Long ball dooms D-backs in L.A.
LOS ANGELES -- The only trouble Diamondbacks right-hander Rubby De La Rosa had in his return to Los Angeles on Friday was that traffic jam in the second inning.
Once a prized Dodgers prospect, De La Rosa gave up three hits and three walks in five innings, but the Dodgers made the most of it. The Dodgers bracketed home runs by Justin Turner and rookie Joc Pederson around a single and two walks to score five runs, and they eventually stretched it into 8-0 victory.
"Just a couple of balls up in the jet stream," D-backs catcher Tuffy Gosewisch said. "Some nights it's the opposite."
De La Rosa's most effective pitch this season has been the changeup he uses to keep batters off his fastball. But the Dodgers were either sitting on the pitch or did a nice job recognizing it.
Leadoff hitter Pederson flew out on a changeup in the first inning, but Turner hit a 1-1 change for a homer to lead off the second. The ball seemed like a routine fly that just kept carrying. Pederson hit a first-pitch changeup with the bases loaded, a ball that landed a half-dozen rows into the right field seats. Pederson, who had a 30-30 season at Triple-A Albuquerque last season, has five homers and 14 RBI this season.
"He just made a couple of bad pitches," D-backs manager Chip Hale. "Both were changeups, which is his go-to pitch. They just did a good job of hitting. It's tough when you get four runs on one swing. It kind of put us out of the game. It was just a 15-minute period when it did get away from him. That's part of the learning process for him. He's had a hard time with those types of innings that have gotten away from him. It did tonight."
De La Rosa (2-2), who gave up one run on four hits in a no-decision in his last outing, recovered after the grand slam to retire the last 11 batters he faced. But the damage was done. The D-backs had five hits in being shut out for the second time in five games.
"I think I lost a little of my focus, my location," De La Rosa said. "I think I tried to do too much that inning and make perfect pitches. Sometimes that doesn't work, and they come right in the middle" of the plate. "I think I was just excited that inning. After that, it was good. I tried to forget about that inning and move forward."
Like most of the D-backs, De La Rosa did not believe Turner's ball would carry out of the park, in part because he knows Dodger Stadium. He made nine appearances here with the Dodgers in 2011-12 before being traded to Boston in the jumbo deal that brought Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Josh Beckett to the Dodgers for the 2012 stretch drive. He knew his opposing starter, Carlos Frias, too, having roomed with him in the minor leagues.
"I felt normal, like it was a regular team," De La Rosa said of facing the team signed him at 18 in 2007. "I tried to do my job."
Ethier added a solo homer of Daniel Hudson in the sixth, at which time the Dodgers had four hits -- three had left the yard. L.A. finished with six hits and six walks.
The D-backs best chance came in the sixth inning, when pinch-hitter Danny Dorn led off with a sharp single to right field, his first career hit after 910 in parts of 10 minor league seasons.
After A.J. Pollock singled and Chris Owings struck out on a 3-2 pitch, the Dodgers brought in Pedro Baez to replace new starter Carlos Frias with Paul Goldschmidt at the plate. Goldschmidt, who singled off Frias in the fourth inning and has 15 home runs and 50 RBI in 61 games against the Dodgers flied to left. The D-backs got an extended chance when shortstop Jimmy Rollins failed to handle Mark Trumbo's grounder to load the bases, but could not convert when David Peralta struck out on a 3-2 fastball.
Frias used a 97 mph fastball in his 5 1-3 innings. Baez was clocked at 98 mph
"He did a good job of shutting us down," Hale said of Frias. "They brought the reliever in, a hard-thrower. Those are tough guys. That's why we always try to get power arms. They are showing us why."
Dorn got his first major league hit as a pinch-hitter in the sixth inning. Dorn, who helped Cal-Fullerton to the 2004 College World Series title, had a group of family and friends at Dodger Stadium that made the occasion even more special.
.325 -- Goldschmidt's career batting average against the Dodgers, after a 2-for-4 night.
* David Hernandez will get a bit more time to recover after experiencing what the D-backs called normal soreness after his second appearance in an extended spring training game Tuesday. A mid-May return still appears probable, Hale said. "We slowed him down just a tad bit," Hale said. "Just a couple days behind." Hernandez is 15 months removed from Tommy John surgery.
* Archie Bradley continued to receive good medical reports, and if his recovery continues to go well he could return for a May 15 start against Philadelphia. "His bite, which was a concern a little bit from the swelling, is almost back to normal," Hale said. "He's raring to get back on the mound. That's the most encouraging thing to me." Bradley is scheduled to throw a side session at Salt River Fields on Saturday if the swelling on the right side of his face subsides. Bradley this week spent time at Phoenix Children's Hospital visiting a young man who also had been struck in the face by a line drive.
* Catcher Oscar Hernandez still is several weeks from being cleared to return, but he is on this trip, sitting in on pitcher/catcher meetings and being involved in creating game plans. "When he does come back, we need him to hit the ground running," Hale said.
For the time being, Hale backed away from hitting the pitcher eighth in the lineup after doing it twice on the last homestand. But it remains in the tool box. "I didn't feel good about it with certain pitchers," Hale said. "I'll definitely do it again at some point to shake it up." Josh Collmenter and Archie Bradley were used in the eighth spot.