Published January 13, 2015
The Arizona Diamondbacks will try not to lose any more ground in the NL West standings when they start a six-game road trip Monday with the first of three straight games against the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Diamondbacks' lead atop the division is down to 1 1/2 games ahead of both San Francisco and Colorado, and the club has lost three of four games, including the final two tests of a three-game weekend series with the Giants.
Arizona won Friday's opener, 3-1, but was demolished by a 10-5 score the following night. In Sunday's 6-2 setback at Chase Field, starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs was dealt the loss for giving up five runs and eight hits in five innings.
"I was keeping the fastball up," Skaggs said. "It's not easy when you're pitching like that. I have to work down in the zone."
A.J. Pollock had an RBI single and Jason Kubel scored on a balk for the D'backs, who were outhit by a 12-6 margin. Paul Goldschmidt went 0-for-4 and had an eight-game RBI streak come to an end.
Arizona will also visit San Diego on this journey through the NL West and hopes Wade Miley can right the ship when he takes the mound Monday. Miley ended a personal four-start winless drought in last Wednesday's 10-3 victory at St. Louis and allowed three runs in 6 2/3 innings.
The D'backs, who are 1-2 on a nine-game stretch against division foes, scored a total of eight runs during Miley's recent slide, then broke out in a big way against the Cardinals. Miley is 4-5 in 12 starts to go along with a 4.92 earned run average and defeated the Dodgers on May 8 with 7 2/3 innings of two-run ball in a 3-2 triumph.
Miley, a left-hander, owns a 3-1 mark with a 3.19 ERA in six lifetime meetings (5 starts) with the Dodgers.
Los Angeles will begin the final portion of its 10-game homestand Monday and split a four-game weekend set with the Atlanta Braves.
The Dodgers had won two straight and four of five games until dropping the last two tests with the Braves, suffering an 8-1 loss on Sunday. Matt Magill, who was recalled from the minors beforehand, drew the start for a banged-up L.A. rotation and was reached for seven runs -- three earned -- and four hits in 3 2/3 innings to take the loss.
"He can't get into bad counts. He can't expect to get away with it for very long. It's tough to watch, but we put him in a bad position, having to get on a plane just to get here," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Skip Schumaker knocked in the lone run for the Dodgers, who fell to 4-3 on the homestand and sit last in the NL West standings. Yasiel Puig had three hits and continued to shine since his promotion from Double-A Chattanooga. He is hitting .464 with four homers and 10 RBI in seven games.
Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier did not play on Sunday because of a sore right foot and is questionable for Monday's opener with Arizona. Ethier fouled a pitch off of his foot in Saturday's 2-1 loss and is batting .229 with four home runs and 15 RBI this season.
Hanley Ramirez is also dealing with a nagging hamstring injury and has been out of the starting lineup for four straight games. Matt Kemp also sustained a setback during a workout test on his strained right hamstring.
"We've hit a little bit of a snag, because he felt just a little something today still," Mattingly told the team's website. "He's still not there yet. We're not where we need to be with him. We do know that he's not 100 percent."
Hoping to bring some cheer to the Dodgers Monday will be starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw, though, is 0-2 with a 4.05 earned run average in his past three starts and toed the rubber in last Wednesday's 6-2 loss to San Diego. He was reached for three runs, two of which were earned, in six innings to drop to 5-4 in 13 starts with a 1.91 ERA, the third-best in the majors.
Kershaw, a left-hander, is 0-1 with a 2.51 ERA in two starts against the Diamondbacks this season and owns a 7-6 mark in 16 career starts in this series to go along with a 2.29 ERA.
Arizona is 5-1 against Los Angeles this season and has won the last four meetings, including a three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium from May 6-8. The D'backs are 9-2 in the last 11 trips to Chavez Ravine. Goldschmidt is hitting .458 with four homers and 11 RBI in six games against the Dodgers this season.