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

Philadelphia.

”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

inning.

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

save.

”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

needed to.”

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

innings.

”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

change-ups.”

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.