The Dodgers and Dan Haren fell behind early, and the deficit proved too large to overcome in a 5-3 loss to the Phillies on Saturday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park.
Haren had a rough first two innings. He labored through a 33-pitch first inning that included 16 foul balls. The first two of those foul balls were pop ups to catcher A.J. Ellis, the second of which was hit by Chase Utley and dropped behind the plate. Utley, given a second chance at the plate, hit the very next pitch into the seats in right field for a 2-0 lead.
It was one of three extra-base hits in the inning against Haren, to go with doubles by Ben Revere and Marlon Byrd.
In the second inning Haren used 24 pitches, including 13 to walk the first two batters of the inning, Carlos Ruiz and Cesar Hernandez. Ellis caught Ruiz napping and picked him off second base to limit the threat, but after a sacrifice bunt Revere singled home Hernandez for a 3-0 lead, then took second base on the no-chance throw home center fielder Andre Ethier. Revere then scored on a single by Jimmy Rollins, giving Philadelphia a 4-0 lead.
Back on April 19, when things were going a bit better for Haren, he described his pitching style in his 12th major league season.
"I'm walking that fine line. I don't have overpowering stuff, so I can't just throw the ball down the middle, I wouldn't get out of an inning," Haren said a month ago. "I'm constantly trying to attack the corners of the zone, just taking what the hitters give to me."
Haren was able to find the right side of that fine line after 57 pitches and four runs allowed in the first two frames to retire seven straight batters. The Phillies added another run in the fifth inning when Revere reached base on a bunt single and advanced to third base on a throwing error by Haren, all because Revere was running well inside the baseline. Much to manager Don Mattingly's chagrin, home plate umpire Seth Buckminster didn't see it that way, and one ground ball later Philadelphia had a fifth run.
Haren threw a season-high 115 pitches, but was able to last through six innings, throwing 58 pitches in his last four innings after 57 in the first two. Haren retired 13 of the final 14 batters he faced, and has lasted at least six innings in nine of his 10 starts, including each of the last seven.
The Dodgers got on the board in the fourth inning when Justin Turner doubled, advanced to third base on an infield single by Yasiel Puig, then scored on a groundout by Carl Crawford.
They added another run in the fifth on an RBI single by Dee Gordon, who took second on the throw home then advanced to third on a poor pickoff throw by rookie pitcher David Buchanan. But like Puig in the fourth inning, Gordon was stranded at third base with two outs.
Buchanan lasted five innings in his major league debut, but allowed just two runs to pick up the win.
The picket fence continued in the sixth when Puig led off with a triple off the wall and just off the glove of a seemingly disinterested Byrd in right field. Two outs later, just when it looked like a third runner might be stranded 90 feet away, a passed ball by Ruiz allowed Puig to score to cut the deficit to 5-3.
But that was all for the Dodgers, who managed to bring the tying runs on base in the ninth inning with two outs, but pinch hitter Scott Van Slyke struck out to end the game.
The Dodgers' last three losses were by 5-3 scores.
Puig has now reached base in 25 straight games, the sixth-longest streak in baseball this season.
Haren's seven strikeouts matched the total for his last three starts combined.
Erisbel Arruebarrena, a late addition to the lineup with the sore left calf for Hanley Ramirez, made his first play in the field in the second inning, a nice catch from the other side of second base and a quick tag on the pickoff of Ruiz in the second inning. Arruebarrena also singled to center in the fifth inning for his first major league hit.
Three of Haren's five runs allowed were unearned, giving him 11 unearned runs in 10 starts this season. The rest of the Dodgers rotation has allowed 14 unearned runs in 40 starts.
The save for Jonathan Papelbon was his 299th career save.
Home run: Chase Utley (4)
Stolen bases: none
WP - David Buchanan (1-0): 5 IP, 5 hits, 2 runs, 2 strikeouts
LP - Dan Haren (5-3): 6 IP, 6 hits, 5 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
Sv - Jonathan Papelbon (13): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 walk, 1 strikeout