Dodgers fall to D-backs, win streak stops at 5

BY foxsports • May 15, 2012

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The Arizona Diamondbacks scored each of their runs in bases-loaded situations. The Los Angeles Dodgers kept putting runners on, and stranding them.

That was the difference between Wade Miley and Chad Billingsley on Tuesday night.

Miley wiggled out of a couple jams while pitching into the seventh inning and the Diamondbacks snapped the Los Angeles Dodgers' five-game winning streak with a 5-1 victory.

"He just did a great job for us, and that's what we needed tonight," manager Kirk Gibson said. "He had 72 strikes out of 102 pitches. He maybe started laboring a little bit later in the game, but it was big for him to get as far as he did for us. That's how he's been pitching all year. He's got a great tempo. He throws all of his pitches in any count and uses the whole plate."

Miley (4-1) scattered eight hits and walked one in 6 2-3 innings, limiting Los Angeles to just one run on Mark Ellis' homer. The 25-year-old left-hander is 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA in five starts since being inserted into the rotation on April 23 to replace Daniel Hudson, who is out with a right shoulder impingement.

"A win anywhere is a big win right now," Miley said. "We've been scuffling a bit, but tonight we put some runs on the board and kept them at bay. I was just trying to stick with the plan.

"Miggy (catcher Miguel Montero) called a great game and we didn't get away from the plan. Everything he put down we went with, and I was fortunate that it worked out. He was telling me to keep challenging guys, throwing quality pitches and throwing strikes and let the defense play behind me. I was commanding the fastball early in the count and getting ahead."

Ellis finished with three hits in the Dodgers' first game since center fielder Matt Kemp went on the 15-day disabled list because of a left hamstring strain. They still own the best record in baseball at 24-12 and lead San Francisco by six games in the NL West.

Billingsley (2-3) threw 77 pitches in four-plus innings and was charged with four runs and eight hits in his 200th regular-season game. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 5.34 ERA in his last five starts, a stretch that began with a 12-0 loss at Houston in which he lasted only 3 1-3 innings.

Arizona loaded the bases in the second when Miley reached on a strikeout-wild pitch after a two-out intentional walk to Aaron Hill. Billingsley then walked Gerardo Parra to force in a run, but he minimized the damage by retiring Willie Bloomquist to end the inning.

"The big reason we jumped out to the lead was Wade hustling after he struck out," Bloomquist said. "That's just a little thing that probably won't show up in the box score, but that's what kept that inning going."

The Diamondbacks opened the fifth with six consecutive singles, including run-scoring hits by Justin Upton and Montero against Billingsley and another RBI single by Jason Kubel against Javy Guerra. But Ryan Roberts grounded into a 5-2-3 double play and Aaron Hill grounded out with a chance to break the game open.

"We got six hits in a row, and we haven't done that in a while," Gibson said. "Guys have been loose, even though we've been going through tough times, and tonight we got rewarded with some results."

Lyle Overbay drove in Arizona's fifth run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh, again with the bags full. The Diamondbacks came in 6 for 30 in bases-loaded situations.

"The biggest thing was getting the bases loaded, and guys came through with big hits," Bloomquist said. "We were threatening in virtually every inning to score. Not to look at the negative, but if you were trying to be picky, we left a lot of guys on base. The positive is, we had a lot of guys on base. So we were making things happen and we executed a lot better."

Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier, who won his first Gold Glove last year, started in center for the first time in seven big league seasons -- and caught the game's first two outs. He also made a diving catch to rob Upton of a hit in the sixth.

"I kind of laughed to myself after that first pop fly was hit to me," said Ethier, who also started the 2010 All-Star game in center field and played 90 minor league games at that position between 2004 and 2005.

"You've just got to be ready. You can't be saying: `Don't hit the ball to me.' I was out there wanting to track down stuff and just trying to be aggressive and knowing where my teammates were going to be on certain balls. More than anything, I just wanted to have fun with it out there."

NOTES: Scott Van Slyke, the son of former major leaguer Andy Van Slyke, was in the starting lineup for the first time in the big leagues. He played RF and was 0 for 4 while batting third in front of Ethier. ... Dodgers 1988 Cy Young Award winner and World Series MVP Orel Hershiser threw out a ceremonial first pitch on a night when the club handed out Hershiser bobbleheads. His catcher was another Dodgers Cy Young Award winner, Clayton Kershaw. ... The Dodgers wore black caps with an interlocking "LA" during batting practice as a show of support for the NHL's Kings in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. The Kings beat the Phoenix Coyotes 4-0 to take a 2-0 series lead back to Staples Center. ... Miley helped fuel the fifth-inning rally with a single and has six hits in 16 at-bats this season.