LHP Andrew Heaney (2-1, 1.94) will start the opener of a three-game series at the NL East-leading New York Mets on Tuesday night. The Mets will start RHP Tajuan Walker (10-3, 3.38).
Marlins: LHP Jesús Luzardo (3-5, 3.34) will start the opener of the two-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays. Rays to start LHP Shane McClanahan (11-5,2.20)
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