Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 4
Coming off a confidence-building road trip, the Arizona
Diamondbacks were hoping to move past San Francisco in the NL West
during a 10-game homestand.
They didn’t get it off to a very good start, thanks to another
rough outing by Josh Collmenter and a rally-killing diving catch by
Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon.
Los Angeles scored six runs in the third inning off Collmenter
and Gordon made the play of the game to prevent any more runs from
scoring in the seventh inning, lifting the Dodgers to a 7-4 win
over the Diamondbacks on Friday night.
Arizona is still just a half-game back of San Francisco, but
missed a chance to move ahead after the Giants lost to
”You want to take advantage of every opportunity,” Collmenter
said after posting his career-shortest start for the second
straight game. ”We could have got a win tonight, regardless of
what happens with the Giants we don’t lose any ground.”
Collmenter (6-7) had a lot to do with it, getting just seven
outs. The offense contributed, too, barely putting up a fight
against Chad Billingsley (10-9) through the first five innings,
then failing to get more runs across during a two-run seventh
Gordon made the big play, snaring Justin Upton’s bases-loaded
line drive, but Sean Burroughs complicated it by straying too far
off second base to get doubled up and end the threat.
”We had our opportunity there,” Diamondbacks manager Kirk
Gibson said. ”Didn’t get what we should have, made a baserunning
mistake and got doubled up. Good play by Gordon, but you’ve got
nowhere to go.”
The Dodgers are well back in the NL West, thanks to a struggling
offense, but had no trouble swinging the bats against Arizona.
Rod Barajas hit his 10th homer in the eighth inning and drove in
three runs, Los Angeles matched a season high with its six-run
third inning and Casey Blake had three of its 11 hits. Billingsley
was solid before giving up two runs in the seventh, but Gordon kept
it from being a bigger inning with his stab and throw for the
inning-ending double play.
Javy Guerra got the final four outs for his 10th straight
”We got a couple of big hits with some guys on base and kind of
continued to hit,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. ”We got
some good at-bats there and the one Rod got late made me feel
better. These guys keep coming and to tack on a run, I know what
that does to you when you are chasing – you get that extra run it
kind of pushes you back down a little bit.”
Arizona was coming off an impressive road trip and returned to a
rare desert occurrence in recent years: a division race.
After a standings-climbing May, the Diamondbacks lingered within
striking distance of the Giants and caught them on the last road
trip, finishing it 6-3 after winning a rare series in the Bay Area
that put them within a half-game of the World Series champions.
A second straight shaky start by Collmenter prevented Arizona
from gaining any ground.
The over-the-top-throwing rookie had the shortest start of his
career the last time out, giving up five earned runs in 3 2-3
innings against the Dodgers. Gibson considered skipping
Collmenter’s spot in the rotation, but opted to send him out to
give the other starters extra rest with Thursday’s off day.
Collmenter escaped trouble in the first inning thanks to an
against-the-wall catch by Chris Young in center and Gerardo Parra’s
diving catch in left, but wasn’t so fortunate in the third.
Andre Ethier and Juan Rivera had run-scoring hits in the inning,
Aaron Miles a sacrifice fly and another run came in on an error by
Upton in right on Blake’s single. Barajas greeted reliever Micah
Owings with a two-run double and the Dodgers led 6-0 after sending
10 hitters to bat.
Collmenter allowed six runs and eight hits.
”I just wasn’t as fine with my pitches as I needed to be,”
Collmenter said. ”Even when I did mix them a little bit, they were
guessing one or two and I’d get behind and not make the pitches I
Billingsley was coming off a troublesome start of his own,
allowing six runs with five walks in a loss to the Diamondbacks on
Saturday. He was strong for the first five innings, then gave up a
sacrifice fly to Young in the sixth.
The Diamondbacks chased Billingsley with three straight singles
in the seventh, pulling within 6-3 on RBI singles by Willie
Bloomquist and Parra. Arizona missed a chance at more runs when
Gordon made the diving catch on Upton’s liner and doubled up
Burroughs at second.
Billingsley allowed three runs and seven hits in six
”I had good fastball command today,” Billingsley said. ”I was
able to move it on all parts of the zone. That was the main thing.
I had a good cutter, slider today and a little two-seamer and some
Notes: The Dodgers were given a pregame speech by Anthony
Robles, the Arizona State wrestler who won an NCAA title this year
despite being born with just one leg. … Burroughs ended a
0-for-20 streak with a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning. …
Diamondbacks 3B Ryan Roberts made a nifty catch with his back to
the plate near the stands in the seventh inning on a fly ball by
Ethier. … Diamondbacks LHP Joe Saunders goes for his third
straight win on Saturday and will face RHP Nathan Eovaldi, who will
be called up from Double-A Chattanooga. … RHP John Ely will be
sent down to clear space on the roster for Eovaldi. … Saunders
has struggled in the first inning, allowing 17 runs in 22 starts,
with opponents hitting .355 against him. … Eovaldi, who had never
pitched above Single-A before this season, will be the fourth
pitcher to be called up by the Dodgers from Chattanooga, joining
Rubby De La Rosa, Guerra and reliever Josh Lindblom.