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May 7, 2024 3:12 am

Dodgers’ Japanese stars aim to take down Marlins

Dodgers, Yamamoto,

Two of the biggest contributors to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ turnaround over the past two weeks will take center stage Tuesday in the middle game of a three-game series against the visiting Miami Marlins.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto will be on the mound to start against the Marlins for the first time in his career, while Shohei Ohtani will attempt to make Miami pitchers uncomfortable as the Dodgers look to extend their winning streak to six games.

Los Angeles is 12-2 since dropping seven of nine in mid-April.

Since his horrid major league debut in March, when Yamamoto gave up five runs in just one inning, the right-hander has been everything the Dodgers hoped for. The 25-year-old Japan native has gone 3-0 with a 1.64 ERA over his past six starts, and enters play on Tuesday coming off consecutive scoreless outings.

Yamamoto (3-1, 2.91 ERA) gave up five hits over six scoreless innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday in an outing that came six days after he gave up four hits in another six scoreless frames against the Washington Nationals. Both starts were on the road.

“There are some differences between here and Japan, such as the PitchCom, pitch clock. I think I’m being able to get myself used to it,” Yamamoto said through an interpreter. “And I’m feeling more comfortable. … I think I’m just getting used to the environment since I came here.”

Ohtani is on a roll with four home runs over his past three games, including a two-run, 441-foot blast in the first inning against Miami on Monday. He has a major-league-leading 11 home runs on the season after not hitting one over his first eight games with the Dodgers.

Freddie Freeman hit back-to-back home runs with Ohtani, while James Outman and Teoscar Hernandez also went deep in the Dodgers’ 6-3 victory over the Marlins on Monday. Ohtani added two stolen bases.

“We always knew we had a good team,” Freeman said on the SportsNet LA broadcast. “Obviously, we didn’t get off to the start we wanted to in the first 20, 25 games. You could see it pretty fast that we can change the game on one swing of the bat with a lot of guys in this lineup.”

The Marlins will send Edward Cabrera (1-1, 6.05 ERA) to the mound after he gave up a combined 10 runs, nine earned, over his past two starts. The hard-throwing right-hander has been a strikeout machine, logging nine in his most recent outing and 30 over four starts in just 19 1/3 innings.

Miami got off to a fast start on Monday, putting up three runs over the first two innings, including a home run from Nick Gordon. It was a continuation from Sunday when the Marlins rolled to a 12-3 road victory over the Oakland Athletics.

However, the Marlins were held scoreless over the final seven innings on Monday, and they delivered just one hit in five innings against the Dodgers’ bullpen. If there was anything to savor, it was Gordon homering after he had four hits on Sunday.

“He was hurt last year and got limited at-bats so he’s been working on stuff,” Marlins manager Skip Schumaker said about Gordon, who was in a 3-for-36 (.083) slump before his breakout performance on Sunday. “I felt like he has been closer lately.”

Miami has four victories in its past seven games, and in all of those wins, the offense scored four runs or more.

–Field Level Media

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