For the second consecutive night Paul Goldschmidt ruined the Dodgers' dreams. On Tuesday, that came in the form of a towering two-run home run to cap an 11-pitch at-bat against closer Brandon League to give the Diamondbacks a 5-3 win over the Dodgers, who lost their sixth straight game.
Goldschmidt is hitting .450 (9-for-20) against the Dodgers this season with two home runs and eight RBI in five games.
Nick Punto hit his first home run as a Dodger in the second inning, a fly ball into the visitors bullpen in right field to tie the score at 2-2. Then in the seventh inning Punto doubled into the gap in right center field to score Skip Schumaker from first base and tie the score at 3-3. But despite getting to third base with one out, Punto was stranded.
The Dodgers got a ray of hope in the ninth inning, when after walking Punto to lead off the frame Arizona closer J.J. Putz left with an injury. That brought in embattled relief man Heath Bell to try for the save, and Bell recorded the final three outs to close out the game.
The Dodgers scored their first run of the night in the first inning, when Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez, and Andre Ethier hit consecutive singles with two outs to tie the game at 1-1. Kemp had two hits on the night, including a double.
Josh Beckett allowed leadoff hits in each of the first five innings, and scattered nine hits in his six innings and 106 pitches of slow, laborious work. The opening hits in the first and second innings were doubles that both resulted in runs, but the Dodgers answered back each time with a run in the bottom of the inning.
But Beckett lasted six innings for the first time in four starts, and picked up his fourth quality start in seven outings this season. But three of the four quality starts, including Tuesday night, were of the minimum variety, of exactly six innings and exactly three earned runs allowed.
Beckett also singled at the plate in the fifth inning, not only his first hit of the season, but his first hit since joining the Dodgers, snapping an 0-for-23 skid.
- Backup catcher Ramon Hernandez went 0-for-4 on Tuesday and extended his hitless streak to 17 at-bats. He is 1-for-22 (.045) on the season.
- Though second baseman Mark Ellis was placed on the disabled list on Monday, he is eligible return as early as Sunday. But Mattingly said a Sunday return was unlikely for Ellis, who will likely need to play a few minor league rehab games before getting activated. "The longer we get, I'd like to have a guy play a few rehab games, so you don't lose anything if he feels something," said Mattingly.
- Relief pitcher Scott Elbert threw a bullpen session at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday, his latest step in the rehab process after two elbow surgeries since last season and a platelet-rich plasma injection on Mar. 25. Mattingly said Elbert would likely pitch an inning in a minor league rehab game on Friday for Class-A Rancho Cucamonga.
- Ted Lilly will begin a throwing off flat ground on Wednesday, for the first time since he was placed on the disabled list on May 3. "We have to get him pain free, then we'll start going," Mattingly said.
- Stephen Fife, who last pitched on Apr. 21 in Baltimore, has not yet begun a throwing program. He is on the disabled list with right shoulder bursitis.
Home runs: Nick Punto (1); Paul Goldschmidt (7)
WP - David Hernandez (2-2): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk
LP - Brandon League (0-2): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Sv - Heath Bell (2): 1 IP, 1 strikeout