A relatively smooth ride through an eventual 7-2 victory over the Miami Marlins took a troubling turn for the Dodgers on Thursday night when their best hitter, Justin Turner, left the game in the seventh inning because of a hamstring injury.
Turner, who has a major league-best .379 batting average with 17 RBIs and is tied for second in the National League with 13 doubles, was on second base with two outs when Yasmani Grandal singled to left field.
After he rounded third, Turner clutched his right leg and grimaced in pain. He hobbled his way home, where he was easily thrown out to end the inning, and was replaced by Chris Taylor at third base.
Turner will undergo an MRI test Friday morning to determine the severity of injury, but the Dodgers are holding out hope that he can avoid the disabled list.
“The way he initially reacted, it seemed like a certain DL situation,” manager Dave Roberts said. “But in talking to the training staff, the strength is there, which is a positive and makes me a little more optimistic.”
The Dodgers seemed to be bracing for the worst.
“It always [stinks] when one of your main guys gets hurt,” said first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, who came off the disabled list Thursday. “Definitely, his production and his leadership will be missed.”
The Dodgers had a 5-2 lead when Turner departed. The victory was secured by relievers Chris Hatcher, Luis Avilan, Josh Fields and Kenley Jansen, who struck out 10 of 13 batters over the final 32/3 innings.
Jansen, who struck out J.T. Realmuto with two on to end the eighth, contributed to a two-run bottom of the eighth with an infield single, the second hit of his career.
“We saved the ball for him,” Roberts said.
Jansen then earned his eighth save by striking out the side on nine pitches in the ninth, the so-called “immaculate inning.”
Before Turner shrieked in pain, the loudest sounds in Dodger Stadium were created by hitters from both clubs, who combined to produce 14 batted balls with an exit velocity of 100 mph or more in the first six innings.
Leading the mash unit were right fielders Giancarlo Stanton, the Miami slugger who sent a screamer of a 114-mph double off the left-field wall in the second, and Yasiel Puig, the Dodgers slugger who sent a 111-mph drive deep into the left-center field pavilion for a two-run home run in the bottom of the second.
It wasn’t a very fun night for the starting pitchers, though Dodgers left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu was able to mute the Marlins enough over 51/3 innings to limit them to two runs and seven hits, including two homers, to improve to 2-5 with a 4.75 ERA.
Miami right-hander Edinson Volquez was rocked for five runs and eight hits in six innings and has now gone 15 starts without a win dating to Aug. 25.
The Dodgers loaded the bases in the first on singles by Chase Utley, Corey Seager and Turner. Volquez minimized the damage by getting Cody Bellinger to ground into a run-scoring fielder’s choice and Grandal to bounce into a double play, but the Dodgers teed off on him in a three-run second.
Joc Pederson singled before Puig crushed a 94-mph fastball deep into the pavilion in left-center for his team-leading eighth homer. The ball traveled 442 feet, the fourth-longest homer by a Dodger this season.
“Puig’s homer is still in flight,” Roberts said afterward. “He put a good swing on an elevated fastball. Hopefully, we’ll be seeing more of those.”
Ryu cracked a 106-mph double to right-center, and Utley’s sharp RBI single to center gave the Dodgers a 4-1 lead.
The Dodgers parlayed Turner’s walk, stolen base and Gonzalez’s RBI single into a 5-2 lead in the third.
Ryu needed nine pitches to retire the Marlins in order in the first. The left-hander’s second inning was not quite as smooth. Stanton doubled to left and was thrown out trying to advance to third on a pitch that bounced to the left of Grandal, the Dodgers catcher.
That play saved a run, as Justin Bour followed with a 412-foot home run to right. J.T. Realmuto doubled off the left-field wall before Ryu retired the next two batters.
Ryu gave up a solo homer to Christian Yelich in the third. He took a 91-mph fastball in the right biceps while squaring to bunt in the fourth and departed after being hit in the leg by a Bour comebacker, which put runners on first and third with one out in the sixth.
On came Hatcher, who struck out Realmuto and pinch-hitter Derek Dietrich with 94-mph fastballs, outs that Roberts said were “huge, they changed the momentum of the game.”
Follow Mike DiGiovanna on Twitter @MikeDiGiovanna