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At least Chad Billingsley takes baby steps in Dodgers' 7-3 victory over Diamondbacks

May 10, 2010 |  9:46 pm

Billingsley_300 Let’s call that progress. Guess it’s glass half-full time. Call me weak.

Chad Billingsley could not follow Clayton Kershaw with an inspiring performance. He could not, once again, pitch out of the sixth inning.

But he was very good for five innings, and if he wavered in the sixth, overall it was still a nice performance. Not as quite good as the Dodgers would like, but good enough to lead them to a 7-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday.

Billingsley gave up two runs, three hits and four walks in 5-1/3 innings. He struck out seven.

For five innings, he looked a lot like the starting pitcher who was an All-Star last season.

Billingsley has looked like that in spurts this season, but at least it’s become more frequent in his last four starts. The previous three, he made it through six innings.

Something about that seventh inning …

His earned-run average was a swollen 7.07 after his first three starts, but he has slowly lowered it to 4.82. At least he’s getting closer to the pitcher who was 9-4 with a 3.38 ERA at the break last season.

Monday he gave up a solo home run to Chris Young in the second inning, then retired 12 of the next 14 Diamondbacks.

In the sixth inning he gave up a leadoff walk to Adam LaRoche, and one out later, a run-scoring double to Stephen Drew. Joe Torre, having seen all this a few too many times, quickly went and got him.

Billingsley (3-2) threw 90 pitches, 52 for strikes. Not exactly Kershaw shutting out the Colorado Rockies for eight innings, but good enough. Small steps.

--Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley works against the Diamondbacks on Monday night. Credit: Matt Kartozian / US Presswire

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