Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Quick take: Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 3
By Mark Saxon
LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have a Paul Goldschmidt problem. They might also have a closer problem.
The big Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman, who has punished Dodgers pitching the past two seasons, did so again Tuesday night, hitting a two-run home run off Dodgers closer Brandon League in the ninth inning to give Arizona a 5-3 win at Dodger Stadium.
It was the Dodgers' sixth loss in a row and it came in a most predictable fashion. Goldschmidt has batted .330 with five home runs and 19 RBIs in 103 career at-bats against the Dodgers. He's a .380 hitter at Dodger Stadium.
League threw him a 93-mph fastball in the heart of the plate, and Goldschmidt sent it sailing into the left-center field bleachers. League has been doing that from time to time lately. He has a 7.00 ERA and has blown two saves in his past eight games.
Meanwhile, Kenley Jansen, the closer-in-waiting, continues to mow down hitters. After pitching a scoreless eighth inning, Jansen has given up runs in just two of his 17 appearances and entered Tuesday with a .946 WHIP.
Josh Beckett wasn't exactly masterful, as he had been the last time he faced Arizona. He slogged through six innings, pitching around six hits and two walks, but he kept the ball through six innings and that was an improvement over recent outings -- both his and for other Dodgers starters.
Beckett also worked at a faster pace than he had on May 1, when he crawled, turtle-like, through four laborious innings. Beckett hadn't pitched as many as six innings since that April 14 start in Phoenix, so Tuesday was a small step forward as he tries to get his season going. It did not, however, result in his first win of 2013.
The Dodgers again couldn't come up with clutch hits to break the game open, but they at least kept up steady pressure. Infielder Nick Punto, known more for his effort than his talent in recent seasons, has been a dynamic force at a time when the Dodgers needed one on their depleted infield.
Punto doubled and hit his first home run of 2013. It was the 16th homer of his 12-year career. Punto had 35 hits and one home run all of 2013. He has 21 hits and one home run through this season's first five weeks.