Haren shuts down Dodgers in Diamondbacks win
PHOENIX (AP)—Dan Haren wasn’t feeling his best Saturday night.
Try convincing the Los Angeles Dodgers of that.
Haren (9-5) scattered four hits, struck out seven, walked two and allowed only two runners to reach second base just three days after throwing two innings during Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
And all of that came on a day when he was fighting a slight stomach virus.
“I didn’t have much energy all day,” Haren said. “Through the course of the year you’re not going to feel perfect every time.”
The right-hander has surrendered two or fewer runs in eight of his last nine starts. He has struck out 59, walked 13 and posted a 1.29 ERA in 63 innings over that span.
“It hasn’t been the same recipe all the way through,” Haren said. “I get a feel for the game when I’m out there and go with whatever is working.”
Haren lowered his ERA to 2.58.
“He’s been phenomenal for the better part of two months,” said Arizona manager Bob Melvin. “I’m not sure there’s a better pitcher in baseball right now.”
“This was about as big as it’s going to get for this time of year,” Jackson said.
Jeff Kent homered to lead off the ninth for Los Angeles, which has lost four of its last six overall and 12 of its last 18 against Arizona.
“The most important thing, no matter what happens tomorrow, is we play games either team can win,” said Dodgers manager Joe Torre. “It doesn’t matter what tomorrow’s score is. If the score of the first two games is any indicator, these two clubs belong on the same field.”
Jackson gave the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead two batters into the game when he homered just to the right of the left-field bullpen off Chad Billingsley (9-9). Orlando Hudson and Tracy followed with consecutive doubles to make it 2-0.
Chris Young walked and scored on a single to center by Drew to put Arizona ahead 3-0.
“It’s good for us to get some runs for him (Haren) because he’s about a lock to go seven or eight innings every time,” Jackson said.
Billingsley allowed three runs on seven hits over 5 2-3 innings with three walks and five strikeouts. The right-hander has lasted fewer than six innings in two of his last three starts.
“Pretty much the whole game except the last two innings I was just battling with my timing,” Billingsley said. “Everything was just off. I was pretty much battling myself the whole game.” ^Notes: Kent’s home run gave him 1,500 career RBIs. … The Dodgers were shut out for the ninth time. … Before the game, Arizona placed left-handed relief specialist Doug Slaten on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right knee. Slaten took the loss in Los Angeles’ 8-7 win on Friday, allowing three hits over 1 1-3 innings including Loney’s home run leading off the 11th. Arizona recalled right-hander Billy Buckner from Triple-A Tucson to replace Slaten. … Jackson made a lunging over-the-shoulder grab of Kemp’s drive to the warning track in left field to end the fifth inning. Asked if he had any doubts of making the catch he said, “I’ll take the fifth on that.”