Dodgers burn out against Diamondbacks, fall 7-2
Hot met hotter, which for the Dodgers, was bad news.
There is only one team that has been on more of a tear recently than the Dodgers, if slightly, and that is the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Diamondbacks have been baseball’s surprise team this year, and they gave the Dodgers a first-hand look at why Monday night in their 7-2 victory before an announced crowd of 30,616 at Dodger Stadium.
The Diamondbacks used a five-run sixth inning to overcome the early dominance of Ted Lilly and maintain their 8½-game lead over the Giants in the National League West.
The Dodgers entered the three-game series having won 15 of their last 19 games. All while losing a game in the standings to Kirk Gibson’s Diamondbacks, who had won 16 of 19.
And it started promisingly enough Monday for the Dodgers when Matt Kemp hit a solo homer off Joe Saunders in the first inning and then Lilly held the Diamondbacks without a hit through four innings. The home run was No.33 for Kemp this season.
But the Dodgers never could get anything else going against Saunders (11-12), whom they had already beaten three times this season. Saunders retired 13 consecutive Dodgers at one point.
Meanwhile, Lilly was cruising along with his 1-0 lead until seeming to hit a wall in the sixth inning. Willie Bloomquist blooped a single and scored on an Aaron Hill double that was bobbled by left fielder Jerry Sands. After an intentional walk to Justin Upton, Miguel Montero fouled out.
Hill stole third, and with a 1-1 count on Paul Goldschmidt, Manager Don Mattingly had apparently seen enough, removed Lilly (9-14) and called on reliever Matt Guerrier. Lilly had thrown 101 pitches.
Goldschmidt lined Guerrier’s first pitch for a single to score Hill. A walk to Chris Young loaded the bases and a Ryan Roberts hit scored one more and brought the call to left-hander Scott Elbert, who was greeted by a two-run single from Gerardo Parra.
The Diamondbacks were up, 5-1, which was all the lead they were going to need.
The Dodgers got one back in the seventh inning on a walk to Aaron Miles, a wild pitch and a Sands single, but Arizona scored two more in the eighth inning on a double by Para.
The Diamondbacks’ record went to a stunning 86-62 with the victory, the Dodgers falling to 72-74 with the loss.
-- Steve Dilbeck
Photo: Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp watches his 33rd home run of the season during the first inning of a game against the Diamondbacks on Monday night at Dodger Stadium. Credit: Chris Carlson / Associated Press