Diamondbacks 9, Dodgers 3
LOS ANGELES (AP)—The Los Angeles Dodgers couldn’t have asked for a better start. But after that, they were finished.
So now, they’re going to need a little help to reach the postseason.
The loss was the Dodgers’ 12th in their last 20 games, dropping them 1 1/2 games behind the NL West-leading San Diego Padres and a half-game behind Philadelphia in the wild-card race. The Padres beat Pittsburgh 2-1 and the Phillies topped Florida 8-6 earlier Saturday.
The Dodgers have seven games left; the Padres and Phillies each have eight to play.
“We got outpitched, outhit and outscored,” Dodgers manager Grady Little said. “It was a bad game all around. Right now, we’ll be doing a little more scoreboard watching.”
Rookies Conor Jackson and Carlos Quentin had three hits and two RBIs each, and Byrnes also drove in two runs for the Diamondbacks, who collected 17 hits while winning for just the fourth time in their last 18 road games.
“These are big, important games that we’re playing in,” Byrnes said. “And for all these young guys in here, I think they’re getting a real taste of playoff-atmosphere baseball.”
Four of the first five batters hit safely to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead, but Batista (11-7) settled down after that, blanking Los Angeles on two hits— none after the fourth. He walked three, struck out one and threw 101 pitches. Jose Valverde worked a scoreless ninth.
“He kept the ball down, they played really good defense behind him,” Dodgers outfielder Marlon Anderson said. “He did what he was supposed to do. It was a tough night for us.”
Batista, a 35-year-old right-hander who matched a personal single-season high in wins, went 0-2 with five no-decisions and a 3.13 ERA in his previous seven starts.
Brad Penny (16-9), tied for the NL lead in wins, couldn’t hold the lead, giving up nine hits and five runs, four earned, in a shaky five innings. He walked one, struck out seven and threw 107 pitches.
“I know the game was extremely important for them, but it also was for me because I haven’t won a game in almost two months,” Batista said. “I was missing my location in the first inning, and that’s what got me in trouble.”
Arizona tied it in the second with a little help. Chad Tracy struck out to start the inning, but reached base on catcher Russell Martin’s passed ball. Jackson followed with an RBI double, and one out later, Quentin hit his eighth homer.
“The one mistake I made was the home run,” Penny said. “It was a curveball. I should have just walked him, faced the pitcher.”
Penny had an explanation for Martin’s passed ball.
“It wasn’t really Russell’s fault,” Penny said. “I took a little off and threw a two-seamer. Russell thought a four-seamer was coming. Nine times out of 10, that inning doesn’t happen that way.”
Arizona went ahead for good in the third on Johnny Estrada’s RBI single, and made it 5-3 in the fourth when shortstop Furcal mishandled a bases-loaded grounder hit by Luis Gonzalez, who got an RBI on the play.
The Diamondbacks got another run in the seventh on a one-out, RBI single by Jackson after pinch runner Craig Counsell stole second and took third on Martin’s throwing error.
Penny tied a major league record by striking out four batters in the second. He became the fourth Dodgers pitcher to accomplish the feat, joining Pete Richert (1962), Don Drysdale (1965) and Darren Dreifort (2003). … Little said RHP Greg Maddux and RHP Derek Lowe will probably start the final two games of the season next weekend on three days’ rest if the postseason race is undecided. “If it’s still tight, and I’m sure it will be, that’s what we’re looking at,” Little said. … The Diamondbacks are 2-7 at Dodger Stadium entering Sunday’s finale of the three-game series—the last home game for the Dodgers this season. They were 6-3 against Los Angeles in Phoenix. … Little said Garciaparra (sore left quad) and Jeff Kent (sore left oblique muscle) will probably start every game the rest of the way despite their ailments.