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Marlins sweep LA; Gordon suspended

April 29, 2016

LOS ANGELES -- One minute, the Marlins were joyously walking off the field here with a four-game sweep of the Dodgers. The next, they received the sobering news that one of their top players, leadoff hitter and All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon, had been suspended for violating Major League Baseball's

LOS ANGELES -- One minute, the Marlins were joyously walking off the field here with a four-game sweep of the Dodgers. The next, they received the sobering news that one of their top players, leadoff hitter and All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon, had been suspended for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy.
Immediately following a come-from-behind 5-3 victory that gave manager Don Mattingly a sweep of his former team on Thursday night, Gordon told the club that he had been suspended by MLB for 80 games without pay, effective immediately.
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball said Gordon tested positive for exogenous Testosterone and Clostebol, in violation of Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program.
"Obviously, two different ends of the spectrum for us, and our team," Mattingly said. "You'd expect our team to be in there all excited, and then we get this news. Not quite the feeling, but from there, we'll support Dee. These guys love Dee, and I feel like he's one of our kids, to be honest with you."
Gordon, a two-time All-Star and the 2015 National League batting champion, was an integral part of Thursday's win.
With Dodgers rookie sensation Kenta Maeda pitching with a 2-1 lead in the seventh inning, J.T. Realmuto and Adeiny Hechavarria hit back-to-back one-out singles to put men in scoring position. After a strikeout of Derek Dietrich, Gordon belted an opposite-field single that allowed Realmuto to beat a Carl Crawford throw home and tie the game. That prompted Dave Roberts to pull Maeda after 101 pitches, and Pedro Baez allowed two more of Maeda's baserunners to score.
"I felt that it's not a pitch count thing, he was strong, he was still making pitches," manager Dave Roberts said. "He had just punched a guy out. He had seen Dee three times, weak contact, nothing really special, so I felt that it was his game and wanted to give him a chance to complete the inning."
Maeda's loss was the first of his MLB career and the four runs allowed increased his ERA to 1.41 after he surrendered one run over his first four starts. Meanwhile, Jose Fernandez took the win after looking strong in six innings, striking out eight and allowing five hits and two runs.
"I'm really proud the guys hung in there again," Mattingly said. "They get up early and then Jose calms down and he just keeps them right there the rest of the way. J.T. with that home run, it was big for us. It cuts it in half right away."
Stanton right at home: Dodger Stadium is right in Stanton's comfort zone. The Sherman Oaks, Calif., native capped the four-game series with his fourth home run in the last five games. Stanton provided insurance for Miami in the eighth inning with his opposite-field home run off Baez. The laser to right gave the Marlins a three-run lead. Statcast™ projected the drive to land 383 feet from home plate, with an exit velocity of 105 mph. Stanton now has nine home runs and 22 RBIs in 19 games at Dodger Stadium.
"Our bullpen does a nice job for us," Mattingly said. "It was nice to tack on a couple of runs late. Obviously, it was nice to come in here and win another game."

Baez's balk: One of the Marlins' seventh-inning runs scored when Baez balked, allowing Gordon to score from third. Gordon made a fake lunge toward home to pull Baez out of his set position, prompting the call from home-plate umpire Bill Miller.

Utley blocked at third: A half-inning after losing the lead, the Dodgers had a chance to take it back slip away after a miscommunication between Kiké Hernandez and Chase Utley. With two outs and Hernandez on second and Utley on first, Gordon bobbled a grounder from Adrian Gonzalez, who was then safe at first. However, Utley advanced toward third seemingly thinking that Hernandez would try to score from second because there were two outs, but Hernandez had held back at third. An alert Justin Bour caught Utley returning to second and cut down the veteran to end the inning. More >

Big Ks save Jose: All season, Fernandez has struggled in the first inning. It continued Thursday with two runs allowed. In five first innings, Fernandez has given up five runs. But the 23-year-old Miami ace was able to settle down and make it through six innings. Fernandez got into a couple of jams, like putting first-and-third with no outs in the third inning. But he was able to rely on his offspeed pitches to log three straight strikeouts -- getting Gonzalez (curveball), Yasmani Grandal (changeup) and Yasiel Puig (curveball).

"We had a great series and we played good baseball the whole team. We have to continue to do that. We have a game tomorrow and we're going to play good baseball, against a pretty good team and we want to keep that streak going." -- Marlins third baseman Martin Prado
"When you're trying to execute a pitch and you make a mistake, it seems like every pitch we made a mistake, he took advantage of. When he does that, it's out of the ballpark, it's a run." -- Roberts on Stanton
The Marlins had their first five-game winning streak since Sept. 23-27, 2015.
The Marlins requested a rare replay challenge in the seventh inning, after pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich reacted as if he was hit on the back foot by a Maeda pitch. Miami had two on and one out. The call was confirmed and the at-bat continued and Dietrich struck out.

Marlins: After wrapping up seven straight games on the West Coast, the Marlins are at Milwaukee on Friday for an 8:10 p.m. ET game with the Brewers at Miller Park. Lefty Adam Conley (0-1, 5.12) makes the start for Miami. The Brewers are turning to Zach Davies (0-2, 9.72).
Dodgers: The Dodgers continue their homestand by kicking off a weekend series against the Padres on Friday, with first pitch scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PT. Starter Alex Wood will try to improve a 6.00 ERA through four starts.
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Jack Baer is a reporter for based in Los Angeles.

Joe Frisaro has covered the Marlins for since 2002. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Listen to his podcast.