But on the whole, the Dodgers have been a very good defensive team this season. Joc Pederson has looked like a Gold Glove fielder in center while shortstop Jimmy Rollins and second baseman Howie Kendrick brought a solid, steady presence to the middle of the infield.
The Dodgers went into Saturday’s game tied with the Marlins for fewest errors in the majors (29) and for the best field percentage (.990). One thing the Dodgers have rarely done this season is give away games.
It happened Saturday, though, when the Dodgers were betrayed by some shaky early defense at Marlins Park to help a Miami team that had lost eight of its last nine and had learned before the game it would be without slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton for at least four weeks because of a fractured bone in his hand.
Kershaw was a tad shaky early too, but he recovered to pitch out of a couple of jams and finish strong. He went seven innings, gave up three runs (only one of them earned) and seven hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out nine.
But after hot-hitting Justin Turner had given the Dodgers a lead in the first inning with a solo home run -- it was his 11th homer on the season -- the team’s defensive struggles started in the bottom of the inning.
After Christian Yellich singled with one out, Adeiny Hechavarria dropped a soft hit in front of Andre Ethier in right. Ethier mistakenly tried to throw Yellich out at third base, but his throw sailed into the photo well -- Kershaw was not backing up on the play -- with the error allowing Yellich to score and Hechavarria to advance to third.
Catcher Yasmani Grandal couldn’t get down to block a Kershaw pitch in the dirt and it bounced away for a wild pitch that allowed Hechavarria to score.
The Marlins went up 3-1 in the third after J.T. Realmuto lined a double and advanced to third on a two-out groundout. Right-hander Tom Koehler then lifted a fly to center that Pederson misplayed -- it went in and out of his glove -- for another error as Realmuto scored.
The Dodgers pulled to back to within one in the fourth inning on singles by Kendrick, Turner and Adrian Gonzalez, but that was it for the L.A. offense.
Koehler (6-4) also went seven innings, giving up the two runs and six hits. He too did not walk a batter and he struck out five. Carter Capps and A.J. Ramos kept the Dodgers, who finished with six hits, scoreless the final two innings.
Kershaw was on target after the second inning. The Marlins had runners on the corners with no outs in the sixth and he struck out the side.
When it was over, he was left with a 5-6 record, an almost foreign-looking stat for the three-time Cy Young winner. For the first time in his career, he has lost three consecutive starts.