LOS ANGELES (AP) — After arriving in town on a six-game skid, the Arizona Diamondbacks have gone in the opposite direction. Jason Kubel shrugged off his own struggles to help make it happen.
Kubel homered to lead off the 11th inning, helping the Diamondbacks rally for a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers after blowing a three-run lead on Friday night to earn their eighth consecutive win over their NL West rival. Arizona has been especially dominant at Dodger Stadium, going 6-1 this season.
Kubel was 1 for 24 before he sent a 1-1 pitch from Matt Guerrier (0-1) into the lower right field seats for his 27th homer.
“Even better, August is over,” said Kubel, who was hitting .048 in his previous eight games. “For a while I was chasing everything and I stopped doing that. Hopefully this one can give me a little more confidence going forward.”
Guerrier was making his first appearance since April 18, having come off the disabled list on Thursday.
Brad Bergesen (1-0) pitched two hitless innings for the victory.
“We knew we needed to get in here and turn it around,” he said. “Just trying to relax as much as possible in that situation and rely on Miggy (Miguel Montero) as much as possible. You don’t want to let yourself get too rushed.”
J.J. Putz got three outs for his 28th save in 31 chances, striking out Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, and retiring A.J. Ellis on a fly ball with runners at the corners to end it as the Diamondbacks won their sixth in a row on the road. They had won the series opener 2-0 on Thursday night to snap that six-game overall skid.
“We got to beat somebody. Hope we can make it nine,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. “We’ve had good pitching and played good defensive baseball. We’re trying to get as close as we can and we’re looking to get on a streak late in the season.”
The Dodgers’ losing streak against Arizona ties their longest since dropping eight in a row against the D-backs from July 2-Sept. 29, 2005. They lost for the fifth time in six games to remain 4 games behind San Francisco in the NL West race.
“We still have a chance to control our own destiny if we can play really well down the stretch,” manager Don Mattingly said. “You don’t have to look back very far to see what can happen in the last month of a season if you remember what happened to Atlanta last season and the Cardinals and Boston. So this thing’s far from over, but we need to get on that run.”
The Dodgers rallied to tie the game 3-3 with two outs in the bottom of the fifth on Mark Ellis’ two-run single and Andre Ethier’s RBI single over the head of shortstop Jake Elmore that scored Matt Kemp, who walked and stole second.
Arizona got two runs in the top of the fifth on an RBI single up the middle by pitcher Trevor Cahill — the second run of his career — and an RBI double by Aaron Hill with two outs.
Chris Johnson’s triple led to the Diamondbacks’ first run in the second after right fielder Ethier lost the ball in the twilight. It fell behind him and he fell down scrambling to recover as Miguel Montero scored.
Cahill gave up three runs and four hits in 5 2-3 innings, struck out four and walked two. Los Angeles starter Aaron Harang allowed three runs and five hits in five innings, struck out three and walked two.
NOTES: The Dodgers turned a season-high four double plays. … Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen threw a 25-pitch bullpen session and plans to play catch Saturday. The right-hander has been out since Tuesday, when he experienced an irregular heartbeat similar to what happened to him last season. He is on blood thinners until at least Monday, and will find out more when he meets with doctors on Tuesday. If they give Jansen the go-ahead to pitch again, he would return to his closer’s role immediately. … With Kemp back in the lineup, manager Don Mattingly flip-flopped Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez in the third and fourth spots, putting Kemp in the cleanup spot for the first time this season. … The Diamondbacks claimed INF Cody Ransom off waivers from Milwaukee. He is scheduled to join the team Saturday when MLB rosters expand. He began the season in the organization and played 17 games before being designated for assignment on May 21. He played 64 games for the Brewers. … Jaime Jarrin, who does the Dodgers’ Spanish-language radio broadcast, will return for his 55th season in 2013 as part of a three-year contract. He holds the second-longest tenure in MLB broadcasting history behind his Dodgers colleague and fellow Hall of Famer Vin Scully.