MIAMI When Florida Marlins catcher Mike Rabelo spiked the ball to punctuate an inning-ending play in the eighth inning, the Los Angeles Dodgers took note.
"Excitement from a kid, and he'll probably learn from it," Los Angeles second baseman Jeff Kent said.
An inning later, it was the Dodgers doing the celebrating. Kent's two-out single broke a ninth-inning tie, and the Dodgers won their fourth game in a row Tuesday night, 7-6.
Andre Ethier walked with one out against Kevin Gregg (3-1), took second on a groundout and scored easily on Kent's single. The Dodgers won even though Derek Lowe was unable to protect a 6-1 lead, and with the score 6-all, twice failed to convert scoring chances.
Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla made a strong relay on a double by Mark Sweeney to throw out Blake DeWitt trying to score from first with two out in the eighth. Rabelo held onto the throw despite taking a tumble in a collision with Sweeney, then rose and slammed the ball to the grass as he headed for the dugout.
Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez said Rabelo's show of emotion was excessive.
"That's not the way we want to be portrayed as an organization," Gonzalez said. "I spoke to him afterward, and he'll be fine."
Los Angeles, coming off three-game sweep at home against the NL champion Colorado Rockies, improved to 4-8 on the road. The game started a stretch where the Dodgers play 19 of 31 games on the road.
"It was a great grind-out game, especially with our record on the road (4-8) where we haven't seemed that comfortable," manager Joe Torre said. "It's just good practice for us, because with the type of pitching in our division, there aren't going to be many runaways. You're going to have to get used to playing games like this."
Three Los Angeles relievers combined for four shutout innings. Joe Beimel (2-0) pitched the eighth, and Takashi Saito followed with a perfect ninth for his third save in five chances.National League
PHILLIES 7, PADRES 4: At Philadelphia, Cole Hamels had an impressive outing and the Phillies beat San Diego, denying Greg Maddux his 350th career victory. Hamels (3-3) allowed five hits, two runs and struck out six in 7 1/3 innings. Tom Gordon worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth and the Phillies scored four insurance runs in the bottom half.
METS 5, PIRATES 4, 11 INNINGS: At New York, David Wright hit a single over a pulled in outfield with the bases loaded in the 11th inning, giving New York the win over Pittsburgh after the Mets' bullpen wasted a two-hit performance by Johan Santana. Jorge Sosa (3-1), the Mets' seventh pitcher, worked one inning for the win.
BREWERS 10, CUBS 7: At Chicago, Mike Cameron made an immediate impact with Milwaukee, once he had the chance. Cameron had three hits, including a two-run single in the seventh that broke open the game, and the Brewers beat Chicago to overcome a shaky outing by Ben Sheets. Sheets (4-0) issued a career-high seven walks while striking out two over five innings.
NATIONALS 6, BRAVES 3: At Washington, slumping Ryan Zimmerman spent some time working with Barry Larkin before the game, and then had a season-high three hits, including a homer and tiebreaking two-run double, to lead Washington past Atlanta.
CARDINALS 7, REDS 2: At St. Louis, Joel Pineiro pitched seven innings of one-hit ball and St. Louis jumped on rookie Johnny Cueto for seven runs in the first two innings. Troy Glaus and Rick Ankiel combined for four hits and five RBIs their first two at-bats for the Cardinals.
ASTROS 6, DIAMONDBACKS 4: At Phoenix, Geoff Blum doubled in three runs and Houston handed Arizona only their third home loss in 13 games his season. Hard-throwing Max Scherzer, Arizona's 2006 first-round draft pick, made an impressive major league debut in relief of Diamondbacks starter Edgar Gonzalez. Scherzer retired all 13 batters he faced, seven by strikeout
ROCKIES 3, GIANTS 2: At San Francisco, Tim Lincecum's first loss of the year came via a debated balk call that pushed home the go-ahead run. Chris Iannetta, who replaced the injured Troy Tulowitzki in the first, scored on that seventh-inning balk by Lincecum.American League
RED SOX 1, BLUE JAYS 0: At Boston, Kevin Youkilis lined a run-scoring single to center field in the ninth, ending a brilliant pitching duel between Roy Halladay and Jon Lester and giving the Red Sox a win over Toronto. Halladay (2-4) retired the first two batters in the inning before walking David Ortiz. Manny Ramirez looped a single to center, sending Ortiz to second, and Youkilis hit a ball in front of center fielder Vernon Wells that he couldn't handle.
ORIOLES 7, RAYS 4: At Baltimore, Garrett Olson took a shutout into the seventh inning, and Baltimore ended Tampa Bay's six-game winning streak in a surprising duel for first place in the AL East.
TIGERS 6, YANKEES 4: At New York, Gary Sheffield and Curtis Granderson homered in the third inning, helping old pro Kenny Rogers and Detroit beat road-weary New York. Magglio Ordonez got Detroit going with a two-run single off Phil Hughes, and the $139 million Tigers (12-15) won for the sixth time in eight games as they recover from an 0-7 start.Comment on this story
MARINERS 7, INDIANS 2: At Cleveland, Adrian Beltre hit a tiebreaking three-run homer in Seattle's five-run ninth inning, making a winner of Mark Lowe. Lowe (1-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win.
TWINS 3, WHITE SOX 1: At Minneapolis, Boof Bonser picked up Minnesota's beleaguered starting rotation with the group's first win in 10 days. Bonser (2-4) gave up a homer to Joe Crede among six hits and struck out eight. He mixed a sharp curveball and a sneaky slider with a fastball in the low 90s to keep the first-place White Sox off balance.
ROYALS 9, RANGERS 5: At Arlington, Texas, Jose Guillen hit a two-run homer and drove in five runs, helping the Royals win for the third time in four games after snapping a seven-game losing streak.
ANGELS 2, ATHLETICS 0: At Anaheim, Calif., Joe Saunders outpitched Greg Smith to remain undefeated in six starts, and Los Angeles climbed back into a first-place tie with the Athletics in the AL West.