Dodgers mow down Marlins in Buehler’s return game

Kiyoshi Mio-USA TODAY Sports
A flurry of Los Angeles home runs lifted the Dodgers to their fifth consecutive win as Walker Buehler made his return to the rotation.

LOS ANGELES — Right-hander Walker Buehler pitched through four innings in his return as the longball took care of the rest for the Dodgers in a 6-3 victory Monday night over the Miami Marlins at Dodger Stadium.

It was Buehler’s first start since June 10, 2022, after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery. He got off to a shaky start, but struck out four Marlins along the way.

Dodgers Shohei Ohtani and Teoscar Hernandez both hit home runs for the second consecutive game. Freddie Freeman and James Outman each contributed with home runs of their own as Los Angeles rallied from a 2-0 first-inning deficit.

Here are three takeaways:

Hernandez, Ohtani keep rolling

After combining for a 5-for-8 performance in Sunday’s win over the Braves, Ohtani and Hernandez again made the difference. Ohtani smacked a first-inning homer 440 feet to center field, which was 24 feet shorter than his Sudnay homer.

It was the 11th homer for Ohtani and the third in his last two games, making him the league leader in homers. He finished 2 for 3, improving his batting average to .370.

As for Hernandez, he hit a solo homer in the third inning, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 6-3. Hernandez went 2 for 4 and is now hitting .259.

The powerful duo, who joined Los Angeles during free agency this offseason, are the Dodgers’ top two home-run hitters this season and have been a critical part of the lineup to start the season.

Buehler returns to mound

After a two-year recovery from Tommy John surgery, Buehler was able to make his return with 77 pitchers with 49 for strikes.

He went to work against a Marlins team that currently sits in last place in the NL East and has a .227 team batting average. It was not an ideal start for the 29-year-old pitcher, who allowed back-to-back hits that resulted in the first run of the game and a third hit that scored the second run.

In the second inning, Buehler gave up a leadoff homer to Nick Gordon, tying the game at 3-3. He kept Miami off the board in the third and fourth innings to cap off his first comeback start.

He finished with six hits and and did not earn a decision.

Dodgers bullpen picks up slack

After the Dodgers reclaimed a 6-3 lead, they were forced to lean on the bullpen to get the team through the final five innings.

Ryan Yarbrough set the tone with three innings of one-hit relief. He kept Miami off the board bystriking out two batters while needing 26 pitches.

Blake Treinen pitched the eighth in his second appearance of the season, pitching a clean inning with a strikeout. And Alex Vesia earned his first save, also with a 1-2-3 inning with a strikeout.

The trio of Yarbrough, Treinen and Vesia have each opened the season with ERAs below three as they continue to be huge pieces in the bullpen.

The second game of the series is set for 7:10 p.m. Tuesday as right-hander Dodgers Yoshinobu Yamamoto (3-1, 2.91 ERA) will face off against Marlins right-hander Edward Cabrera (1-1, 6.05 ERA.