Dodgers have plenty of smoke, and fire, but no spark in 6-1 loss to Marlins

Smoke drifted through the reserve level and curled down to the loge level.

From a truck parked in an adjacent parking lot, fire fighters scaled a ladder and climbed into the top deck of the ballpark. Fans had to be relocated. A police helicopter circled nearby airspace.

There was a fire in Dodger Stadium.

In the middle of the sixth inning during the Dodgers’ 6-1 loss to the Florida Marlins on Saturday night, public address announcer Eric Smith assured the crowd that the fire was under control and that there was no need to evacuate.

The fire originated in a small warehouse on the reserve level, according to Dodgers spokesman Joe Jareck. Fire officials said a small fire of paper products was put out in 20 minutes. No injuries were reported.

Smoke first appeared in the fifth inning, when the Dodgers were trailing, 3-1.


As Los Angeles Fire Department trucks drove into the parking lot, the stadium’s security staff moved fans sitting in the top two decks on the right-field side to the opposite side of home plate.

The smoke flowed from the top tiers of the stadium into the lower levels in waves, reaching center field every inning or so. The air in the ballpark appeared to clear by the middle of the eighth inning.

Otherwise, this was an ordinary night at the ballpark.

That is to say, the crowd was small — announced at 29,971, including about 580 dogs whose owners paid $30 for them to sit in the right-field pavilion as part of a “Bark in the Park” promotion. And the Dodgers didn’t hit.

Starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda sealed his fate early, as he was charged with two runs and three hits in the first inning. Chris Coghlan and Gaby Sanchez, who doubled, both scored.

The Dodgers closed the gap to 2-1 in the third inning, when Matt Kemp doubled with men on the corners. James Loney had a chance to equalize the score, if not put the Dodgers ahead, but grounded out with men on second and third.

Sanchez doubled again for the Marlins in the fourth inning and increased his team’s lead to 3-1 when Kuroda gave up a two-out single to Omar Infante.

Kuroda never made it out of the sixth inning, in which he was charged with two more runs. The Dodgers trailed 5-1 at the end of the sixth and 6-1 at the end of the seventh.

Kuroda was charged with five runs and 10 hits in 51/3 innings. The rough outing was the second in a row for Kuroda, who was pounded for six runs and nine hits in 52/3 innings by the Chicago White Sox six days earlier.

Even more disconcerting for the Dodgers, they couldn’t mount a sustained attack against a Marlins team that had to start reliever Brian Sanches in place of sidelined ace Josh Johnson.

Sanches was making his first career start and had never pitched more than the four innings he worked in relief against the New York Mets on April 3.

But over the first three innings of this game, Sanches held the Dodgers to one run and three hits, striking out four.

The Dodgers did no better against Sanches’ replacements. Edward Murjica pitched the fourth and fifth innings and held the Dodgers to one hit and struck out four. Burke Badenhop followed with two scoreless innings of his own.

Staff writer Howard Blume contributed to this report..