LOS ANGELES (AP) — A week after the big trade that brought Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and six other players to Los Angeles, the Dodgers are still struggling to win games.
Even a pre-game meeting that general manager Ned Colletti and manager Don Mattingly had with the new players didn’t produce immediate results. They lost their eighth in a row to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night, a 4-3 defeat in 11 innings after rallying to tie the game in the fifth.
“It’s frustrating to come up short with the offense we have, which is capable of scoring five, 10, 15 runs in a game,” said Shane Victorino, who joined the team a month ago in a trade from Philadelphia. “But everybody is giving their best effort and that’s all we can ask. Hopefully we can get going and get on a roll. We’re capable of doing it, and I can say that `til I’m blue in the face, but we’ve got to go out there and show it.”
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 fell to 2-5 since last Saturday’s trade and remain 4 games behind NL West-leading San Francisco.
“We’ve got to take care of our own business,” Mattingly said. “If we can’t put wins together, it’s not really going to matter.”
The Dodgers tied 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.
But Brad Bergesen (1-0) struck out Kemp and Ethier and retired A.J. Ellis on a fly ball with runners at the corners to end the game.
“Everybody’s kind of pressing a little bit, instead of just relaxing and having fun,” said Dodgers starter Aaron Harang, who didn’t figure in the decision while allowing three runs and five hits in five innings, with three strikeouts and two walks.
“Everybody’s playing with a chip on their shoulder and trying to do too much, so I kind of feel like we’ve just got to loosen up. The big thing is that guys are going to pick one another up, so once we get the key hits to fall in, we’ll get on a roll. We’ve got to find our consistency again.”
Matt Guerrier (0-1) made his first appearance since April 18 after being reinstated from the disabled list a day earlier. He allowed a leadoff homer to Jason Kubel in the 11th.
“It’s probably not the way we wanted to put (Guerrier) into the game for the first time,” Mattingly said, “but we were in that kind of game so with the roster we have, we’ve got to use who we’ve got to use. Actually, his stuff was really good.”
Kubel sent a 1-1 pitch into the lower right field seats for his 27th homer. He was 1 for 24 before he homered, leaving him one shy of tying his career high of 28.
J.J. Putz got three outs for his 28th save in 31 chances 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 a six-game overall skid.
Arizona got two runs in the top of the fifth on an RBI single up the middle by pitcher Trevor Cahill 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.
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.