One night after getting the better of his big brother, Stephen Drew tries to help the Arizona Diamondbacks keep adding to the Dodgers’ road woes as the NL West clubs continue their four-game set on Tuesday.
With their parents in the stands, the Drew brothers faced each other Monday for the first time since they played in their back yard as kids. Arizona (46-46) won 8-3.
“I was pretty fired up knowing that he was going to get a chance to make a debut, then coming here and getting a chance to see him play for four games,” J.D. Drew said before the game.
Stephen Drew, called up from the minors on Saturday, got his first major league hit and stolen base. He also made two spectacular plays at shortstop and helped the Diamondbacks turn two double plays.
“To come out with a win, a dream come true getting a hit and playing against J.D. was another one,” he said. “It was a lot of fun.”
J.D. Drew had an RBI sacrifice fly and a single. It was just the second time in five games since the All-Star break he’s had a hit.
All of those games have been road losses as the Dodgers (46-47) have equaled their longest losing streak of the season. Monday’s loss also dropped Los Angeles below the .500 mark for the first time since being 18-19 on May 13.
“We’ve got a much better ball club than the results that we’re getting right now,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said. “We need to get it turned around. I feel certain we will, we’ve just got to keep playing.”
Los Angeles is 1-13 away from Dodger Stadium since June 15 and has lost seven straight on the road, getting outscored 52-11. The Dodgers will match their longest road losing streak of the past 14 years with a loss Tuesday.
Being at Chase Field doesn’t seem to be a good place to end the skid, considering Los Angeles has lost six straight there and none of those games have been decided by fewer than four runs. The Diamondbacks have outscored the Dodgers 29-13 in three games in Phoenix this season.
Arizona’s Eric Byrnes hit a three-run homer Monday and is batting .464 (13-for-28) against Los Angeles this season. Teammate Shawn Green has hit .467 (14-for-30) this year against his former team after going 2-for-4 with an RBI single Monday.
Green started at first base in place of Conor Jackson, who could return Tuesday after sitting out with a strained shoulder.
Looking to prevent Green and Byrnes from continuing their success against Los Angeles will be rookie Chad Billingsley (0-2, 4.45 ERA).
The 21-year-old right-hander, the Dodgers’ first-round draft pick in 2003, has issued 24 walks in his last 27 innings. He had five on Thursday and gave up six hits, but held St. Louis scoreless over five innings in a 3-2, 14-inning loss.
“As time goes on, I’m sure he’ll have a lot of innings where he doesn’t pitch around the first two hitters in the lineup to get to (Albert) Pujols and (Scott) Rolen, like happened one inning last night,” Little said Friday. “But he was still able to make the pitches and he got through it.”
Billingsley had allowed 15 runs in his previous 17 innings. He’s never faced Arizona.
The Diamondbacks counter with Juan Cruz (3-4, 4.45).
His only bad performance in his last five starts came against the Dodgers on July 3, his first outing after a month on the disabled list with a sore shoulder. He was pulled after three innings and ended up with the loss, allowing four runs and seven hits in a 10-4 defeat.
Cruz bounced back six days later with a decent start at Colorado, giving up two runs and two hits in five innings of an 8-5 victory. He did not get the decision, remaining winless since June 1.
The converted reliever is 0-3 with a 5.24 ERA in eight career appearances against Los Angeles.
J.D. Drew is 6-for-10 with a homer against Cruz, but is 10-for-50 with no homers and three RBIs in his last 14 road games.