PHOENIX (AP) — Jerry Hairston and the Los Angeles Dodgers are looking on the bright side of things despite finishing the first half of the season with three straight losses.
After all, the Dodgers still hold a half-game lead over the San Francisco Giants in the NL West even with injuries to Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Dee Gordon, among a handful of others. That’s Los Angeles’ first division lead at the All-Star break since 2009.
“When you lose your (Nos.) 3 and 4 hitters, it’s going to affect anybody,” Hairston said after the Dodgers’ 7-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday. “It’s been tough, but we’ve fought and clawed.”
Los Angeles has been without Kemp for all but two games since May 14 because of a strained left hamstring, and without Ethier and his strained left oblique since June 28.
“I don’t care when Matt and Andre come back,” Hairston said. “Nothing’s guaranteed. You’ve got to play good baseball.”
And that has been a bit of a problem lately, particularly this weekend against the Diamondbacks.
Los Angeles managed just two hits off Arizona’s heralded rookie right-hander Trevor Bauer: leadoff doubles by Juan Rivera in the second and Chris Capuano in the third.
“At the end of the day, you hate to lose these games, but we’ve put ourselves in position,” said Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly.
Bauer (1-1) retired Tony Gwynn Jr. on a fly ball to left after an 11-pitch at-bat for the first out of the third and cruised from there, retiring the next 11 batters he faced on a total of 47 pitches.
Capuano (9-4) allowed a season-high five runs on nine hits over five innings for the Dodgers.
“Losing leaves a bad taste in your mouth,” said Capuano, who struck out five and walked one. “But overall, physically I feel good and I’ve been executing pitches well.”
Paul Goldschmidt homered, doubled and drove in a career-high four runs and Justin Upton was a homer short of the cycle for the Diamondbacks, who won the final three games of the four-game set to move within four games of Los Angeles.
Bauer struck out six, walked one and retired the final 12 batters he faced for his first major league win. Patrick Corbin pitched the final three innings for his first career save.
Unlike his first two starts, in which he allowed eight earned runs on 11 hits in 7 1/3 innings, Bauer rarely was pressured by the Dodgers.
“It wasn’t really relief because I wasn’t anxious or anything like that to begin with,” Bauer said. “I was throwing strikes today, making them hit the ball instead of being behind in the count.”
Rivera led off the second inning with a double to left and Capuano doubled to right to lead off the third, but were stranded in scoring position.
Upton tripled home Willie Bloomquist in the first and scored on a ground-rule double by Goldschmidt to give the Diamondbacks an early 2-0 lead — the first two runs Arizona had scored in any of Bauer’s first three starts.
Goldschmidt made it 5-0 in the fifth with his 12th home run, a line drive a half-dozen rows deep into the left-field stands.
Miguel Montero hit a bases-loaded, two-run single in the seventh to extend Arizona’s lead to 7-0.
Juan Uribe hit a pinch-hit sacrifice fly in the ninth for the Dodgers.
NOTES: Arizona has won four of its past five against Los Angeles. … Upton has hit two triples in his past three games. … Capuano fell to 2-5 in eight career starts and nine appearances overall against Arizona. … The Diamondbacks are 13-5 in their past 18 homes games. … Dodgers 1B James Loney, whose modest six-game hitting streak was snapped on Saturday, was given his sixth day off of the season Sunday. … Diamondbacks 2B Aaron Hill singled and scored in the seventh and has hit safely in 22 of his past 23 home games.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.