Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 2
LOS ANGELES (AP)—Any trepidation Shawn Green might have felt about returning to Dodger Stadium is behind him.
He’s having a great time.
A night earlier, Green capped a three-run first inning with an RBI single to put the Diamondbacks ahead for good in a 4-2 triumph in his first game in Los Angeles since being traded during the offseason following five years with the Dodgers.
“It’s very, very satisfying,” Green said. “We’ve got a lot of games against these guys. I’ve enjoyed the matchup so far.”
Green, who grew up in nearby Orange County, homered in the second inning to put the Diamondbacks ahead for good. All three of his homers this season have come against the Dodgers.
Green’s catch of a liner to right by Jason Phillips in the sixth kept the tying run from scoring.
By winning, the Diamondbacks moved within a half-game of the NL West-leading Dodgers, who have lost five of six after going 12-2 to start the season.
Russ Ortiz (2-1), another player in his first year with the Diamondbacks, gave up two runs and seven hits before being lifted for a pinch hitter in the seventh.
“Ortiz threw good,” Phillips said. “He threw a lot more off-speed than he has in the past, even from my recollection of him in the last few years at Atlanta. And he had control of it, too.”
Brandon Lyon, the fifth Arizona pitcher, worked the ninth for his third save in as many games and his big league-leading 10th in 11 chances. The Dodgers threatened when pinch-hitter Olmedo Saenz and Cesar Izturis hit one-out singles. But Hee-Seop Choi flied to left and J.D. Drew grounded out on a full-count pitch to end the game.
Lyon deflected Drew’s grounder to second baseman Craig Counsell, who threw Drew out.
“Luckily, it hit me in the glove,” Lyon said. “I don’t know if it would have gotten through or not.”
Dodgers manager Jim Tracy had a pretty good idea.
“If the ball doesn’t hit the guy’s glove, we tie the game and we get an extra opportunity with Jeff Kent,” Tracy said. “That’s the way it goes sometimes.”
After Green’s homer, Chris Snyder drew a two-out walk and Luis Terrero hit an 0-2 pitch from Scott Erickson (1-2) into the left-field pavilion to give the Diamondbacks a 3-0 lead and, as it turned out, enough offense for the victory.
“The two-out walk, followed by an 0-2 home run, was the difference in the game and that’s what cost us,” Erickson said. “I threw a hanging slider. I tried to throw the ball down and away, and it was up and in. I missed my spot by five feet.”
Phillips hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the second, and Choi homered on an 0-2 pitch from Ortiz in the third—the second of his career-high four hits—to make it 3-2.
There would be no more scoring, although both teams had their chances.
Counsell singled and Royce Clayton walked with one out in the Arizona fifth, but Erickson retired Luis Gonzalez and Troy Glaus on long fly balls. The Dodgers had three straight singles in the bottom of the inning, but Izturis was thrown out stealing after a one-out single. Choi and Drew followed with hits before Kent grounded into a force play.
Green hit his 350th career double to start the sixth, but D.J. Houlton retired the next three batters. Ricky Ledee hit a two-out triple in the bottom half, but Green then robbed Phillips to end the inning.
“He hit it high enough where I felt like I was going to catch it,” Green said. “It’s a lot easier to dive for a ball like that rather than to shoestring it.”
Erickson came out for a pinch hitter after allowing four hits and three runs in five innings.
Dodgers closer Eric Gagne, who hasn’t pitched this season because of a sprained ligament in his pitching elbow, is scheduled to throw about 30 pitches from the bullpen mound Wednesday. Tracy said Gagne might be able to return to action in the next couple of weeks. Gagne saved 152 games from 2002-04. … Both benches were warned after Erickson hit Glaus with a breaking pitch in the third—an inning after Ortiz hit Jose Valentin. The Dodgers had seven hit batters in two weekend games at Colorado. … Izturis singled in the fifth to extend his hitting streak to nine games. He had five hitting streaks of 10 or more games last season. … Terrero was in the starting lineup for just the fourth time this season. He entered with two hits in 13 at-bats.