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Fife goes 6-plus innings in 2014 debut but Dodgers waste 9th-inning lead & lose to Marlins 5-4

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MIAMI - Just up from Triple-A and matched against one of baseball's best pitchers, Stephen Fife kept the game close.

The Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander pitched six-plus innings in his 2014 big league debut, but Jeff Baker hit a winning RBI double off the wall with two outs in the ninth that gave the Miami Marlins a 5-4 win Sunday.

Fife (0-1) stayed in the game longer than Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, who was pulled for a pinch hitter in the seventh with Miami leading 4-3.

"Trying to stick with Fernandez, I think that was pretty dang good," Fife said. "That's a good pitcher over there, so I tried to keep my team in the game as long as possible."

Los Angeles was in it until Baker's drive. Right fielder Yasiel Puig slammed into the wall trying for an acrobatic catch and was shaken up but not seriously hurt.

Teammates ran out to check on him while the Marlins celebrated their wild victory.

"We still had a chance to win right to the very end," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

Fife was recalled before the game from Albuquerque to start for left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu, sidelined by a sore shoulder. The right-hander gave up four runs, all on homers — two by Giancarlo Stanton and one by Christian Yelich.

"I was throwing righties a lot of curve balls, and lefties a lot of changeups," Fife said. "Unfortunately, I hang two that leave the yard."

Mattingly said Fife a favourable review.

"I thought Stephen was really good for us," Mattingly said. "He kept us in the game and was able to stay with those guys."

The Marlins improved the big leagues' best home record to 13-5, while their 2-10 road record is the worst in the majors.

The Dodgers came from behind three times, and a blown save cost Fernandez the victory. With Marlins closer Steve Cishek unavailable after pitching in three consecutive games, A.J. Ramos (2-0) tried to protect a one-run lead in the ninth for his first career save. But Chone Figgins walked and scored on a double by Andre Ethier with no outs.

A diving stop by shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria and an overturned call on a force play at second base helped the Marlins escape the inning with the score tied.

Hechavarria started the bottom of the ninth with a single off Jamey Wright (2-2) and advanced to third on a sacrifice and a groundout.

Baker followed with a drive to right, and a retreating Puig slammed his head and lower left leg against the fence. The ball deflected off the wall and hit Puig in the face, and he collapsed to his stomach.

Puig was slow to walk off the field but passed a concussion test. The Dodgers said his status is day to day.

"He hit the wall good," Mattingly said. "He seemed to be OK when he was walking in, but I'm sure they are going to keep looking at him. He almost made an unbelievable play."

Fernandez avoided a serious injury in the fifth when he was hit on the back of the left leg by a sharp grounder hit by Dee Gordon. Asked if he expected to make his next start, Fernandez said, "Probably I will be fine."

Fernandez went on to pitch seven innings, left with a 4-3 lead and remained unbeaten at home in 20 career starts. But he lacked his customary command, allowing four walks, and they led to both earned runs against him.

"It wasn't an easy game," Fernandez said. "Like everybody knows, the Dodgers are one of the best teams in the league. That's why they get paid the way they get paid."

NOTES: OF Nick Buss, designated for assignment by the Dodgers on April 30, was claimed by Oakland. ... Zack Greinke (5-0, 2.04) is scheduled to take the mound when the Dodgers open a series Monday at Washington. ... Nathan Eovaldi (2-1, 2.58) is scheduled to start Monday for Miami against the New York Mets' Jonathan Niese (2-2, 2.20).

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