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07/05/10 10:36 PM EST

Marlins appear to have Dodgers' number

All season long, the Marlins have struggled against the National League West.

That is, unless they're playing the Dodgers.

Monday's 6-5 win over Los Angeles left the Marlins an unflattering 6-12 against the NL West, but half those wins have come against the Dodgers. Earlier this season, the Marlins won two-of-three against the Dodgers in Florida.

The Marlins' lone loss to the Dodgers came with Chris Volstad (4-7, 4.45 ERA) on the mound, but the right-hander will look to avenge that outing Tuesday.

Opposing Volstad will be Vicente Padilla (2-2, 5.05), who has been impressive since returning from the disabled list on June 19, going 1-1 with a 3.26 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .197 (14-for-71) against Padilla, who has walked only three batters in 19 1/3 innings. In Padilla's last outing against San Francisco, he allowed three hits in seven innings.

But perhaps most important for Dodgers is the fact that Padilla has thrown seven innings in each of his starts, something Los Angeles will need after John Ely didn't even make it out of the third inning on Monday.

"You can never score enough runs because you can't run the clock out," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "The only way you can [win] is control a game. If you control a game enough, then, all of a sudden, this is what I keep preaching to hitters about: think small, think small, think small. If you do something small, big things will happen. It's all based on pitching."

Dodgers: Kemp relaxed, results following
Although he went 0-for-4 on Monday, Matt Kemp has been hot since not starting in three consecutive games last week, hitting .318 (7-for-22) with three home runs and seven RBIs. In the game before his current stretch -- June 30 against San Francisco, when he entered the game in the first inning as a pinch-runner -- Kemp also went 2-for-4 with a home run. On Monday, Torre said a big reason he benched Kemp for three games was because Torre thought the 25-year-old center fielder was putting too much pressure on himself. That's not the case anymore.

"I think he's just more relaxed," Torre said. "I think he was just wound up very tight. You can't help yourself. We have stats all over the board; you get up to home plate, you look out there, and you see what you're hitting."

Torre also said prior to Monday's game that the Dodgers will activate reliever Carlos Monasteriois (blister) either Tuesday or Wednesday.

Marlins: Rodriguez could mix and match bullpen
Manager Edwin Rodriguez's use of his bullpen on Sunday was a bit out of the ordinary. He used three pitchers -- Clay Hensley, Taylor Tankersley and Tim Wood -- in the eighth inning. Each pitcher recorded an out before closer Leo Nunez closed the ninth. Although Rodriguez used Hensley and Nunez in the conventional fashion on Monday -- Hensley in the eighth and Nunez in the ninth -- he said he could go with his gut.

"I went with my instincts [Sunday]," Rodriguez said. "[Hensley] faced the leadoff hitter, and he reached base on an error, but that ball was well-hit. And he's just coming off the DL, so I just went with my instincts. But usually, he's going to be our setup guy. That's the plan when he's full go."

Worth noting
With his first-inning single Monday, Marlins rookie first baseman Gaby Sanchez became the third Marlins rookie in team history to have 90-plus hits in the first half of the season Dan Uggla (94 in 2006) and Alex Gonzalez (99 in 1999) are the others. ... Since the beginning of 2008, Dodgers outfielder Andre Either is hitting .431 (22-for-51) against Florida, the highest average in the Majors against the Marlins during that stretch.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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