MIAMI (AP) -- If the Los Angeles Dodgers keep sweeping series, they might find themselves atop the tough NL West in another week or two.
Matt Kemp drove in the tiebreaking run with a ninth-inning single Thursday, and the Dodgers completed their second consecutive series sweep by beating the Florida Marlins 5-3.
The Dodgers' Joe Beimel became the fourth pitcher this season to record a victory despite throwing just one pitch in the game.
Javier Lopez, BOS
Brian Shouse, MIL
Jorge Sosa, NYM
The Dodgers have won six games in a row, their longest winning streak since taking seven straight to close the 2006 season. They're still five games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks, whose 20-8 record is the best in baseball."You don't get very many opportunities to sweep series," manager Joe Torre said. "When you're playing well and with a lot of confidence, you try to make it last as long as you can."The Dodgers, who open a weekend series Friday in snowy Colorado, are averaging nearly eight runs per game during their winning streak."It doesn't have to stop," outfielder Juan Pierre said. "It's early, but like everyone says, you want to get it while you can get it. That takes pressure off in August and September."The Marlins have lost three in a row for the first time this year. They fell out of the lead in the NL East, percentage points behind the New York Mets."We have to see how we bounce back," first baseman Wes Helms said. "We have to shake this off."With the score 3-all, Rafael Furcal walked to lead off the ninth against Kevin Gregg (3-2), then advanced on Pierre's sacrifice. Kemp followed by punching a 93-mph fastball from Gregg to the opposite field for a run-scoring single."He tried to sink the ball in," Kemp said. "I tried to stay short and inside-out the ball. I've been working on trying to push it that way, and it worked."Torre liked the way the Dodgers scratched out the tiebreaking run."Fundamentally sound baseball -- it sounds simple and boring, but you put yourself in position to win a game," he said.Kemp then stole second, and after a walk, he scored when the Marlins made two throwing errors on a grounder to the pitcher. Gregg threw high to second trying for a forceout, and second baseman Robert Andino made a wild relay throw to first.Joe Beimel (3-0) threw one pitch, retiring Jeremy Hermida on a popup to end the eighth. Takashi Saito pitched a perfect ninth for his fourth save in six chances for the Dodgers, who have won eight of their past 10 games in Miami.Pierre went 2-for-3 with a two-run double. He also was hit by a pitch, stole a base and scored a run.Cody Ross hit his first home run for the Marlins.The Dodgers' Hiroki Kuroda and Florida rookie Burke Badenhop left with the score 3-all. Kuroda remained winless since April 4, but he allowed only five hits and no walks in seven innings."In the beginning I wasn't performing that well, but I kept being aggressive," Kuroda said through a translator. "In the end I came through. I wanted to keep the winning streak going. I didn't want to be the one to stop it."The crowd of 15,556 included many kids groups, creating a festive atmosphere on a balmy, 80-degree afternoon."I knew with all the little kids in the crowd, I wasn't going to get booed too bad," said Badenhop, who pitched six innings for the first time but remained winless in four starts.Matt Treanor became Florida's first baserunner when his wind-blown fly in the third dropped for a single. He scored on a two-out double by Hanley Ramirez.The Dodgers tied it in the fourth. Pierre was hit by a pitch, stole second and came home on Andre Ethier's two-out single.Pierre -- still adjusting to his new role as a part-time player -- hit a two-run double in the fifth to put the Dodgers ahead 3-1."Every time he plays, he's always doing something to help the team win," Kemp said.
Dodgers RHP Jonathan Broxton (side) will throw a bullpen session Friday, and if it goes well, he may be available for that night's game at Colorado, Torre said. ... Dodgers RHP Jason Schmidt may start a rehab assignment after throwing a bullpen session Friday. ... Marlins RHP Matt Lindstrom, who left Wednesday's game with a stiff back, underwent an MRI that was negative. "Hopefully I'll be better by Friday," he said. ... With a 12:10 p.m. start following a night game, Torre held James Loney, Jeff Kent and Andruw Jones out of the starting lineup. Josh Willingham and Mike Jacobs, both nursing injuries, sat out for Florida.