Van Slyke's early homer sets tone in Dodgers' win

Van Slyke's early homer sets tone in Dodgers' win

MIAMI -- It came in the second inning and was just the third of the Dodgers' 13 hits, but manager Don Mattingly categorized Scott Van Slyke's early homer as the biggest knock of Friday's 7-1 win over the Marlins.

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The reason being, after the Dodgers fell behind, 1-0, after the first inning, Van Slyke's blast also brought home Adrian Gonzalez -- who led off the second with a single -- to give L.A. a lead it never relinquished.

"I thought that kind of changed the game and brought the momentum back to us," Mattingly said.

The blast to left field marked Van Slyke's fourth homer of the season, and the Dodgers' offense rode that momentum the rest of the way.

In all, L.A. scored five runs off Marlins starter Justin Nicolino, knocking him out after a three-run fourth inning pushed the lead to 5-1. Jimmy Rollins recorded a two-run single in the frame, while starting pitcher Brett Anderson notched an RBI single -- the first one of his career.

Anderson's RBI single

"We got some separation early, which gives us some room to work with," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "Slykie got the big home run to get us going and get it back. Then Jimmy had the big hit and Alex Guerrero had some big hits all day. It was just a great team win up and down."

While Guerrero finished 2-for-4 with an RBI, second baseman Howie Kendrick quietly went 4-for-5 with an RBI. His run-scoring single came in the eighth and brought home Joc Pederson. Although the rookie leadoff hitter finished 1-for-4 with a double, he narrowly missed home runs Nos. 20 and 21 on the season at spacious Marlins Park.

Even so, there wasn't much frustration from the Dodgers' offense -- which certainly appeared relaxed after Van Slyke's early home run.

"The energy was really good tonight and so was the pace we played with," Mattingly said. "It was good to see."

Steve Wilaj is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.