3 up, 3 down: D-backs 5, Dodgers 1
May, 15, 2012
By Tony Jackson | ESPNLosAngeles.com
LOS ANGELES -- Chad Billingsley had another rough outing, giving up four runs and eight hits over four-plus innings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers saw their five-game winning streak end in a 5-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks before 47,077 on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
It was the second consecutive start in which Billingsley failed to record an out beyond the fourth inning. In his past three starts, the veteran right-hander is 0-2 with 6.43 ERA, this after he went 2-1 with a 2.64 ERA in his first five starts this season.
The Dodgers, playing with Matt Kemp, Juan Uribe and Juan Rivera all on the disabled list, never mounted much of an offensive threat against Diamondbacks lefty Wade Miley, who held them to a single run despite giving up eight hits over 6 2/3 innings.
The Dodgers (24-12) begin a two-game series in San Diego on Wednesday before returning home to start a three-game series with the world champion St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night.
Sliding hard but clean. Mark Ellis provided a textbook example of how to break up a double play in the bottom of the first. After his one-out single, Scott Van Slyke hit a hard bouncer back to the mound. Miley turned and fired to second for the force, but before second baseman Aaron Hill could even take the ball out of his glove for the relay throw, Ellis slid into him with such force that the ball popped out of Hill's glove. Second-base umpire Ted Barrett ruled, correctly, that Hill had held onto the ball long enough for the force, but Ellis' slide kept the inning alive for the Dodgers. Ellis also broke an 0-for-10 skid with three hits, including his second home run of the season off Miley in the sixth.
A perfect fit. Playing center field in a regular-season, major league game for the first time ever, Andre Ethier was outstanding, making a laser of a throw on the fly to third base to prevent Miley from going first to third on a single by Gerardo Parra in the fifth and making a diving catch of a sinking liner by Justin Upton to end the sixth, possibly saving a run.
Bouncing back. Although he hardly pitched a clean inning after relieving Billingsley with the bases loaded and nobody out in the fifth -- he gave up a run-scoring single to the first batter he faced, Jason Kubel -- Javy Guerra continued to pitch adequately since being removed last week from the closer's role. In four appearances since manager Don Mattingly reluctantly pulled the trigger, Guerra has pitched 3 2/3 innings while allowing no runs and three hits.
The scenic route. In his first game in the majors this season, Jerry Sands, who was positioned way off the line in left, took a horrible route to a blooper by Kubel in the second inning. The ball fell about 10 feet inside the line and skipped past Sands to the wall, allowing Kubel to turn a single into a leadoff double and eventually score the Diamondbacks' first run of the game.
Mix in a strike. Billingsley followed Kubel's double by retiring the next two batters without Kubel advancing, then intentionally walked Hill to get to the pitcher. But that strategy went awry when Billingsley first threw a wild pitch on a strikeout of Miley, allowing Miley to reach and load the bases, then issued a bases-loaded walk to Parra, giving the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead.
Thanks for stopping by. Elian Herrera's major league debut -- a pinch-hitting appearance in the bottom of the fifth -- was greeted with loud cheers, but only because it happened to coincide with the end of the Los Angeles Kings' playoff win over the Phoenix Coyotes. The switch-hitting Herrera, whose contract had been purchased from Triple-A Albuquerque on Monday, stepped in from the right side against Miley and popped to short before taking a seat for the remainder of the evening.