Rich Hill proved human, and the Dodgers offense found themselves in too deep a hole to dig out of in their 7-3 loss to the Diamondbacks on Thursday night at Chase Field in Phoenix.
Hill allowed only five batters to reach base while pitching into the sixth inning, yet four found their way home. The first was Kyle Jensen, who homered with two outs in the second inning to give Arizona a 1-0 lead. It was the first run scored against Hill in his 21st inning since joining the Dodgers, and is stopped a string of 27 straight batters retired dating back to his Sept. 3 start against San Diego.
That hidden perfect game was the first by a Dodgers pitcher since Kenley Jansen retired 27 straight batters from July 23 to Aug. 8, 2013.
The other four batters to reach did so in pairs against Hill. Two singles, with a sacrifice in between, produced a run in the third inning, then a walk, a passed ball and a single scored another in the sixth.
That single, by Paul Goldschmidt, ended Hill’s night after 5⅓ innings, his shortest outing as a Dodger. He struck out eight, giving him 28 strikeouts and three walks to go with his 1.48 ERA with the Dodgers.
But Goldschmidt also later scored with Louis Coleman on the mound, charging Hill with a fourth run. Had that made the normally mild-mannered Hill angry, it certainly wouldn’t have been his most intense moment of the night. That came in the fifth inning, when Hill led off the inning and showed bunt against Archie Bradley, the Diamondbacks starter.
Bradley threw way inside, a pitch that would have hit Hill had he not bunted it, and even still nearly clipped Hill’s fingers on the bat. There were a couple expletives yelled by Hill at Bradley on his way to first base then after he was thrown out, Hill was clearly seen yelling, “Throw the ball over the plate, f**k you” to Bradley, prompting more jawing and, eventually, benches clearing.
Louis Coleman, who was unscored upon in five appearances since returning from the disabled list, and who allowed no runs in any of his previous 11 games dating back to July 22, had a rough night. Coleman allowed an RBI single to score Goldschmidt in the sixth inning, then later in the frame allowed a three-run home run to Mitch Haniger that essentially put the game away, at 7-1.
The home runs allowed to Jensen — a 2015 non-roster invitee to Dodgers spring training and last year’s Triple-A Oklahoma City leader in home runs and RBI — and Haniger was the second major league home run for both.
The Dodgers rallied for two runs in the seventh inning to cut the deficit to four runs, and put another runner in scoring position with nobody out. But Arizona brought in Patrick Corbin, who pitches with his left hand, and he retired the next nine in a row to end any hopes of an LA comeback, picking up a three-inning save along the way.
The Dodgers have scored just 19 runs in seven games on the road trip, an average of 2.71 per game, while hitting just .206/.248/.330.
The Dodgers get another crack at Zack Greinke on Friday night, but something tells me he probably won’t allow five home runs like he did on Sept. 5 in Los Angeles. Kenta Maeda starts for the Dodgers in another 6:40 p.m. PT game.
Home runs: Kyle Jensen (2), Mitch Haniger (2)
WP - Archie Bradley (7-9): 6+ IP, 9 hits, 3 runs, 2 walks, 7 strikeouts
LP - Rich Hill (12-4): 5⅓ IP, 4 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 8 strikeouts
Sv - Patrick Corbin (1): 3 IP, 4 strikeouts