LOS ANGELES (AP) — Josh Beckett pitched 6 2/3 strong innings for his first victory since being traded to the Dodgers and Andre Ethier hit a tie-breaking home run in the sixth inning to help Los Angeles beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 2-1 on Saturday night, snapping the Dodgers’ eight-game skid against their NL West rival.
Beckett allowed one run and six hits, struck out nine and walked one to end a career-high five-game losing streak that began on July 20, when he was still with Boston. He had lost his first start since being traded to the Dodgers on Aug. 25, a 4-1 defeat at Colorado last Monday.
The Dodgers have dropped five of eight since the blockbuster trade that brought them Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto among eight players.
The franchise took on about $275 million in salary in an attempt to make the playoffs for the first time in three years. Gonzalez is struggling, going 0 for 4 on Saturday, Punto is 1 for 5 on the homestand and Crawford won’t play this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Los Angeles trails San Francisco for the NL West lead by 4 1/2 games and is 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card.
Ethier’s 15th homer off Matt Albers (0-1) with two outs in the sixth put the Dodgers ahead for good. Albers allowed one run and one hit in one inning, struck out two and walked one.
The Dodgers tried to add a run in the eighth, but Justin Upton caught Matt Kemp’s fly ball in right field and his throw to the plate was on the mark. Catcher Miguel Montero held on to the ball after Shane Victorino plowed him over and knocked his mask off in a hard collision. Victorino had walked, stole second and continued to third on Montero’s throwing error.
The Diamondbacks tied the game 1-1 in the third on Upton’s homer that traveled an estimated 432 feet over the back wall in the Dodgers’ left field bullpen.
Hanley Ramirez put the Dodgers ahead 1-0 in the second with his 23rd homer and 83rd RBI off Arizona starter Tyler Skaggs, who at 21 is the youngest pitcher in the majors. The left-hander from Santa Monica gave up one run and five hits in five innings, struck out three and walked one in his third major league start and first on the road.
Beckett helped the Dodgers avoid their longest losing streak to the Diamondbacks, who had their six-game winning streak at Dodger Stadium end.
Brandon League pitched the ninth to earn his first save since joining the Dodgers on July 30.
Notes: The Dodgers recalled C Tim Federowicz and RHP Javy Guerra and selected the contract of RHP John Ely from Triple-A Albuquerque. To make room on the 40-man roster, OF Alfredo Silverio was transferred to the 60-day DL. … The Diamondbacks reinstated INF Willie Bloomquist, RHP Josh Collmenter and RHP Takashi Saito from 15-day DL; recalled C Konrad Schmidt from Triple-A Reno, selected contract of OF Tyler Graham from Reno, activated INF Cody Ransom and transferred RHP Daniel Hudson from 15-day to 60-day DL. … Dodgers owner Mark Walter brought two of his three dogs to “Bark in the Park.” Boo, a rescue black Labrador and pit bull mix, and Sophie, a mini dachshund, each wore team gear and watched the game from his box behind the plate.