PHOENIX -- Hyun-Jin Ryu was stellar on the mound on Monday night, but a first-inning home run by National League MVP candidate Paul Godlschmidt was enough to put a damper on the Dodgers' NL West clinching plans. Trevor Cahill and three relievers held the L.A. bats in check for a 2-1 Diamondbacks win in the opener of a four-game series at Chase Field.
The loss was the fourth straight defeat for the Dodgers, their second four-game losing streak of the past two weeks, and their ninth loss in their last 12 games.
The magic number remains at four to clinch the division for the Dodgers, who hold a 9½-game lead over the Diamondbacks with 12 games to play. It is the first time the Dodgers' divisional lead has dipped below 10 games since Aug. 28.
One out after a leadoff walk to A.J. Pollock in the first inning, Goldschmidt took Ryu deep to center for his 33rd home run on the season. It was the fifth home run of the season against the Dodgers for Goldschmidt, who has hit .377 (26-for-69) with 18 RBI in 16 games against them this season.
It also continued a pattern for Ryu, who has allowed 16 first-inning runs in 28 starts this season, a 5.14 ERA in the opening frame. But in all other innings Ryu has a 2.65 ERA, and it showed again Monday night in a stellar performance.
After Goldschmidt's home run Ryu retired 19 consecutive batters until Aaron Hill singled with two outs in the seventh inning. Ryu gave the Dodgers their 10th start this season of at least seven innings with two or fewer hits allowed, and Monday marked the only one of those games the Dodgers lost.
Ryu allowed just three runners to reach base in eighth innings and suffered the Dodgers' second complete game loss of the season. The other was by Josh Beckett on April 14, also against the Diamondbacks in a game started by Trevor Cahill at Chase Field.
Cahill retired 13 batters in a row for the Diamondbacks, but the Dodgers got to him in the sixth inning. Ryu opened the inning with a walk - he is 5-for-10 (.500) with a triple, a double and a walk against Arizona at the plate thie season - then Nick Punto doubled and Mark Ellis walked to load the bases with nobody out.
Adrian Gonzalez flew out to left field, perhaps a distance far enough to try to send the runner from third had it not been Ryu, but Cahill walked Puig to force in a run to cut the Dodgers' deficit to 2-1. The third walk of the inning ended Cahill's night, but relief pitcher Josh Collmenter struck out A.J. Ellis and got Skip Schumaker to ground out to end the threat.
The Dodgers offense made some noise in the eighth, but it was more of a thud as Mark Ellis was hit by a pitch with one out. Dee Gordon pinch ran for Ellis but was held at first base thanks in part to several throws over by David Hernandez. Gonzalez flew out to center field and Yasiel Puig struck out to end the inning.
The Dodgers rallied in the ninth inning against closer Brad Ziegler, but after a pair of singles to open the frame Juan Uribe bunted into an out at third base and Nick Buss grounded out. Matt Kemp, in his first game since July 21, pinch hit for Ryu, but struck out to end the game.
Home run: Paul Goldschmidt (33)
WP - Trevor Cahill (7-10): 5⅓ IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 4 walks, 4 strikeouts
LP - Hyun-jin Ryu (13-7): 8 IP, 2 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Brad Ziegler (11): 1 IP, 2 hits, 1 strikeout