Diamondbacks-Dodgers Preview

The Associated Press

Last week's blockbuster trade isn't working out according to plan for the Los Angeles Dodgers just yet.

Josh Beckett will try to begin changing that.

Beckett makes his second start for the Dodgers as he attempts to help them avoid their longest losing streak to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.

Los Angeles (70-63) has dropped five of seven since acquiring Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto in a blockbuster deal with Boston. The Dodgers inherited around $275 million in salary with hopes the deal will result in their first World Series title since 1988.

Gonzalez is hitting .207 with one homer and six RBIs, Punto is 2 for 10 and Crawford won't play after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Los Angeles is still chasing San Francisco for the NL West lead, trailing by 4 1/2 games and is also 1 1/2 games behind St. Louis for the league's second wild card.

''We still have a chance to control our own destiny if we can play really well down the stretch,'' manager Don Mattingly said after Friday's 4-3 loss. ''You don't have to look back very far to see what can happen in the last month of a season if you remember what happened to Atlanta last season and the Cardinals and Boston. So this thing's far from over, but we need to get on that run.''

The Dodgers have lost seven in a row to the Diamondbacks (66-67), and a loss Saturday would match their longest skid in the all-time series set in 2005.

Beckett's Dodgers debut - much like the first two games of this series for Los Angeles - didn't go as planned. The right-hander allowed three runs and seven hits with six strikeouts and three walks while the offense had only four hits in a 10-0 loss at Colorado.

"I'm still feeling things out," said Beckett, who is trying to repair his tarnished reputation in Los Angeles. "As I move forward, I'll get more comfortable."

Beckett hasn't found a comfort zone over his last seven starts with Los Angeles and Boston, going 0-5 with a 7.17 ERA and giving up eight homers in his last four games.

He's 1-4 with a 4.91 ERA in six starts against the Diamondbacks, but hasn't faced them since a loss with the Red Sox in 2008.

Arizona, which has a 1.58 ERA in its last eight games versus the Dodgers, is trying for its first seven-game road winning streak since June 11-24, 2011. The Diamondbacks have outscored opponents 31-10 during their current run on the road.

Tyler Skaggs (1-1, 2.92), one of the top pitching prospects in baseball, will try to keep those streaks going while rebounding from his first defeat.

The 21-year-old left-hander allowed three runs - two earned - with five strikeouts and two walks while hitting two batters in 5 2-3 innings of a 3-2 loss to Cincinnati on Monday. He also had control issues in his major league debut Aug. 22, walking five and allowing two runs and three hits in 6 2-3 innings of a 3-2 win over Miami.

"It felt good but I need to cut down on the walks, the walks and the hit batters," Skaggs said after his latest performance. "I think it would help my outing a little bit."

Miguel Montero and Aaron Hill are looking to continue to pound on the Dodgers. Montero, who had three hits Friday, is batting .440 with two homers and eight RBIs in the last seven meetings with Los Angeles.

Hill has a .375 average in 10 games against the division rival after collecting two hits in each of the past two contests.

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