On a seventh-inning sacrifice bunt back to the mound, Arizona Diamondbacks reliever Brad Ziegler opted to throw to second base instead of first.
Ziegler's throw went wild and soon the Los Angeles Dodgers did as well.
"We tried to make a great play where we've got a five-run lead," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said after the Dodgers rallied from a 6-1 deficit to beat the Diamondbacks 8-7 on Tuesday. "You always take your out. We didn't do that, we made two errors and they got five runs on us."
Little has gone right for the Diamondbacks, who have lost 10 of their last 11 home games and have dropped six consecutive home series for the first time in club history.
Lyle Overbay appeared to give Arizona an increasingly rare win when he homered off Josh Lindblom with one out in the bottom of the eighth for a 7-6 lead. But Diamondbacks closer J.J. Putz walked two hitters before giving up a two-run, two-out double to Ivan De Jesus over the head of center fielder Chris Young.
"He put a good swing on it," Putz said. "I tried to get ahead with a fastball and it kind of leaked back over the middle. It was done."
Arizona was poised to at least tie the game when a third strike that got away from catcher A.J. Ellis and a single by Justin Upton put runners on first and third with one out in the bottom of the ninth against Kenley Jansen.
Mattingly decided not to walk the left-handed hitting Jason Kubel to load the bases for Young, and the strategy worked. Kubel hit a tailor-made double-play ball to De Jesus at second. He flipped to Dee Gordon, who leaped high over a late-sliding Upton to make a one-hop throw to first and complete the double play.
"That was huge, Dee standing in there when he's giving up 60 pounds at least to Justin," Dodgers outfielder Tony Gwynn said.
Jansen earned his seventh save.
The Diamondbacks stormed out to a 5-0 lead before the Dodgers used five hits and a pair of errors to start the seventh inning against Ziegler and Craig Breslow to rally from a 6-1 deficit.
"In the seventh we brought two relievers in and didn't get any outs out of them," Gibson said. "We are not playing good enough in that situation against a team that's way too good and very opportunistic and they capitalized on our mistakes."
The bullpen's collapse wasted a solid outing by Arizona starter Trevor Cahill. Cahill scattered six hits over six innings, allowing one run while striking out six and walking three.
Overbay finished with four hits, Josh Bell also homered and Upton drove in a pair of runs and had three hits for the Diamondbacks.
Bell gave the Diamondbacks a 2-0 lead in the second with a home run to center off starter Aaron Harang. It was Arizona's first since Upton homered against Colorado on May 17.
Upton hit a run-scoring single in the third and an RBI double in the fifth, and Kubel added a sacrifice fly in the fifth to give the Diamondbacks a 5-0 lead.
The Dodgers broke through against Cahill in the sixth on consecutive infield singles, a wild pitch and a sacrifice fly by Ethier to make it 5-1.
Henry Blanco, starting in place of the injured Miguel Montero, doubled home Overbay in the sixth against Scott Elbert for a 6-1 Arizona lead.
NOTES: Gibson said Montero, who strained his left groin in the sixth inning of the Dodgers' 6-1 win on Monday, will sit out at least until Friday. . Major League baseball announced two scoring changes before the game that affected the Dodgers. Dodgers INF Justin Sellers was credited with a single on his ground ball to third base in the sixth inning, which was originally ruled as an error on Bell. Ethier was credited with a double and RBI for his line drive to deep center field in the top of the fifth inning on May 17 at San Diego. The play was originally scored as an error on Cameron Maybin.