PHOENIX (AP) - Except for one pitch, Hiroki Kuroda looked good, continuing a string of solid starts by Dodgers pitchers.
What hurt Los Angeles was hitting, continuing another season-long theme.
Kuroda was solid other than a three-run homer by Brandon Allen, but Los Angeles let Arizona starter Ian Kennedy off the hook and managed just five hits in a 3-2 loss to the Diamondbacks Saturday night.
``We couldn't get them in when we had a chance,' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.
Matt Kemp homered for the second straight game, a solo shot in the second inning off Kennedy. The Dodgers' best chance to add to it came in the fifth inning, when they loaded the bases against an unusally-off-the-mark Kennedy.
The Diamondbacks right-hander walked three in the inning, including Rafael Furcal with the bases loaded to score one run, but the Dodgers couldn't get anything else off him or anyone else the rest of the game to see their five-game winning streak end.
``He walked three guys in that inning and we have a chance right there,' Mattingly said. ``If we can click a hit right there, get a couple of more right there it would give us a chance to get the lead.'
Allen provided the Diamondbacks all the runs they needed.
A September call-up the previous two years, Allen opened the season at Triple-A Reno after being one of the last cuts in spring training. After a productive stint in the minors, he was called up after the All-Star break with the hope of giving the Diamondbacks some much-needed hitting help.
Allen couldn't come through in his first at-bat back, striking out as a pinch hitter with two on and two out in the ninth inning of Friday's 6-4 loss to the Dodgers.
Allen wasted no time putting what he thought was a questionable call behind him, lifting a 3-2 fastball from Kuroda (6-11) out to right for a three-run homer in the second inning.
It was one of just five hits for Arizona, but Kennedy (10-3) didn't need any more help than that, overcoming some late control problems to become Arizona's first 10-game winner. Fill-in closer David Hernandez finished it off, working a perfect ninth for his eighth save.
``It was a pretty tough at-bat last night to come up as a pinch hitter with the game on the line,' Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. ``This was a different situation and he was the difference today. It was more than welcome. We're not swinging the bats very well at all.'
Arizona had gone into a bit of a slide after climbing back into contention in the NL West.
The Diamondbacks led the division for eight days after a massive May and were still right behind the Giants in early July. Arizona stumbled heading into the All-Star break, though, losing three of five, and dropped 4 1/2 games behind San Francisco after Friday's loss to the Dodgers.
Kennedy was just the man to get them turned around.
He and Daniel Hudson have been Arizona's most consistent pitchers, both winning nine games before the break. Kennedy allowed three runs in six innings to beat the Cardinals his last start and was sharp again.
The right-hander gave up the big blast to Kemp in the second inning and ran into trouble in the fifth by walking three batters, including Rafael Furcal with the bases loaded.
Kennedy was fine after that, leaving after giving up two runs and on five hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings.
``It was a good performance by him because he really didn't have his offspeed stuff at all,' Gibson said. ``But he was pumping his fastball over and locating it well.'
Kuroda held his own after All-Star Clayton Kershaw's win in the opener - except for that one pitch. It came in the second inning, when Allen lifted his three-run homer to deep right to put Arizona up 3-1.
The Diamondbacks didn't muster much else off Kuroda, who retired the final nine batters he faced and allowed three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts in six innings.
``I wish I could take that pitch back,' Kuroda said of the pitch to Allen through an interpreter. ``I could have walked that guy, but it was early in the game and I wanted to attack the zone.'
Notes: Tom Willis, who was born without arms or hands, threw out the first pitch with his foot. He's been throwing first pitches around the majors to raise awareness for his Pitch for Awareness campaign on disabilities. ... Kennedy has walked in a run three times this season, but allowed just one hit in 14 at_bats against him with the bases loaded. ... Los Angeles has not allowed a run in the first inning since June 29 against Minnesota and has given up the fewest in the majors at 23 on the season.
The Associated Press News Service
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