Dodgers use six-run third to down Arizona, 7-4
Welcome to the Dodgers' new world -- spoilers.
It appears to be their road for the next two months, and they at least looked up to the challenge Friday in a 7-4 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The surprising Diamondbacks came into the game trailing the division-leading Giants in the National League West by only a half a game; the Dodgers were 11 back.
But the Dodgers exploded for a six-run third inning and received six-plus solid innings from right-hander Chad Billingsley to frustrate the Diamondbacks.
The first time the Dodgers faced Arizona right-hander Josh Collmenter, they didn’t have a chance. He shut them out for six innings, allowing only two hits, in an eventual 1-0 victory for the Diamondbacks.
Safe to say, they’ve figured him out in the two games they’ve seen him since.
They knocked him all around in the third Friday, almost played with him. The Dodgers putting together seven hits -- a season-high for one inning -- and matched their season-high for most runs in an inning. In his last two starts against the Dodgers, Collmenter has a 16.50 earned-run average.
The first five Dodgers collected a hit against Collmenter in the third. It started innocently enough with a bunt single by shortstop Dee Gordon, who then -- being Dee Gordon -- immediately stole second.
Casey Blake’s line-drive single bounced off the glove of Justin Upton for an error to score Gordon. Andre Ethier doubled to score Blake. Matt Kemp looped a single, and Juan River singled to score Ethier. And on it went.
An Aaron Miles sacrifice fly -- the inning’s first out -- scored Kemp. James Loney singled to move Rivera to third. Micah Owings finally took over for Collmenter, and he promptly gave up a two-run double to Rod Barajas.
It was 6-0, and with Billingsley in control, the Dodgers were looking real comfortable.
Billingsley (10-9) gave one back in the sixth when Upton tripled and scored on a sacrifice fly, but got into real trouble in the seventh.
A walk, single and Gerardo Parra base hit scored one. Pinch hitter Sean Burroughs’ single loaded the bases and brought the call to reliever Matt Guerrier.
Not that it stemmed the sudden Arizona tide. Willie Bloomquist singled off the glove of diving second baseman Jamey Carroll to score one. Scott Elbert came on to strike out Cody Ransom before Manager Don Mattingly went to his fourth pitcher of the inning, Mike MacDougal.
MacDougal and his pocket full of four-leaf clovers saw Upton line a drive -- into the diving glove of Gordon, who quickly doubled Burroughs off second. If he doesn’t make a terrific play, maybe two runs score.
Each team scored once in the eighth, the Dodgers on Barajas’ 10th home of the season.
After the Diamondbacks rallied to get a run off MacDougal in the bottom of the inning, the Dodgers turned to newbie closer Javy Guerra.
Guerra responded by pitching the first four-out save of his career. It earned him his 10th save on the season.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers catcher Rod Barajas connects for a two-run double in the third inning against the Diamondbacks on Friday night in Phoenix. Credit: Christian Petersen / Getty Images