Haren beats former team for third time this year
LOS ANGELES — It’s only mid-June, and the Arizona Diamondbacks have already lost their season series against the NL West rival Los Angeles Dodgers with six games remaining.
Josh Collmenter gave up a two-run homer in the second inning to light-hitting Dee Gordon and a three-run double in the fourth by pitcher Dan Haren, sending the Diamondbacks to a 6-4 loss to the defending division champions on Saturday night.
Martin Prado had three hits for the Diamondbacks, including a leadoff homer in the ninth against Kenley Jansen that gave him 1,000 hits for his career. But it wasn’t enough to prevent their 10th loss in 13 meetings against a team that is 27-30 against everyone else.
This is the earliest the Dodgers have ever clinched a season series with Arizona. They began the year by sweeping a two-game set in Sydney, Australia.
"We thought we’d be doing a lot better against everybody, not just these guys," Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero said. "Unfortunately, we’re not doing good against anybody. So we’ve just got to pick it up and be a better team the rest of the way."
Collmenter (4-4) was charged with six runs and eight hits over six innings, and is winless in three starts since his three-hit shutout against the Reds on May 29.
"I wanted to go out there for as many innings as possible," Collmenter said. "The guys gave me a lead early and I couldn’t hold it, then they gave me another lead and I couldn’t hold it. It’s disappointing that I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain when they’re giving me runs and giving me a chance to win."
Prado gave the Diamondbacks a 3-2 lead with an RBI single in the fourth, but the Dodgers responded with four runs in the bottom half. Matt Kemp singled in a run and Haren drove a 1-0 pitch to right-center field, clearing the bases as teammate Clayton Kershaw jumped for joy in the dugout.
"It was a pitch out over the middle. He ended up throwing a fastball, it got too much of the plate and he crushed it," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "We know that Dan Haren can swing the bat real well, and three runs on that is hard to overcome."
Haren, a 12-year veteran with 71 hits and a .209 career batting average, had one RBI in 26 at-bats over his 13 previous starts this season.
"I got into a good count and was looking to go the other way, and I got a pitch that I could handle," Haren said. "I used to be a really good hitter, and I’m not as good now as I once was. But I put a good swing on that one and the bullpen made it hold up."
The damage could have been worse for Collmenter had Paul Goldschmidt not robbed Andre Ethier of at least a double three batters earlier with a diving stop toward the first-base line and toss to Collmenter for the out.
"Collmenter did good, except that one inning. But he went out and gave us six innings and just battled and competed," Montero said. "I know that Haren can hit. He can swing the bat. He’s not like normal pitchers. I don’t know if it was a bad pitch or not."
Goldschmidt opened the scoring in the first with a two-run homer after a leadoff double by Didi Gregorius. Haren has allowed at least one homer in seven consecutive starts. His longest such streak was 10 starts in 2012 with the Angels.
The Dodgers tied it in the fourth with a two-run shot by Gordon, who turned on an 0-1 pitch and drove it into the first row of seats in the right-field corner. It was the second homer this season for the second baseman.
Haren (7-4) allowed three runs and eight hits, including a one-out single in the seventh by pinch-hitter Jordan Pacheco that chased the former Diamondbacks right-hander. Haren, coming off a 6-2 victory last Monday at Cincinnati, has won back-to-back starts first the first time since beating Arizona by identical 8-6 scores in a span of seven days in April.
Arizona reliever Joe Thatcher pitched a scoreless eighth, extending his streak against the Dodgers without allowing an earned run to 36 appearances and 21-2/3 innings. The only reliever in history with a longer streak against one team without giving up an earned run was Troy Percival, who had 39 in a row against Minnesota spanning 40 innings