Collmenter stars in first big league start
The Arizona Diamondbacks won a game despite getting one hit. They scored the only run they needed thanks to a pickoff throw to an uncovered base.
They also needed a game-ending double play to lock down their bizarre, 1-0 win over the Los Dodgers on Saturday night.
''This game sometimes is crazy,'' said Stephen Drew, whose leadoff double in the second inning was Arizona's only hit. ''It's a big win for us. The past five days have been kind of frustrating, losing by one each time.''
Chad Billingsley (2-3) tried to pick off Drew at second base, but shortstop Jamey Carroll failed to cover the bag with the lefty-swinging Miguel Montero at the plate, and the ball rolled into center field as Drew barely beat Matt Kemp's throw to third.
''I saw Billingsley turn around and then saw the ball coming, so I'm just sliding back. Then I looked up, and nobody's there,'' Drew said. ''I never thought that would be our only hit, but it worked out well for us.''
Montero walked and Melvin Mora followed with a sacrifice fly, which began a string of 16 consecutive batters retired by Billingsley - none of whom hit a ball out of the infield. But Carroll's mistake ended up costing the hard-luck right-hander.
''Miscommunication. It was my fault,'' Carroll said. ''Obviously, I was supposed to cover. He threw it and nobody was there.''
Josh Collmenter pitched two-hit ball over six innings, getting the win in his first major league start.
Collmenter (2-0) struck out three, walked none and retired his final 11 batters after giving up Billingsley's one-out double in the third.
''I was able to locate my fastball. That's been the big thing since I got up here,'' Collmenter said. ''I didn't want to leave pitches out over the plate. Coming from such a unique arm angle, it's a lot different view for the hitter. So the more uncomfortable in the box that I could make them, the better for me.''
James Loney's two-out single in the second was the only other hit off Collmenter, who made his first seven big league appearances in relief after his promotion on April 15. All but two of his 94 appearances in the minors were as a starter.
The 25-year-old right-hander replaced right-hander Barry Enright in the rotation after he was demoted to Triple-A Reno on May 5.
''Coming up through the minors as a starter, I always dreamed of being a starter in the big leagues. So I was excited to get this opportunity and I wanted to make the most of it when I got out there,'' Collmenter said. ''I was wondering when fatigue would set in, and I definitely started to feel a little in the sixth inning and I was laboring.''
Billingsley struck out eight and walked two. It was the fourth time in nine starts that the 26-year-old right-hander pitched at least seven innings, but he is 0-2 in those outings.
''It's tough to lose that one,'' manager Don Mattingly said. ''They pitched well, we pitched well. We got to be able to score. (Collmenter) got ahead in the count all day. It's always dangerous when you get a guy you haven't seen. He's got a good change-up. His delivery is a little different.''
Aaron Heilman pitched a perfect seventh inning and David Hernandez worked a scoreless eighth, retiring pinch-hitters Dioner Navarro and Jay Gibbons with a potential tying run at third after giving up a leadoff double by Loney.
J.J. Putz got three outs for his eighth straight save, getting Kemp to ground to shortstop for the game-ending double play with runners at first and second.
''It's been a while since I've faced him, so I just kind of went with what I felt was my best pitch right now - a two-seam fastball inside, and I was hoping he would be aggressive,'' Putz said. ''I was just hoping to get a ground ball. It just got in enough and he pounded it on the ground. Stephen made a really smooth transition over to Kelly (Johnson), and that was it.''
Arizona's relievers have been charged with just one earned run over 33 innings during the team's first 11 games this month.
Notes: This was the first time the Dodgers lost when allowing one hit since July 17, 1914, against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. ... On June 28, 2008, the Dodgers beat the Angels and Jered Weaver 1-0 at Chavez Ravine without getting a single hit. ... Switch-hitting SS Rafael Furcal, who hasn't played for the Dodgers since he broke his left thumb on a headfirst steal of third base on April 11 at San Francisco, began a rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Albuquerque. He will be batting only left-handed for now. ... The victory was the Diamondbacks' 100th against the Dodgers. They've lost 124. ... Diamondbacks 1B Russell Branyan was 0 for 3 and is hitless in his last 20 at-bats. ... Arizona 3B Ryan Roberts missed his second straight game because of flulike symptoms.