LOS ANGELES (AP) - Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw lowered his ERA at home to 1.52 in nine starts, and still remained winless in his last four outings.
He left the game with Los Angeles leading 3-1, but the bullpen couldn't hang on and gave up four runs in the ninth to lose 5-4 to Arizona on Monday night.
Kershaw allowed one run and six hits, struck out five and walked two. He's had two no-decisions in those last four starts. The left-hander allowed one or fewer earned runs for the eighth time in 14 starts, but the Dodgers fell to 5-3 in those eight starts.
``It was a battle out there,' he said. ``I didn't have great fastball command. I was 1-0, 2-0 basically the whole night. But I made some pitches when I had to and got out of some jams. They rolled some balls over that they probably could have hit hard, and we turned some double plays. I'm glad I made it through seven.'
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly removed Kershaw after 99 pitches.
``When he's really feeling good, he's kind of giving you that `I got it. I got it. I got it,'' Mattingly said. ``He's just aggressive about it, and as soon as you start walking toward him, he's letting you know (he wants to continue). But tonight it wasn't like that.'
After the D-backs' rally, the Dodgers tried one of their own in the bottom of the ninth.
Juan Uribe pulled them to 5-4 with a solo homer off Heath Bell. Tim Federowicz followed with a double that glanced off the glove of right fielder Gerardo Parra.
Pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker sacrificed Federowicz to third on Martin Prado's fielding error, but Bell retired three in a row to finish for his 12th save.
Brandon League (2-3) gave up four runs and four hits, struck out one and walked one in two-thirds of an inning for the loss.
``The confidence is there and I'm throwing every pitch with conviction,' he said. ``But once I release the ball, I have no control over what it does.'
Mattingly couldn't answer when asked if he would stick with League as the closer.
``His velocity is pretty much the same, but we don't see as many chases with the breaking ball and the location's not quite the same,' he said.
The last-place Dodgers fell to 8 1/2 games behind NL West-leading Arizona with their fifth straight loss to the D-backs.
``The games that you've got a chance to win, and you've got the right people in the game, when you don't win those - especially against the teams you're chasing - it's especially painful because it's a two-game swing,' Mattingly said.
Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig went 3 for 4 with a strikeout while hitting fourth in the lineup after batting leadoff in his first seven big league games last week. He was named NL player of the week on Monday for his stellar performance that featured 13 hits in 28 at_bats, four home runs and 10 RBIs.
Puig's single loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth, but Jerry Hairston Jr. grounded into a double play to third and Andre Ethier flied out to center to end the inning.
``We get the bases loaded, nobody out and don't get anything there,' Mattingly said. ``So that hurt us, not being able to tack on runs.'
First base umpire Clint Fagan called Hairston out at first to complete the double play. Mattingly came out to argue to no avail.
``The call at first really hurt us,' Mattingly said. ``I don't know how Clint misses that, but that's part of it.'
Willie Bloomquist put Arizona ahead with a bases-loaded, two-run infield single off League in a four-run ninth.
The D-backs closed to 3-2 on pinch-hitter Jason Kubel's infield single to second base that scored Martin Prado, who singled with one out in the ninth. Parra doubled to deep center before League walked pinch-hitter Didi Gregorius to load the bases.
Bloomquist hit a sharp grounder that shortstop Nick Punto stopped with a dive behind second base but couldn't hold onto the ball and Parra and Josh Wilson, running for Kubel, scored to give the D-backs a 4-3 lead, their first of the game.
Peter Moylan replaced League and gave up an RBI single to Paul Goldschmidt, making it 5-3.
Tony Sipp (3-1) pitched one-third of an inning for the victory.
Mark Ellis' homer in the fifth extended the Dodgers' lead to 3-1. He went 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored.
Uribe snapped a 1-all tie with his broken-bat double that scored Hairston, who singled and took second on Ethier's single. Puig opened the inning with a single, and tried to eke out an extra base on Hairston's hit but was thrown out at third by right fielder Parra.
Arizona's first run came on Miguel Montero's RBI single in the second that tied the game 1-1.
Parra robbed Federowicz of extra bases with a catch at the wall leading off the seventh. Federowicz hit the first pitch from Charles Brewer, who was making his major league debut after being called up earlier Monday.
D-backs starter Wade Miley gave up three runs and nine hits, struck out four and walked two.
NOTES: The D-backs recalled LHP Joe Paterson and Brewer from Triple-A Reno, optioned LHP Tyler Skaggs and placed LHP Matt Reynolds on the 15-day DL with a strained left elbow. ... Dodgers CF Matt Kemp, on the DL with a strained right hamstring, will rehab with the team through Wednesday, and then likely go on a minor league rehab assignment. ... Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez was out of the starting lineup for the fifth straight game because of a nagging left hamstring. The team said an MRI done Sunday didn't show any damage. ... The Dodgers recalled INF Justin Sellers from Triple-A Albuquerque, giving them another option to help fill the void until Ramirez returns.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved