LOS ANGELES -- During a rough stretch for the Marlins, Jarlin Garcia has emerged as a must-see starting pitcher, impressing again Monday at Dodger Stadium, even if his teammates were unable to follow his lead.
Garcia gave up just a run over six innings, but the Marlins fell, 2-1, to the Dodgers, despite a game-tying rally in the eighth inning.
The loss was the Marlins' fifth straight. They've dropped eight of their last nine contests and 11 of their last 13. The Dodgers have won seven of their last eight.
Garcia has delivered three gems in three Major League starts, but a former Marlin was the one to get to him Monday. Kiké Hernandez, traded from Miami to Los Angeles after the 2014 season, had three hits on the night, including a fourth-inning home run off Garcia.
Garcia entered as the only pitcher on record since 1908 to give up one hit or fewer in each of his first two starts (min. 5 innings). And he was at it again against the Dodgers, taking a no-hitter into the fourth inning.
Leading off the fourth, however, Hernandez unloaded on a low fastball and put it over the wall in left-center for his third home run of the year.
"He was hitting corners, wasn't throwing over the fat part of the plate," Hernandez said of Garcia, who has a 1.00 ERA on the season and a 0.53 mark as a starter. "Seemed like all the strikes were on the black. There's a reason he's got that ERA."
Garcia has given manager Don Mattingly something to feel good about, even if team victories are not coming right now.
"He's been pretty good every time out, and he's faced two pretty good lineups his last couple out there," Mattingly said about Garcia's consecutive outings against the Dodgers and Yankees. "He's pitched on the road in both places, and he's pitched well. Jarlin has been impressive for us."
He was so good that he kept the Marlins in the game long enough for a late rally. The Marlins tied the game in the eighth inning thanks to an error from Dodgers second baseman Austin Barnes. Instead of turning a double play, Barnes' wild throw put Starlin Castro on second base. Brian Anderson followed with an RBI single.
"Our pitching staff did a heck of a job today containing that offense," Anderson said. "Jarlin was pounding the zone with all of his stuff, getting swings and misses."
The Dodgers took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning on Cody Bellinger's sacrifice fly to right field off Kyle Barraclough (0-1).
Garcia struck out seven. His 92 pitches matched his total from last week's start against the Yankees. Next up would appear to be a home start against the Rockies, as Garcia looks to build his legend.
"I'm just happy overall with my health and my legs, and I'm just comfortable overall with my role as a starting pitcher," Garcia said through an interpreter. "It's just about going forward every day and getting better and better."
The Marlins managed just four hits and no runs in five innings against Dodgers rookie Walker Buehler, who was making both his 2018 debut and his first big league start. He pitched 9 1/3 innings in relief last September.
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Stopped at the starting line: The Marlins appeared to be in position to get Garcia some early run support, loading the bases in the first inning, but J.B. Shuck struck out to end the threat. It was one of five strikeouts for Buehler. The Marlins would not get another runner as far as second base against the right-hander.
HE SAID IT
"This is nothing new for me. I've seen him as a starter throughout the Minor Leagues. When he gets the ball right now, get ready on defense for a ball to be put in play, because he's hammering the zone with everything he has. It's fun playing behind him, watching him rack up the K's there." -- Anderson, on Garcia's run of one run and just five hits combined in the first three starts of his career
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Not only has J.T. Realmuto looked impressive to start the season, he is facing a team that he has always hit well. Realmuto had two hits Monday, giving him three multihit games in his first five contests this season. He also improved to 24-for-60 (.400) against the Dodgers in his career, with a 1.004 OPS and nine runs scored in 17 games.
Left-hander Dillon Peters (2-2, 6.98 ERA) will put his resiliency on display again when he takes the mound for the Marlins on Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. Peters did not make it out of the fifth inning in a loss to Milwaukee on Thursday, but he did bounce back after a rough April 7 outing at Philadelphia to beat the Pirates. The Dodgers will counter with right-hander Kenta Maeda (2-1, 3.77).