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Realmuto torments Dodgers again, lifts Marlins

MLB.com @JoeFrisaro

MIAMI -- J.T. Realmuto has hit safely in all 21 career games he's faced the Dodgers. The 27-year-old catcher's lone hit on Wednesday night proved to be the difference.

Realmuto connected on a two-out home run in the sixth inning off Pedro Baez that lifted the Marlins to a 6-5 victory over the Dodgers at Marlins Park.

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MIAMI -- J.T. Realmuto has hit safely in all 21 career games he's faced the Dodgers. The 27-year-old catcher's lone hit on Wednesday night proved to be the difference.

Realmuto connected on a two-out home run in the sixth inning off Pedro Baez that lifted the Marlins to a 6-5 victory over the Dodgers at Marlins Park.

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For the second straight game, Realmuto came through with a clutch RBI hit. On Tuesday night, he delivered a seventh-inning RBI double in a 4-2 win.

"I think there is a little psychological [edge], every time you face that team, they look at you as a guy who can really swing the bat," Marlins manager Don Mattingly said of Realmuto's streak against the Dodgers. "Another team may look at him differently because they've got him out. They don't have the same thought process."

Video: LAD@MIA: Hernandez, Mattingly react to solid start

The longest consecutive hit streak by a Marlins player against one club was Luis Castillo, who had a 23-game streak against the Rays.

"Enough has been said about him," Marlins reliever Kyle Barraclough said of Realmuto. "The leader of the team. The leader of the staff, the hitters. Not much more I can say."

By taking the first two games, the Marlins have secured a series victory over the Dodgers, who have dropped six straight.

According to Statcast™, Realmuto's homer went a projected 403 feet with an exit speed of 102 mph. Justin Bour belted his ninth home run of the year, a two-run shot in the fifth.

Video: LAD@MIA: Bour drills a 2-run homer to left field

Starlin Castro added four hits with an RBI and a run scored. So far this series, the veterans, like Realmuto, Castro, Bour, Martin Prado and Miguel Rojas, have provided big hits and plays.

"By just playing hard, those guys are showing the way," Mattingly said. "Martin, J.T., Starlin is playing hard. Miggy is playing hard. That's what it takes. That kind of energy. It's really what you want the young players to see."

Video: LAD@MIA: Castro on big night at the plate, gets pied

Elieser Hernandez, who made his first big league start after two relief appearances, worked an efficient and effective five innings, allowing one run on three hits with one walk and two strikeouts. The lone run he allowed was a homer to Yasmani Grandal to lead off the fourth.

Hernandez exited after 75 pitches with the Marlins holding a 5-1 lead.

"At the beginning, I was kind of nervous out there," Hernandez said. "But once I got in the rhythm, I was able to calm down. Then, I reminded myself I just have to go out there and compete, and limit the mistakes."

Video: LAD@MIA: Hernandez allows 1 run in first MLB start

In the sixth, the Dodgers rallied for four runs, with three charged to Junichi Tazawa, who faced four batters and allowed three hits.

The Marlins built a four-run lead in the fifth on Bour's two-run, opposite-field home run off Dodgers starter Walker Buehler and Rojas' sacrifice fly.

"Obviously, J.T.'s homer was big from the standpoint of grabbing momentum right back," Mattingly said. "They come from four down and get on us quickly. We were able to respond."

Video: LAD@MIA: Rojas lifts a sacrifice fly to center field

SOUND SMART
Through 42 games, the Marlins are 16-26. Last year, they were 15-27 through 42 games.

YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Bour has had his share of impressive, long home runs to right field. But the left-handed-hitting first baseman showed good power to the opposite field in the fifth. According to Statcast™, the two-run shot went a projected 368 feet with an exit velocity of 99.6 mph. Bour placed the drive perfectly down the line, with enough distance for his ninth homer of the season.

"That ball that Bour hit," Buehler said. "I don't know if there's another human that can hit that ball out of the ballpark. He's just a gigantic, really, really strong human."

HE SAID IT
"I really think our record should be better than it is. We've had more chances to win games. I think we really should be four or five games better than what it is. Hopefully, we're going to continue to improve. But, yeah, I think everyone would be surprised if you had said that." -- Mattingly, on the fact the Dodgers and Marlins have identical 16-26 records

MITEL REPLAY OF THE DAY
The Dodgers reviewed a close play that ended the eighth. On Austin Barnes' pinch-hit grounder to short, Rojas went to Castro at second for the forceout on Max Muncy. The play was close, but Muncy was ruled out. The Dodgers had runners on first and second at the time. Los Angeles reviewed the play, but the call stood, preserving a 6-5 Marlins lead.

"It was pretty close, but I think he was out," Castro said. "In that kind of situation, I've got to put myself in position like I'm a first baseman. Don't stand on the base, and just wait for the ball. I've got to do like a first baseman."

Video: LAD@MIA: Barraclough induces forceout, call stands

UP NEXT
Initially scheduled to throw Wednesday, Caleb Smith was pushed back to Thursday to start the series finale against the Dodgers at 12:10 p.m. ET. Kenta Maeda goes for Los Angeles. Smith has struck out 34.3 percent of the right-handed hitters he's faced his past five starts.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast.

Miami Marlins, Justin Bour, Starlin Castro, Elieser Hernandez, J.T. Realmuto