"When you don't throw strikes, and you're not hitting the spots you're wanting to hit, that's going to be the results," Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen said. "Everything is about location. I don't think it's about velocity. I think location is more important than anything else. His location was off against obviously the wrong team. Those guys are going to swing the bats."
Miami acquired the 22-year-old Eovaldi for Ramirez on July 25. And the two faced each other twice. In the first inning, Ramirez struck out swinging. But in third inning, the former Marlin belted a two-run, opposite-field homer.
Entering the game, Eovaldi noted how he was excited about facing his former team. Perhaps he was a bit too eager, because the homers he allowed came when he was missing his spots.
"Maybe I was a little amped up," the right-hander admitted. "But it comes down to being able to execute all your pitches and attack the strike zone."
Two of the three homers were mistake pitches. The one pitch that Eovaldi thought he executed well was to Ramirez, but it was taken to right field for the shortstop's 20th homer.
"The ball to Ethier, curveball right down the middle," Eovaldi said. "I was behind in count to Juan, a 3-1 count. The fastball, pretty much, was located down the middle. The pitch I felt I located was the one to Hanley. You've got to give him credit, he's a good hitter. I was behind in the count as well. Fastball away, he just took it that way."
The Marlins showed some power of their own, with Jose Reyes belting a two-run homer in the first inning off Chad Billingsley, who exited after 3 1/3 innings with right elbow tenderness.
In the fifth, Giancarlo Stanton, from Sherman Oaks, Calif., blasted a solo home run to left. It was the 22-year-old's sixth homer in nine games on the road trip. Stanton boosted his season total to 27.
But the long drives weren't enough to prevent the Marlins from dropping three straight and falling to 4-5 on the trip.
Ethier, who went 3-for-13 in three games at Marlins Park a few weeks ago, had a four-hit, four-RBI night. And Ramirez stepped up with a big blast as he continues to stay hot since the trade.
If Ramirez is playing with more motivation against the Marlins, Guillen says he doesn't blame him.
"He hit a home run," Guillen said. "After that a double play. But I don't blame the kid to be pumped up and try to beat our butts. If I was him, I'd try to do that too. That's the way it is. He played good against us. I'm not surprised he's playing good for them, at all. This kid is good. Obviously, when he faces us, he's going to try to play at another notch to play better."
Asked if he had any added emotions facing his former team, Ramirez said, "Not at all. We just try to win as many games as we can right now and try to make it to the playoffs."
For the Marlins, Donovan Solano extended his hitting streak to eight games with a single in the second inning.
Eovaldi hadn't allowed a home run in each of his first five starts since joining Miami. The homers led to the right-hander exiting after three innings, while allowing six runs.
The frustration of the night was pretty much summed up in the seventh inning, when the Dodgers scored five runs to break the game open. A flabbergasting play came when Luis Cruz, with two runners on, tapped a slow grounder to third. Greg Dobbs made a barehanded play, but his throw sailed down the right-field line. Cruz was credited with a single, and Dobbs' error allowed two runs to score. But Cruz also circled the bases because Stanton's throw from right field to third base went out of the field of play.
Only two of the five runs in the inning were earned.
Both teams got off to a fast start offensively. And through two innings, the Dodgers claimed a 4-3 lead on Rivera's homer to lead off the second.
Bryan Petersen singled to open the game. Reyes' two-run homer to right was his 10th homer of the season.
The Dodgers countered with three runs in the first, courtesy of Ethier's drive to right-center. Miami tied it in the second on Petersen's RBI groundout. From there, it was all Los Angeles.
"I don't think we did anything spectacular to win the game," Guillen said. "We had the bases loaded early [fourth inning], and we didn't take advantage. That's what we're doing. If we score one or two runs there, maybe we change the game."