Missed opportunities extend Dodgers' woes

Four-game skid comes at hands of former skipper's club

Missed opportunities extend Dodgers' woes

LOS ANGELES -- The last-place Padres arrive Friday night and maybe the Dodgers will find the opponent more to their liking after the losing streak reached four games Thursday night with another lackluster defeat to the Marlins.

This one was 5-3, and the late-night announcement of Dee Gordon's 80-game suspension came too late for his former club, as he singled home the tying run off Kenta Maeda in a three-run seventh inning, and scored an insurance run when he deked Pedro Baez into a balk by faking to break for home from third base.

"We just got outplayed," manager Dave Roberts said, and not by just any team, but the one managed by his predecessor as Dodgers manager, Don Mattingly. It was the first series sweep in Los Angeles in Marlins history.

In the four-game series, the Dodgers scored seven runs and were 2-for-24 with runners in scoring position, continuing the Coors Field hangover after scoring 12 runs on Sunday in Colorado.

"Every team I've been on over the course of my career has gone through several phases like this," said Chase Utley, who reached base four times. "Stay positive and the hits will come and so will the wins. One thing you don't want to do is try to do too much. You try to do too much, and most of the time you actually do less."

The Dodgers broke down in all areas of this game. Maeda let a two-run first-inning lead get away, giving up three hits in the fateful seventh inning after allowing only a solo homer to J.T. Realmuto over the first six innings.

"It turned out to be a regretful result," said Maeda, who did retire childhood hero Ichiro Suzuki all three times they squared off.

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Baez not only allowed Martin Prado's go-ahead single and balked home Gordon, he served up Giancarlo Stanton's third home run of the series.

The Dodgers scored twice in the first inning off Jose Fernandez and not again, bungling on the basepaths to end a seventh-inning threat. With Kiké Hernandez on second base and Utley on first, Gordon booted Adrian Gonzalez's grounder and his throw to first was late. Hernandez, playing cautiously down two runs, stopped at third base. Utley, playing the only way he knows how -- aggressively -- rounded second base going for third when he saw Hernandez still standing there.

Utley was tagged out retreating to second, then took the bullet, telling reporters the misplay was on him.

"I've got to do a better job picking up the lead runner. I was overly aggressive and it was my fault that inning didn't get extended," said Utley. "No one's fault but my fault."

Hernandez said third-base coach Chris Woodward told him he did the right thing, that getting thrown out at the plate down by two runs would have been a mistake.

"This is a situation where it's 3-2, two outs, and so runners are in motion. That's where guys have got to be moving," said Roberts. "I've got to look at the video. I didn't see how hard he was running or where he was at. I just know that in a situation like that when runners are in motion and the ball is hit into shallow right field, we shouldn't have baserunners hung up, so I've got to go back and look at that."

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.