LOS ANGELES -- For a few precious minutes in the early-evening sun, the air seemed fresher at Dodger Stadium.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were taking it to a promising young pitching prospect named Jose Fernandez, hitting his upper-90s fastballs hard, leaving behind, for the moment, all the wasted at-bats of the previous week. It seemed their seven-game losing streak would be just a memory.
Adrian Gonzalez sent a ball soaring over the center-field wall and he fist-pumped his way around the bases after giving the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Maybe the relentless chatter over manager Don Mattingly's job status would go away now.
Then the next two hours and 50 minutes happened.
The gloom that has surrounded this team for more than a week descended again, with the Dodgers losing to the lowly Miami Marlins, 5-4. Reliever Ronald Belisario came into a 3-3 tie and gave up three straight hits -- including a soaring double that missed clearing the fence by a millimeter or so -- and that was that, the Dodgers shuffling off to their eighth straight loss.
Matt Magill pitched fairly well in his third major league start, but he made a mistake to a youngster playing his second major league game and Derek Dietrich lifted it over the right-field wall, the three-run blast tying the score.
The Dodgers had action in the eighth inning, with Matt Kemp leading off with a single and stealing second ahead of A.J. Ellis' RBI single. The tying run stayed stranded at third, however. The Dodgers are hitting .214 with runners in scoring position, 26th in the majors.