Dodgers Closer League Blows 3-3 Game In Ninth, LA Loses Sixth Straight 5-3
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Matt Kamlet, CBSLA.com
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The last time Josh Beckett started against the Diamondbacks, he pitched dominantly through 8.1 innings, struck out nine, and only gave up only one run — a walk off RBI single to Paul Goldschmidt — en route to a 1-0 loss.
Beckett, still looking for his first win of the season, was out for revenge on Tuesday night.
He wouldn’t get it, as Brandon League came in to pitch the ninth inning during a 3-3 tie, and walked off the mound losing 5-3 after giving up a 2-run homer to Paul Goldschmidt as the Dodgers dropped their sixth straight game.
Its the club’s second six-game losing streak of the young season.
Matt Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez both singled with 2 outs in the first inning, and Andre Ethier drove Kemp in on a single to right center to tie it up at one run apiece.
Beckett labored in the second inning, giving up his second leadoff double of the game, this one to Eric Chavez. Jason Kubel singled to left to score Chavez, giving Arizona a 2-1 lead.
Nick Punto stepped up for the Dodgers in the bottom of the second, connecting off Brandon McCarthy for his first home run as a Dodger, a solo shot to right field that tied the game at 2. It was just the 16th home run of Punto’s 13-year career, and he has homered exactly once in each of his last five seasons.
Arizona retook the lead 3-2 in the top of the fifth when Chavez singled to left, scoring Didi Gregorius.
Punto struck again in the bottom of the seventh, when he smacked the ball into right-center, rolling it all the way to the wall, getting to second base with no outs and scoring Skip Schumaker from first base, tying the ballgame at three.
The Dodgers were in position to take a lead in the inning when Justin Sellers laid down a sacrifice bunt, moving Punto to third with one out, but Carl Crawford popped up to short and Dee Gordon flew out to right.
Then the Dodgers came face to face with the demon that has plagued them all season.
Kemp led off the bottom of the inning with a double to left, putting the Dodgers in prime position to score their go-ahead run. The rest of the inning looked all too familiar.
Adrian Gonzalez popped out, Ethier was intentionally walked, Ramon Hernandez flew out to shallow right, and Schumaker hit a soft flare to short to end the inning — no runs scored.
To add to the sting, Nick Punto, the Dodgers’ hero throughout the game, was on deck behind Schumaker.
League took the mound in the ninth inning with the game still tied at 3, but had no control over his fastball, as he gave up a two-run home run to Goldschmidt to give Arizona, who got their leadoff man on board in every inning except the sixth, a 5-3 lead.
Even then, the Dodgers weren’t out. But that demon returned to the plate with them.
Nick Punto walked to lead off the bottom of the ninth, putting the tying run at the plate. But Juan Uribe flew out to right, Crawford grounded out to second, and Dee Gordon struck out to end the game.
The Dodgers with runners in scoring position?
“We’re not playing terrible baseball,” Nick Punto said after the game. “We’re just not getting key hits”