- Associated Press - Thursday, April 28, 2016

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Dodgers’ offense is mired in a nasty slump. Miami’s Justin Nicolino was just the latest pitcher to take advantage.

Nicolino limited the Dodgers to two hits in 7 1/3 innings in his season debut to lead the Marlins to a 2-0 victory Wednesday night for Miami’s fourth straight win. Nicolino (1-0), just recalled from Triple-A New Orleans, walked two and struck out two. He didn’t allow a runner past first base and retired 12 of the final 13 batters he faced.

“He had enough movement late to get it off the barrel,” Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager said. “There was enough change of speed to not square the balls up well.”

Seager and Justin Turner singled for the Dodgers’ only hits of the night.

Los Angeles has dropped three straight to the Marlins and saw its scoreless streak extended to 14 innings.

“Their pitchers are doing what they’re supposed to do,” Seager said. “They’re supposed to get us out and we’re supposed to battle, and they’re winning it right now.”

Giancarlo Stanton and Marcell Ozuna hit RBI singles in the first inning off Scott Kazmir (1-2) to provide the scoring.

Nicolino was in control from the start, striking out the first batter of the game and rolling from there. He induced 11 groundouts to just four flyouts, retired nine straight during one stretch, and exited after retiring A.J. Ellis on a groundout to lead off the eighth inning with his 99th pitch of the night.

“The key for me was being able to throw the fastball on both sides of the plate and moving some guys’ feet off the inner half,” said Nicolino, who made 12 starts for the Marlins last season. “Changing speeds, mixing in and out, that was the biggest key.”

The Dodgers had a chance once Nicolino left. Pinch-hitters Chase Utley, Yasmani Grandal and Joc Pederson drew walks against relievers Bryan Morris, Cody Ege, and David Phelps to load the bases with one out in the eighth. However, Jose Urena - the fifth Marlins pitcher of the inning - struck out Yasiel Puig and got Adrian Gonzalez to fly to right to escape with the 2-0 lead intact.

Urena then retired the side in order in the ninth to close it out.

“In that situation you get ramped up and make better pitches,” Urena said. “That was tough, getting five outs, but we can handle it.”

The Marlins got to Kazmir early for the lead. Four of their first five batters singled, including back-to-back RBI hits by Stanton and Ozuna for a quick 2-0 lead.

Kazmir settled in and followed with five scoreless innings after that, but the damage was done with Nicolino dealing.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Marlins: LHP Mike Dunn (left forearm strain) will begin a throwing program Thursday. He is not expected to come off the disabled list for at least another month.

Dodgers: RHP Yimi Garcia (right biceps soreness) has yet to pick up a baseball and will undergo an MRI if his condition does not improve.

NO OFFENSE

The Dodgers are hitting .160 and have scored five runs in their last three games. They have more strikeouts (19) than hits (15) in that stretch.

“We got to get back to swinging at strikes and taking balls,” manager Dave Roberts said. “The quality of at-bats, that’s something up and down the lineup we’ve got to get better at.”

EJECTED

Marlins manager Don Mattingly and relief pitcher David Phelps both were ejected by home plate umpire Todd Tichenor in the bottom of the eighth inning for arguing balls and strikes.

The ejections came after Phelps threw a full-count fastball to Joc Pederson that Tichenor ruled ball four. Phelps immediately charged towards the plate with his arms outstretched to protest the call and Mattingly ran out of the dugout and argued face-to-face with Tichenor. Both were ejected quickly.

Urena replaced Phelps on the mound and bench coach Tim Wallach took over as manager.

UP NEXT

Marlins: RHP Jose Fernandez (1-2, 4.37) makes his first start at Dodger Stadium since he was a rookie in 2013.

Dodgers: RHP Kenta Maeda (3-0, 0.36) aims to continue his torrid start after allowing only one run in his first 25 1/3 innings.

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