By JOE RESNICK
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Steve Cishek’s fourth blown save of the season was easily the most excruciating one.
The beleaguered right-hander gave up a three-run homer to Scott Van Slyke in the bottom of the ninth, right after Christian Yelich delivered a go-ahead, two-run shot for Miami in the top of the inning, and the Marlins lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 on Monday night.
Cishek (1-3) walked Yasmani Grandal with one out and gave up a single to Andre Ethier before Van Slyke drove a 1-0 pitch into the pavilion seats in left-center for his second game-ending homer. The other one came as a pinch hitter at Dodger Stadium several years ago.
“It’s just very disappointing. All I needed to do was get the last three outs of the game, but I continued to let the team down,” said Cishek, who has converted only three of seven save opportunities. “I mean, this is about as low as I can get. This is a huge trial in my life right now career-wise, but I’ve always found a way to get out of it. I’m waiting for that time to come.”
Dodgers rookie Yimi Garcia, who threw 12 1-3 scoreless innings in his previous 12 appearances, walked Marcell Ozuna with one out in the ninth and Yelich drove the next pitch the other way over the auxiliary scoreboard in left field for his first home run since Aug. 6, 2014. The Dodgers’ bullpen had not allowed a run over the team’s previous 10 home games spanning 37 1-3 innings.
“It’s always special playing in this ballpark, and hitting a home run was extra special,” said Yelich, born in nearby Thousand Oaks. “Unfortunately, we weren’t able to pull off the W tonight. It’s always kind of a surreal thing playing here. This stadium is where I learned baseball and went to most of my major league games growing up. There were a lot of friends and family here tonight.”
J.P. Howell (2-1) got the win after retiring former Dodger Dee Gordon with the bases loaded.
Gordon was 0 for 4 with a walk in his return to Dodger Stadium, ending his hitting streak at 13 games — which equaled his career best from last September with Los Angeles. The All-Star second baseman spent his first four big league seasons with the Dodgers before he was traded to Miami last December.
“I’m really grateful for the time I had here. It definitely made me a professional,” Gordon said. “It made me a man, a stronger man, with the ups and downs I had. I’m happy to be back and be welcomed with open arms.”
Van Slyke’s wild ride began with a baserunning blunder in the fifth that cost the Dodgers a run. It continued in the seventh, when he threw out a runner at home plate to complete an inning-ending double play.
“You can be the goat or the hero in a matter of pitches,” Ethier said.
Los Angeles scratched across the game’s first run on a grounder by Justin Turner in the fourth, and Ozuna tied it in the seventh with his third home run.
Miami then loaded the bases, but Van Slyke charged in from left field to catch Adeiny Hechavarria’s line drive and threw a strike to the plate, where Grandal made a sweep tag on Yelich for the inning-ending double play.
“It was really close,” Yelich said. “If I was definitely safe, we would have challenged it. I haven’t had a chance to look at it, but he made a great play out there.”
Tom Koehler held the two-time defending NL West champions to a run and three hits through six innings.
Dodgers starter Zack Greinke allowed a run over seven innings, lowering his ERA to 1.52. He is 10-0 with a 1.94 ERA in 15 starts since his most recent loss on Aug. 9, 2014, against Milwaukee.
SEEN THAT BEFORE
Gordon displayed his defensive prowess in the sixth, racing in for a dribbler past the mound and grabbing it with his bare hand before making a desperation, behind-the-back flip to first baseman Michael Morse about 10 feet from the bag for the third out.
NOT MUCH HELP
Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts after getting a rest Sunday.
Marlins: Dan Haren (4-1) has allowed two runs or fewer in five of his first six starts with Miami. Last season was Haren’s only one with the Dodgers, and he was 13-11 with a 4.02 ERA in 32 starts.
Dodgers: Mike Bolsinger will be called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City to make his second start of the season.
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