PHOENIX (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers’ long-struggling offense had some opportunities Friday night.
The results, though, were all too familiar.
“There have been a lot of games and really recently where we haven’t had chances,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said after his club’s 5-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. “We left ourselves with all kinds of chances tonight and didn’t execute. We really swung the bats pretty good. We just didn’t get the hit when we needed it.”
The Dodgers saw their three-game winning streak snapped and had their NL West lead over San Francisco trimmed to a half-game.
Despite seeming to have Arizona starter Josh Collmenter (1-2) on the ropes multiple times over the first six innings, the Dodgers managed only a 2-0 lead on an RBI double by Bobby Abreu in the third and Adam Kennedy’s fourth-inning home run, his first in nearly a year.
Trailing 5-2 in the seventh, Los Angeles loaded the bases against Bryan Shaw, but were unable to solve left-hander Mike Zagurski and managed to score just the one run. The rally ultimately was undone by left fielder Jason Kubel, who threw out Mark Ellis at the plate to end the inning.
The Dodgers threatened again in the eighth, putting runners on second and third with nobody out, but couldn’t score against David Hernandez.
“The last three innings, we had two opportunities in each one of those, just to be able to get a sacrifice fly,” Mattingly said. “We had two chances, not one, and now you’re talking about a hit in both those innings and we could have been right back in the game.”
Offense seemed unnecessary early as Clayton Kershaw (6-5) cruised through the first five innings. Though he was less than pleased with his performance, Kershaw held Arizona to one hit and retired 12 of 13 hitters during one stretch.
“I didn’t pitch very well,” Kershaw said. “The results were OK, but I was behind a lot of hitters. I was getting some guys to chase sometimes and making one good pitch or something to get a guy out, but for the most part I was behind on every count and fighting uphill the whole day.”
But everything came apart in a span of six batters in the sixth, beginning with a leadoff walk to Henry Blanco.
Kershaw had allowed one hit and retired 13 straight batters when he walked Blanco. The defending NL Cy Young winner struck out pinch-hitter Lyle Overbay, but then Willie Bloomquist and Aaron Hill singled and Justin Upton lined a two-run triple just inside the left-field line and into the corner to give the Diamondbacks a 3-2 lead.
Kubel followed with a double off the base of the left-center field wall, scoring Upton to make it 4-2 and end Kershaw’s night. Kubel came home on a two-out wild pitch by Jamey Wright for a 5-2 lead.
“The sixth inning, I walk the leadoff guy, they get a couple of hits and the next thing you know we were down,” Kershaw said. “It was kind of a rough inning.”
Kershaw allowed five runs on five hits over 5 1/3 innings, his shortest outing since a three-inning stint on opening day. He struck out seven and walked two.
Collmenter scattered six hits over six innings for the Diamondbacks, who moved within three games of .500 and six games of Los Angeles. Collmenter struck out six and walked two.
J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his 15th save.
NOTES: Kubel has 11 outfield assists, the third-most in club history and one shy of the team single-season record held by Eric Byrnes and Gerardo Parra. … Abreu ended the Diamondbacks’ sixth with a sliding catch of a quickly dropping line drive by Blanco. … Upton’s triple was his first since August 5. … Kennedy’s home run was his first since July 20 at Toronto, a span of 90 games. … Kershaw’s five runs allowed were the most he’d allowed in 12 career starts against Arizona. … Collmenter has allowed three runs — two earned — over 12 innings in his past two starts and three earned runs in four starts since returning from a nearly two-month banishment to the bullpen. … RHP Trevor Cahill will make his second start against the Dodgers this season, facing RHP Chad Billingsley. Cahill is 0-2 with a 4.91 ERA in his past two starts and has allowed five home runs in his past three outings. Billingsley has lost his last four starts, but is 10-8 with a 3.74 ERA in 26 games — 24 starts — against the Diamondbacks.