For the third time ever and first with all-white home uniforms, the Marlins wore their black with red-orange bill batting practice caps Friday. Fitting, considering how four games into this nine-game homestand the Marlins have made the Braves and Dodgers look like they're throwing batting practice. Friday marked the Marlins' fourth consecutive double-digit hit effort and fifth in six games. Coupled with a stout performance from starter Tom Koehler, the Marlins upended the Dodgers 6-3 at Marlins Park. Back over .500 (15-14), the Marlins improved to a major league-best 13-4 at home. Jarrod Saltalamacchia celebrated his 29th birthday with a 2-for-3 evening that included a second-inning solo homer. Garrett Jones accounted for three of his team's six extra base hits and was one of six different Marlins to knock in a run. "That guy in center field keeps relaying everything to us," joked Saltalamacchia, referring to the Braves' unfounded suspicions the Marlins were stealing signs earlier this week. "The secret's out. I think he moved seats tonight. No, we've been swinging the bats well here. It's not just a matter of four games. Nothing you can say but good approach and hitting good pitches." Jones became the 16th player in Marlins history to double three times in a game, tying the franchise mark done 22 times. Current Dodger Hanley Ramirez totaled three doubles in a game four times while with the Marlins. Facing his former Boston Red Sox teammate, Saltalamacchia in the second lifted a Josh Beckett 1-0 pitch that landed just beyond the right-field wall. He became the seventh Marlin to homer on his birthday and first since Paul Lo Duca did it on April 12, 2005. The others on that list: Derrek Lee (twice), Preston Wilson, Charles Johnson, Orestes Destrade and Jeff Conine. "I've seen Josh a little bit with catching him," Saltalamacchia said. "He looked good. He was mixing pitches. I remember him throwing a lot more fastballs when I caught him and [Friday[ he was mixing his curveball in a lot and made a lot of our hitters look off balance. I just hit a cutter that stayed a little bit on the plate, but I thought he looked good." Save for the four extra-base hits he gave up to Saltalamacchia and Jones, Beckett held the hot-hitting Marlins in relative check through his 6 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and limited them to one hit in nine at-bats with runners in scoring position. Reed Johnson, the last batter Beckett faced, delivered his major league-leading fifth pinch-hit to put the Marlins up 3-0. That sparked a four-run, five-hit inning off Beckett and reliever Jose Dominguez.
Sweet birthday for Saltalamacchia as Marlins top Dodgers
Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel | May 3