Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 4

Arizona had the momentum and the bases loaded with just one out,

seemingly on the cusp of making it all the way back from a six-run

deficit.

Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon erased any thought of finishing the

comeback with a stab of the glove and a flick of the wrist.

Los Angeles scored six runs in the third inning off Josh

Collmenter and Gordon made the play of the game, turning a line

drive by Justin Upton in the seventh inning into a double play that

preserved the Dodgers’ 7-4 win over the Diamondbacks on Friday

night.

”The play Dee makes, I don’t know how many guys make that

play,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “That was a seed that

Justin hit. That play got us out of that. These guys get rolling

and in their home park, they get momentum going it is tough. That

play right there takes a little bit of the air out of their

sails.

The Dodgers got to Collmenter early, pushing the rookie out

after seven outs. Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley dominated early

before running into trouble in the seventh inning, when Arizona

scored two runs to pull within 6-3.

Gordon made sure they didn’t get any more, snaring Upton’s

bases-loaded line drive, then quickly threw to second to double up

Sean Burroughs, who had strayed too far off the bag.

”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 getting into trouble late and 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,” 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

changeups.”

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.