The good news was that Ted Lilly threw six innings for the fourth straight outing on Sunday, and didn't allow a run in five of those innings. The bad news was that in the fateful second inning, Lilly allowed four runs, including back-to-back home runs by Xavier Nady and Ryan Roberts, giving the Diamondbacks a 4-1 win over the Dodgers in the series finale at Dodger Stadium.
The four runs in the second inning was the first four-run inning by the Diamondbacks since April 12. It was the fourth inning of three runs or more allowed by Lilly this season. In four daytime starts this season, Lilly has allowed five home runs, and 18 runs in 21 innings (a 7.71 ERA). The Dodgers have lost all four games.
Ian Kennedy was stellar for Arizona, allowing just one run in his six innings of work, picking up his fourth victory. Kennedy allowed hits to both Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles in each of their first two times up, but made up for it by retiring 18 of the other 19 batters he faced, with a walk and eight strikeouts. He retired the final 12 batters he faced. Kennedy in his last five starts is 2-0 with a 1.47 ERA, with eight walks and 37 strikeouts in 36 2/3 innings.
After Kennedy pitched his six innings, the Dodgers trailed 4-1, which was a deficit that proved to be too tough to overcome. The Dodgers fell to 1-18 when trailing after six innings this season, a winning percentage of .053. The entire National League was 36-226, a .137 winning percentage when trailing after six innings, entering today.
The Dodgers managed to score just five runs in the three-game weekend series.
One bright spot for the Dodgers was Scott Elbert, who made his first major league appearance of 2011 today. Elbert, who never met a batter he couldn't walk, faced three Diamondbacks in the top of the eighth inning, and struck them all out. Elbert threw 19 pitches, 12 for strikes.
In addition, Javy Guerra arrived in Los Angeles this morning, and made his major league debut pitching the top of the ninth inning. Guerra retired the first batter he faced, Melvin Mora, on a grounder back to the box, then allowed a bloop single to Chris Young, who was promptly caught stealing by Guerra. Guerra fanned Kelly Johnson for his first big league strikeout to end the inning.
The Dodgers staged a rally off closer J.J. Putz in the ninth, putting two runners on base for pinch hitter Rod Barajas. Barajas hit a ball well, but to the deepest part of the park, to the wall in center field, with enough room for Young to easily catch it. Jerry Sands followed with a long, nine-pitch at-bat off Putz, but it ended unsuccessfully, with a pop out caught by Johnson.
The Dodgers open a two-game series Monday night with the Brewers, with Jon Garland starting four days after his RBI single was washed away in Pittsburgh, opposed by Shaun Marcum of Milwaukee.
WP - Ian Kennedy (4-1): 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
LP - Ted Lilly (3-4): 6 IP, 5 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts
Sv -(9): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout