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Dodger Rally Comes Up Short

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Down 8-0 to the Florida Marlins after five innings, the Dodgers rallied to keep fans on the edge of their seat but ultimately fell short losing 8-6.

"These guys play hard," Torre said. "Aside from the one inning that [Jeff] Weaver pitched, the bullpen did a good job to keep us close and put us in the position where we had the tying run at the plate a couple of times."

Already leading 4-0 in the fourth inning the Marlins broke open the game scoring four runs. Second baseman Dan Uggla hit a solo homer to lead off the inning to knock out Schmidt. Dodgers reliever Weaver would come in relief but give up three more runs on two doubles, a single, a walk and a sacrifice bunt giving the Marlins an 8-0 lead.

The Dodgers would go on the comeback trail in the sixth inning. Orlando Hudson led the inning off with a double and went to third on an Andre Ethier single. James Loney knocked them both in with a double. After Matt Kemp ground out to the pitcher, Russell Martin hit his third home run of the season bringing Loney in to cut the deficit in half 8-4.

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In the ninth inning with one out Rafael Furcal tripled to give the fans something to cheer. After Hudson struck out, Ethier singled to score Furcal cutting the deficit to 8-5. With Loney batting, Ethier took second on defensive indifference and scored on Loney's single. With the score 8-6 Matt Kemp, the tying run, popped out to the catcher John Baker to end the game.

"We could have gone away real quietly," last night's hero Casey Blake said, "and called it a good old fashioned butt kicking. But we showed the heart of this team today."

Dodgers starter Jason Schmidt, after having an easy first inning making only seven pitches all of which were strikes, labored out there in successive innings. He ended up going three inning plus one hitter in the fourth giving up five runs, four of which were earned, on five hits and a walk with a strikeout in his loss, the first in his career against the Marlins.

"Everything that could have went wrong pretty much did," Schmidt said of his performance. "Today I didn't have anything I could go to to get the ball over."

Despite his fastball velocity noticably down, Schmidt still insists that he doesn't have to re-learn how to pitch.

"It's not a learning curve," Schmidt said. "It's what my body is allowing me to do, and my body is not allowing me to throw strikes."

Asked how he felt physically Schmidt replied, "I feel good."

The Dodgers now travel to St. Louis where they will play a three-game series against the Cardinals. They last won a series in St. Louis in 2003 when they swept a two-game set. Hopefully on the road they clean things up on defense. The Dodgers have now committed an error in three straight games.

Marlin’s reliever Burke Badenhop was ejected in the seventh inning along with manager Fredi Gonzalez after hitting Orlando Hudson with a pitch. It was Badenhop's first career ejection and Gonzalez's second ejection of the season.

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