LOS ANGELES (AP) -The Florida Marlins got their licks in early against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Good thing, too, because they needed every last run.
Wes Helms hit a bases-loaded two-run single in the third inning after Florida scored its first three runs on a sacrifice fly, a groundout and a throwing error, and the Marlins won 6-5 on Monday night.
``Even though we only won by one run, it was good to get the big hit,' Helms said. ``They're a great team, they got a great lineup. We knew it was going to be hard.'
The Dodgers, who had won seven of their previous 10, dropped four games behind idle first-place San Diego in the NL West.
Nate Robertson (6-6) allowed four runs and seven hits in six innings, struck out two and walked one in winning for the first time since June 18 against Tampa Bay.
``I try to be efficient and try to find out if it's going to be good or bad as soon as possible. I work quick,' he said. ``I used everything. You have to because these guys can hit.'
John Ely (4-6) gave up six runs and nine hits in 2 2-3 innings, his shortest outing of the season. The rookie right-hander struck out three and walked one in losing for the fourth time in his last five starts. He was coming off a rough June, in which he went 1-3 with a 4.29 ERA in six starts.
``I fell behind in the count a little bit, but even when I was ahead of them, I don't think I did a good enough job of putting guys away,' Ely said. ``I've got to take the blame for that one. I can't make excuses. I've got to be better than that.'
The Marlins led 2-0 in the first on the sacrifice fly by Hanley Ramirez and the groundout by Cody Ross. They added another run in the second when Dodgers catcher Russell Martin's attempted pickoff throw to third base got past Casey Blake, allowing Mike Stanton to score.
Ely gave up four consecutive hits to open the third, including Helms' two-run single. Robertson's RBI single chased Ely and extended the Marlins' lead to 6-1.
``It turned out to be the one we needed,' Robertson said of his hit. ``It's always nice to be able to help yourself.'
The Dodgers' bullpen held the Marlins in check while the offense chipped away at the deficit. Jeff Weaver pitched 3 1-3 scoreless innings, and Ronald Belisario followed up with three scoreless innings.
``That gave us a chance to catch up and put ourselves in position to tie or maybe win the game,' Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. ``We weren't able to do it, but we kept fighting back. It made you feel like you were going to win. There was a lot of excitement in our dugout.'
Martin had an RBI single in the second. Ronnie Belliard scored another run in the third on a delayed break for home plate after catcher Ronny Paulino made a low throw to second base on a steal by Matt Kemp and shortstop Ramirez had trouble locating the ball.
Rafael Furcal's two-run homer on a 3-2 pitch from Robertson in the fourth made it 6-4. James Loney added an RBI double in the eighth off Clay Hensley, but Leo Nunez pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save in 23 chances.
NOTES: Torre said OF Manny Ramirez could begin a rehab stint later this week. Ramirez is on the DL with a hamstring injury and is eligible to return July 15 in St. Louis, the first series following the All-Star break. ... The Dodgers are expected to activate RHP Carlos Monasterios from the DL on Tuesday or Wednesday. He's been out with a blister on his right index finger. ... Stanton played his first game at Dodger Stadium, where he often attended games while growing up in suburban Sherman Oaks. He said he had a lot of family and friends on hand. ... The Marlins improved to 6-12 against NL West opponents this season. ... Furcal has scored a run in 11 straight games, the most for a Dodger since Shawn Green did so from Sept. 9-19, 2002.
The Associated Press News Service
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