The game was a reversal of form for the Dodgers who went 10-8 against the Diamondbacks in 2007, and won six of nine at Arizona, which had the NL's third-best home record last season at 50-31. The DBacks used the best of their minor league system and after a rough shakedown period, they became one of the best in the N.L.
Starter Esteban Loaiza (0-2) was tagged for four runs in the first, including a home run. Chan Ho Park coughed up another long ball in the sixth and Scott Proctor surrendered the final two homers.
Los Angeles added a run in the fourth on Jeff Kent's second homer of the season and Rafael Furcal created the Dodgers' two-run rally in the sixth inning on Monday. He beat out an infield single to shortstop and, when Russell Martin singled to right field, rounded second and faked going to third, drawing an overthrow from Justin Upton that allowed Furcal to score and put Martin on third base. He was then singled home by Jeff Kent.
Over the final three innings, Matt Kemp collected a pinch-hit single in the seventh and James Loney kept his hitting streak alive with a single in the eighth.
Overall, Los Angeles was 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position (.143) and for the season they are hitting .232.
The Dodgers' 6-7-8 hitters, Andrew Jones (.115), Blake DeWitt (.238) and Juan Pierre (.067), were 0-for-11
Loaiza settled in after his horrendous first inning and had retired 10 straight Arizona batters as the Dodgers battled back to cut the lead to 4-3. The DBack's Dan Haren, who had been picked up by trade from Oakland in the off-season, left after six innings, having given up only six hits and a single earned run.
Arizona won the battle of the bullpens, allowing only two singles and no runs over the final three innings while Park was touched for a home run, Proctor had his first bad night of the season and allowed five runs sandwiched between Joe Beimel (who is on a pace to pitch 115 games) and Ramon Troncoso who posted scoreless innings.
Once Upon a Time, the Dodgers thought they had too many outfielders. But it seems they don't have enough who can hit. You might say three of them are hitting .358 but you need to add their average together to come up with that number. (Jones .115, Kemp .176,Pierre .067. Only Andre Ethier is above .300 on his own.
In his postgame meeting with the writers, Manager Joe Torre sounded much like Grady Little did last year.
"A couple of times we put ourselves in position where a hit could have done some damage, but we didn't get the big hit," he said. "We're going to hit. It's just a matter of when. I can't be concerned. Certainly, it's a concern when you lose a game. But the guys are capable of hitting. They are going to hit. It's just a matter of when. I can't be concerned."
In the second game of the series, Chad Billingsley will finally get his first start of the season. He skipped a start due to a storm warning, then worked twice in relief. He is 4-1 with a 2.36 ERA lifetime against Arizona and was 2-1 against the Diamondbacks last year.
LHP Doug Davis (0-1, 4.91 ERA) gets the nod for the Diamondbacks after being banged around by Cincinnati in his first start. The left-hander allowed just three runs (two earned) but he walked six and allowed a total of 10 baserunners in 3.2 innings.
Davis was diagnosed with thyroid cancer last week and this will be his final start before undergoing surgery on Thursday. One can imagine how that weighs on your mind.
Score by innings Los Angeles 000 102 000-3 Arizona 400 001 31x-9 Los Angeles ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 4 1 1 0 .407 Martin c 3 1 1 0 .125 Loney 1b 4 0 1 0 .360 Kent 2b 4 1 2 2 .238 Ethier rf 4 0 2 0 .308 Jones cf 4 0 0 0 .115 DeWitt 3b 3 0 0 0 .238 Pierre lf 4 0 0 0 .067 Loaiza p 1 0 0 0 .000 Young ph 1 0 0 0 .250 Park p 0 0 0 0 .000 Beimel p 0 0 0 0 .000 Kemp ph 1 0 1 0 .176 Proctor p 0 0 0 0 .000 Troncoso p 0 0 0 0 .000 Sweeney ph 1 0 0 0 .250 Totals 34 3 8 2 DBacks 35 9 12 9 Error- DeWitt (1). 2b hits- Ethier (2). HR- Kent (2). RBI- Kent 2 (4). LOB- Los Angeles 6, Arizona 5. DP- Furcal and Loney. Los Angeles in h r-er bb so era Loaiza (0-2) 4.0 4 4-4 1 2 6.75 Park 1.2 3 1-1 1 1 5.40 Beimel 0.1 0 0-0 0 0 0.00 Proctor 1.0 4 4-4 1 0 9.82 Troncoso 1.0 1 0-0 0 1 0.00 T- 2:40. Att- 49.057.Nomar on the Comeback
One month to the day after suffering a broken right hand, disabled third baseman Nomar Garciaparra took live batting practice for the first time before Monday night's Dodgers-Diamondbacks game.
The injury, suffered the same day that third baseman Andy LaRoche torn a thumb ligament, put Garciaparra on the disabled list for the sixth time in the last five seasons.
"It felt all right," said Garciaparra, who hit with a batting glove but no other protection. He hit live pitching in the cage for the first time on Sunday after taking Saturday off.
"The adrenaline of the game locks in and it helps with the pain and stiffness, which I know is going to be there. I'll see how it recovers after I push it and keep pushing. There's no use coming back to play for a game, then, OK, I have to sit because it swelled up and didn't recover."
Manager Joe Torre said Garciaparra could be looking at a Minor League rehabilitation assignment by the end of the week, but Garciaparra was more into managing expectations by declining to guess at a timetable for his return.
Dodger Blue Notes-- A week after designating him for assignment, the Dodgers traded minor-league reliever Eric Hull to Boston tonight for a player who has not been announced. ...Manager Joe Torre said outfielder Matt Kemp would return to the lineup tonight against Davis. Torre said he didn't want to bring back the slumping Kemp against veteran right-hander Dan Haren who pitched Monday. "You try to pick your spots to get them going and Haren is tough on right-handers," said Torre. ... Rookie third baseman Blake DeWitt, after starting the season 5-for-8, is in an 0-for-13 tailspin that has his average down to .238. ...Delwyn Young is the only position player who has volunteered to warm up pitchers between innings and has begun working with bullpen catchers Mike Borzello and Rob Flippo on basic techniques.