Kent helps Dodgers beat Marlins 7-6

MIAMI "Excitement from a kid, and he'll probably learn from it," Los Angeles second baseman Jeff Kent said.

An inning later, it was the Dodgers doing the celebrating. Kent's two-out single broke a ninth-inning tie, and the Dodgers won their fourth game in a row Tuesday night, 7-6.

Andre Ethier walked with one out against Kevin Gregg (3-1), took second on a groundout and scored easily on Kent's single. The Dodgers won even though Derek Lowe was unable to protect a 6-1 lead, and with the score 6-all, twice failed to convert scoring chances.

Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla made a strong relay on a double by Mark Sweeney to throw out Blake DeWitt trying to score from first with two out in the eighth. Rabelo held onto the throw despite taking a tumble in a collision with Sweeney, then rose and slammed the ball to the grass as he headed for the dugout.

Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said Rabelo's show of emotion was excessive.

"That's not the way we want to be portrayed as an organization," Gonzalez said. "I spoke to him afterward, and he'll be fine."

Los Angeles, coming off three-game sweep at home against the NL champion Colorado Rockies, improved to 4-8 on the road. The game started a stretch where the Dodgers play 19 of 31 games on the road.

"It was a great grind-out game, especially with our record on the road where we haven't seemed that comfortable," manager Joe Torre said. "It's just good practice for us, because with the type of pitching in our division, there aren't going to be many runaways. You're going to have to get used to playing games like this."

Three Los Angeles relievers combined for four shutout innings. Joe Beimel (2-0) pitched the eighth, and Takashi Saito followed with a perfect ninth for his third save in five chances.

Kent drove in three runs and Ethier scored three times for the Dodgers, who had 14 hits and scored all of their runs with two out. Gold Glove catcher Russell Martin twice threw out Hanley Ramirez trying to steal.

Lowe allowed eight hits and six runs, three earned, in five innings. Uggla hit his fourth homer for the Marlins, and they scored three unearned runs in the fifth for a 6-all tie.

"Every inning they had men on base," Lowe said. "There really weren't many easy innings. But the bottom line is we found a way to win."

Florida's Andrew Miller lasted only three innings, allowing six runs and nine hits, even though only one ball was hit hard. His ERA rose to 9.12.

"I felt like I was throwing the ball pretty well," Miller said. "I got a lot of soft contact, but it seemed like it was always finding holes."

Torre used his 25th lineup in 26 games, and it clicked early thanks to several seeing-eye grounders. Martin singled home a run in the first, and Matt Kemp and Kent hit two-run singles in the second. Andruw Jones scored on a wild pitch in the third.

Florida trailed 6-3 before the fifth. After the first two Marlins were retired, Dodgers first baseman James Loney bobbled a grounder by Ramirez for an error. Uggla walked and both scored on Jeremy Hermida's double. Jorge Cantu followed with a single to make the score 6-all.

The Marlins rank next-to-last in the NL in fielding, but fine defense helped them prevent the Dodgers from scoring with the game tied in the sixth.

Second baseman Uggla tumbled into the first row of seats, landing upside down, to catch a foul pop. Center fielder Alfredo Amezaga followed with a diving catch of Ethier's shallow fly with a runner at second to end the inning.

Notes: Dodgers RHP Jason Schmidt, recovering from shoulder surgery last June, threw 78 pitches in a bullpen session and may start a rehab assignment this week. ... Dodgers RHP Jonathan Broxton (strained right side) was unavailable. ... Marlins LF Josh Willingham (stiff back) was a late scratch from the lineup. 1B Mike Jacobs (finger) sat out but may start Wednesday, Gonzalez said. ... LHP Scott Olsen, scheduled to start Wednesday, is 0-2 in two starts against the Dodgers with an ERA of 7.36.


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