MIAMI - The wins are coming, and the jokes are flying.
After winning their fourth straight game, a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night at Marlins Park, the Miami Marlins were in a great mood.
Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia hit a home run on his 29th birthday, and right-hander Tom Koehler pitched seven shutout innings to lead the Marlins (15-14).
Both had some one-liners ready for the media.
"Birthday bomb," Koehler said of Saltalamacchia's sixth homer of the season. "I love it."
Koehler (3-2) allowed three hits and two walks and was helped by a double play and a caught-stealing.
Saltalamacchia, who had two hits and scored two runs on the night, had some post-game fun at the expense of the Atlanta Braves, who were swept by the Marlins on Thursday and admitted that they were trying to see if the Marlins were stealing their pitch signals.
Asked the secret to the success of the suddenly hot Marlins hitters, "Salty" did not hesitate to jab the Braves.
"It's the guy in center field - he keeps relaying everything to us," Saltalamacchia joked. "The secret's out now. I think (the alleged sign-stealer) moved seats tonight."
All joking aside, the win was extra noteworthy for the Marlins because they beat their former World Series hero, Josh Beckett, and snapped the Dodgers' three-game winning streak in the process.
Saltalamacchia, who had experience catching Beckett while they were with the Boston Red Sox, said his former teammates looked good on Friday.
Beckett, the second overall pick in the 1999 draft who helped the Marlins win the 2003 World Series as the MVP, struck out eight but trailed 2-0 after six innings.
"I remember him throwing a lot more fastballs when I caught him," Saltalamacchia said. "Tonight, he was mixing in a lot more curveballs. He made a lot of hitters look off balance. I just hit a cutter that stayed a little bit on the plate (for the homer)."
The Marlins added four runs in the seventh, with most of the damage coming against reliever Jose Dominguez.
Pinch-hitter Reed Johnson, in for Koehler in the seventh, blooped an opposite-field single to right that scored Garrett Jones, who led off the inning with a double.
The Dodgers (17-13) made the move for Dominguez, who was greeted by left fielder Christian Yelich's run-scoring triple that one-hopped the wall in left field. Right fielder Giancarlo Stanton and third baseman Casey McGehee added run-scoring singles to make it 6-0.
Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon and right fielder Yasiel Puig hit run-scoring singles in the eighth off Miami reliever Carlos Marmol to close the deficit to 6-2.
The Dodgers added a run in the ninth on catcher Miguel Olivo's leadoff triple and left fielder Carl Crawford's run-scoring groundout, but Gordon struck out with a runner on base to end the game.
After Saltalamacchia's solo homer in the second, the Marlins made it 2-0 in the fourth. Saltalamacchia hit a two-out single and then scored from first on Jones' hard liner that tipped off the glove of Puig, who ran back in an effort to make the catch in right field. Jones was credited with an RBI double.
The three-game series continues Saturday night when the Marlins start right-hander Jacob Turner against Dodgers left-hander Paul Maholm. Turner (shoulder injury) will come off the disabled list to make the start.
Dodgers players, who arrived in Miami at 6:30 a.m. Friday after playing a double-header Thursday in Minnesota, figure to be better rested.
Manager Don Mattingly, however, would not use jet lag or lack of rest as an excuse for what happened to his Dodgers on Friday.
"I thought our guys were ready to play," he said. "Beckett battled, and I thought our at-bats were good."
Beckett said he wanted to go deeper into the game to give his bullpen a rest.
"I watched both those games (Thursday)," said Beckett, who flew to Miami a day before his team. "I felt bad. I was pretty much the only guy who got any sleep last night.