PHOENIX (AP) - Watching Josh Beckett pitch his best game for the Dodgers, Los Angeles manager Don Mattingly decided it was the pitcher's game to win or lose.
Didn't work out the way they wanted.
A.J. Pollock hit a one-out double in the ninth inning and scored on Paul Goldschmidt's seeing-eye grounder to right field, lifting the Arizona Diamondbacks to a 1-0 win Sunday.
Beckett (0-2) allowed six hits, walked one and struck out nine over 8 1-3 innings, his longest outing since a one-hit shutout for Boston against Tampa Bay on June 15, 2011.
Mattingly didn't have a reliever warm up until Pollock reached base,
``It was a no-brainer,' the manager said. ``here was no question. It was his game. That was electric today.'
Beckett entered 1-2 with a 5.16 at Chase Field. The only batter to reach third was Cliff Pennington, who was stranded twice after singling in the third and doubling in the fifth.
``If a guy is throwing the ball well through eight innings and hasn't given up a run, I don't care who it is, they earned the right to go back out there,' Beckett said.
Beckett retired Martin Prado on a grounder starting the ninth and Pollock doubled to center field. Beckett ran the count to 3-0 before walking Miguel Montero intentionally. Goldschmidt then singled to right past a diving Mark Ellis at second to give the Diamondbacks their 12th win in their past 15 games against the Dodgers.
``He executed all day long,' Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. ``In the first inning `til the end, he executed all his pitches. He was in complete control of his pitches, his tempo, his emotion. After a while I just got out of the way and let him call his own game. He knew he was feeling good. His execution was almost flawless.'
J.J. Putz (1-0) walked one in the ninth for the win.
Arizona starter Trevor Cahill allowed six hits and struck out four without walking a batter - his first walk-less game in six starts since beating the Dodgers on Sept. 12. Los Angeles' best threats came in the seventh and eighth innings.
Adrian Gonzalez doubled off the center-field wall - his third straight hit and sixth in seven plate appearances - leading off the seventh and became the first Dodgers player to reach second base. But Prado caught Andre Ethier's looping liner to second, A.J. Ellis flied out and Luis Cruz grounded out.
In the eighth, Nick Punto singled and Beckett sacrificed. But Carl Crawford grounded out against Tony Sipp - he's 0 for 7 against the pitcher - and Mark Ellis grounded out off Brad Ziegler.
NOTES: Gonzalez finished 3 for 4, the ninth time in his career he has at least three hits in consecutive games. ... Dodgers CF Matt Kemp was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts, dropping his batting average to .174. Kemp has struck out 14 times in 45 at_bats. ... Diamondbacks 2B Aaron Hill left in the bottom of the fourth after aggravating his sore left hand. Hill was making his first start since he was hit on the left Tuesday against Pittsburgh. He drove in a run as a pinch-hitter Saturday and was 0 for 1 against Beckett before he was replaced by Pollock. ... Cahill got 22 outs with 93 pitches. ... Prado started in left, then replaced Hill at second base. ... Los Angeles RHP Chad Billingsley, who scattered five hits and allowed one run in six innings against San Diego on Wednesday, faces LHP Eric Stults and the Padres on Monday. ... Arizona RHP Brandon McCarthy brings a 2-0 record against New York into Tuesday's start at Yankee Stadium. McCarthy, who is 1-0 in two starts in New York, will face RHP Ivan Nova.
The Associated Press News Service
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