Hanley Ramirez had an RBI double and scored two runs, and Zack Greinke gave up one run in eight innings as the Dodgers defeated the Marlins, 4-1, at Marlins Park.
"We've got to pick it up defensively," Miami manager Mike Redmond said. "We're making way too many mistakes -- three errors tonight. That's not good. I said it last night, 'We can't make any mistakes, especially against such a good team.' Tonight, we made a few. They made us pay again."
The series has brought out some star power in South Florida. Attending the game, and sitting in the first row behind home plate, was LeBron James of the Miami Heat.
It was another tough loss for Miami, but Redmond didn't lose his sense of humor when James was shown on the video scoreboard. The crowd of 24,996 chanted, "MVP!" and Redmond used the moment to joke in the dugout.
"I was saying, 'Puig probably thinks this ovation is for him. It's really for LeBron,'" Redmond said.
Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers star rookie outfielder, reportedly has spent time this week socializing with James on South Beach.
On the field, Puig went 0-for-5, but he did reach on third baseman Ed Lucas' throwing error and scored in Los Angeles' three-run fourth inning.
Giancarlo Stanton gave Miami a first-inning lead with a home run to left, but that was all the club could produce off Greinke, who struck out seven.
The Marlins had early chances, but couldn't convert, and Greinke settled.
"They actually hit him a little bit early," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "You could see him kind of made the adjustment, throw more curveballs and slow them down a little bit. All of a sudden you see him turn the page, throw more breaking balls."
Miami's inexperience was evident. Sloppy play led to the Dodgers taking two of the first three in the four-game set.
The Marlins matched a season high with three errors, done once before, on June 25 against the Twins.
Nathan Eovaldi, who hasn't won since July 12, was more deserving than his line indicated. He gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits and struck out five in seven innings.
Even though he was on the losing end, Eovaldi had a nice bounceback game after matching a Marlins record by allowing 11 runs (nine earned) against the Giants in his last outing.
"After his last start, there was some talk about maybe he was tipping his pitches," Redmond said. "I think you saw tonight, maybe he just had an off day. He looked really sharp, and he threw some great fastballs, well-located. He did enough to keep us in the ballgame. Offensively, we weren't able to push any runs across."
Eovaldi's fastball continues to impress. He struck out Adrian Gonzalez looking at a 100-mph heater to end the fifth inning, stranding Carl Crawford at second.
The Marlins' undoing came in the first six innings. In that span, they committed three errors, one of which was catcher's interference. They left three on base. And Adeiny Hechavarria was picked off second base by Greinke with one out in the fourth.
Miami's mistakes opened the door for the Dodgers to score three runs in the top of the fourth. The big inning started with Puig reaching on Lucas' throwing error on a ground ball to third. Gonzalez walked, and Ramirez delivered an RBI double. Andre Ethier slapped a run-scoring single to left, and Ramirez scored the third run of the inning on Eovaldi's throwing error to first, when he made a pickoff throw attempt that was wide of Logan Morrison.
"They're just a good hitting team," Eovaldi said. "They're on a roll. You've got to just keep attacking, all the way, one through nine.
"I left the ball right down the middle and [Ramirez] took it in the gap. Their whole lineup is a threat. You've got to stay focused, one through nine. Greinke can handle the bat. It's just attack the entire time. Don't let up and stay on them."
Stanton continues to stay hot, and he extended his hitting streak to eight games. He's also homered in three of his last five games.
With two outs in the first inning, Stanton turned on Greinke's hanging 84-mph slider and sent the ball over the wall in left field for his 16th homer.
The Marlins received a scare in the seventh inning when Hechavarria attempted a bunt on a ball that ran in and clipped him on the right hand. The play was ruled a foul ball, and Hechavarria was looked at by trainer Sean Cunningham. The shortstop stayed in the game and lined out to Ramirez at short.
Hechavarria almost made things interesting in the ninth inning. With two outs, and Lucas on first, he delivered a long drive to center that was run down at the wall by Ethier for the final out.
"Offensively, Stanton had that big home run, and it looked like maybe we were going to be able to put some pressure on them," Redmond said. "We just weren't able to do that. They took advantage of the big inning, and we weren't able to answer."