Billingsley pitches Dodgers past Diamondbacks 7-1
PHOENIX (AP)—The Arizona Diamondbacks know exactly who’s chasing them—and what they must do to wrap up the NL West title.
But the Diamondbacks wasted a chance to extend their division lead Sunday, losing 7-1 to Chad Billingsley and the Dodgers as Los Angeles stopped a seven-game skid.
Arizona remained 2 1/2 games ahead of second-place San Diego, which lost 7-3 to the Colorado Rockies. After a day off Monday, the Diamondbacks have six games remaining—three at Pittsburgh and three in Colorado. Their magic number is five to clinch the division crown.
“Whoever said that they’re not watching the scoreboard is probably lying to you,” Arizona rookie Chris Young said. “We lost, and they ended up losing, too.”
Still, the Diamondbacks took comfort in winning two of three against Los Angeles. That softened the sting of Sunday’s defeat a bit.
“It’s more important that you try to take care of yourself,” manager Bob Melvin said. “Today we didn’t. We won two out of three though, and that’s always the goal.”
Juan Pierre had four hits and James Loney added three, including a two-run homer. Tony Abreu also connected for the Dodgers, barely alive in the wild-card race. Billingsley walked four and struck out six.
“The team played very good today,” manager Grady Little said. “We got a lot of production all up and down through the lineup, and it was good to see.”
Arizona starter Edgar Gonzalez (8-3) allowed three runs and eight hits in 3 1-3 innings. Gonzalez, who has bounced between the bullpen and the rotation, lost for the first time in eight decisions. His previous defeat was on April 21 at San Francisco.
Gonzalez pitched with a blister that formed on his index finger as he warmed up in the bullpen. He put Krazy Glue on the finger before the second and third innings, but couldn’t control his pitches.
“It’s so hard to throw like that,” Gonzalez said. “I wanted to help the team, but it was not working for me this time.”
The series matched two teams going in opposite directions. Los Angeles has been beset by injuries and, unlike the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers have not had good team chemistry. Last week, veteran second baseman Jeff Kent criticized the team’s younger players for their lack of professionalism.
The Dodgers took out their frustrations on the Diamondbacks at the end of a 1-6 road trip.
Los Angeles went up 1-0 in the first on Abreu’s homer.
The Diamondbacks tied it in the bottom half on Mark Reynolds’ two-out bloop single, one of three singles in the inning.
“I started off kind of shaky but was able to come back from a rough first inning,” Billingsley said. “Later in the game I was starting to throw a little more off-speed and keeping the hitters off-balance and moving the ball around.”
Loney’s two-run homer in the fifth, off Juan Cruz, stretched the lead to 5-1.
The Dodgers added two more runs in eighth on Chin-Ling Hu’s RBI single and a throwing error by shortstop Stephen Drew.
Beimel set a team record for lefties by appearing in his 81st game. The club mark is 106 appearances by RHP Mike Marshall in 1974. … Arizona went 50-31 at home this season, the third-most victories in team history. The Diamondbacks won 55 home games in 2002 and 52 in 1999, winning the division both years. … Arizona’s regular-season finale drew 43,372. The Diamondbacks drew 2,325,233, their highest attendance since 2004.