Bullpen Explodes in Loss to Diamondbacks

Giovanni Carrara (4-2) in the winning run with none out in the ninth after mishandling a bunt earlier in the inning. Duaner Sanchez gave up two runs in the seventh inning that erased a 4-2 Dodger lead and allowed the tying runs to score. 24-year-old Derek Thompson, jumping from Jacksonville to make an emergency start, pitched well enough to win, throwing 95 pitches and walking four, two of which came around to score.

Thompson joined the brotherhood of Brad Penny and Derek Lowe who each has turned in a strong pitching performance only to have the bullpen lose either their victory or the game.

Thompson allowed only two hits in five innings and the Diamondbacks hit only one ball hard, a first-inning double by Luis Gonzalez. The other hit was a bunt that Perez did not field cleanly at third. Thompson certainly deserved better, a fact echoed by manager Jim Tracy.

"He did a great job for his first Major League start," said manager Jim Tracy, who will perhaps to give Thompson a second chance on Thursday. "He gave us an opportunity to win. Hats off to him and the job he did."

The Dodgers out-hit Arizona 12-5 and built at 4-2 lead when they posted three in the sixth inning, keyed by J.D. Drew's two-run homer (#7). Antonio Perez continued his torrid hitting, banging out three hits for a .516 average and scoring the third run of the inning on a double by pinch-hitter Mike Edwards.

Sanchez made a pair of costly mistakes and gave up a 4-2 lead in the seventh. On a high chopper over the mound he threw his glove in the air and deflected the ball and the umpires correctly called it a triple. The ball would have probably been handled by Cesar Izturis if Sanchez had left it alone.

Then with two out he threw a hanging slider to Diamondback pitcher Javier Vazquez, who banged it into the left-field stands for his first career home run to tie the score.

In the ninth, Carrara allowed a leadoff double, intentionally walked Shawn Green and then fumbled a bunt, throwing the ball off balance. It grazed the runner near first base, eluding Jeff Kent who was covering. The Dodgers argued that the runner was running in fair territory, which would have resulted in an interference call. But the umpires didn't see it that way.

Later Carrara walked in the winning run and insisted that three of the balls were, in fact, strikes. Whatever they were, they forced in the winning run in a game the Dodgers should have had in the bag.