PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona had the momentum and the bases loaded with just one out, seemingly on the cusp of making it all the way back from a six-run deficit.
Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon erased any thought of finishing the comeback with a stab of the glove and a flick of the wrist.
Los Angeles scored six runs in the third inning off Josh Collmenter and Gordon made the play of the game, turning a line drive by Justin Upton in the seventh inning into a double play that preserved the Dodgers' 7-4 win over the Diamondbacks on Friday night.
``The play Dee makes, I don't know how many guys make that play,' Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "That was a seed that Justin hit. That play got us out of that. These guys get rolling and in their home park, they get momentum going it is tough. That play right there takes a little bit of the air out of their sails.
The Dodgers got to Collmenter early, pushing the rookie out after seven outs. Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley dominated early before running into trouble in the seventh inning, when Arizona scored two runs to pull within 6-3.
Gordon made sure they didn't get any more, snaring Upton's bases-loaded line drive, then quickly threw to second to double up Sean Burroughs, who had strayed too far off the bag.
``We had our opportunity there,' Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. ``Didn't get what we should have, made a baserunning mistake and got doubled up. Good play by Gordon, but you've got nowhere to go.'
The Dodgers are well back in the NL West, thanks to a struggling offense, but had no trouble swinging the bats against Arizona.
Rod Barajas hit his 10th homer in the eighth inning and drove in three runs, Los Angeles matched a season-high with its six-run third inning and Casey Blake had three of its 11 hits. Billingsley was solid before getting into trouble late and Javy Guerra got the final four outs for his 10th straight save.
``We got a couple of big hits with some guys on base and kind of continued to hit,' Mattingly said. ``We got some good at_bats there and the one Rod got late made me feel better. These guys keep coming and to tack on a run, I know what that does to you when you are chasing - you get that extra run it kind of pushes you back down a little bit.'
Arizona was coming off an impressive road trip and returned to a rare desert occurrence in recent years: a division race.
After a standings-climbing May, the Diamondbacks lingered within striking distance of the Giants and caught them on the last road trip, finishing it 6-3 after winning a rare series in the Bay Area that put them within a half-game of the World Series champions.
A second straight shaky start by Collmenter prevented Arizona from gaining any ground.
The over-the-top-throwing rookie had the shortest start of his career the last time out, giving up five earned runs in 3 2-3 innings against the Dodgers. Gibson considered skipping Collmenter's spot in the rotation, but opted to send him out to give the other starters extra rest with Thursday's off day.
Collmenter escaped trouble in the first inning thanks to an against-the-wall catch by Chris Young in center and Gerardo Parra's diving catch in left, but wasn't so fortunate in the third.
Andre Ethier and Juan Rivera had run-scoring hits in the inning, Aaron Miles a sacrifice fly and another run came in on an error by Upton in right on Blake's single. Barajas greeted reliever Micah Owings with a two-run double and the Dodgers led 6-0 after sending 10 hitters to bat.
Collmenter allowed six runs and eight hits.
``I just wasn't as fine with my pitches as I needed to be,' Collmenter said. ``Even when I did mix them a little bit, they were guessing one or two and I'd get behind and not make the pitches I needed to.'
Billingsley was coming off a troublesome start of his own, allowing six runs with five walks in a loss to the Diamondbacks on Saturday. He was strong for the first five innings, then gave up a sacrifice fly to Young in the sixth.
The Diamondbacks chased Billingsley with three straight singles in the seventh, pulling within 6-3 on RBI singles by Willie Bloomquist and Parra. Arizona missed a chance at more runs when Gordon made the diving catch on Upton's liner and doubled up Burroughs at second.
Billingsley allowed three runs and seven hits in six innings.
``I had good fastball command today,' Billingsley said. ``I was able to move it on all parts of the zone. That was the main thing. I had a good cutter, slider today and a little two-seamer and some changeups.'
Notes: The Dodgers were given a pregame speech by Anthony Robles, the Arizona State wrestler who won an NCAA title this year despite being born with just one leg. ... Burroughs ended a 0-for-20 streak with a pinch-hit single in the seventh inning. ... Diamondbacks 3B Ryan Roberts made a nifty catch with his back to the plate near the stands in the seventh inning on a fly ball by Ethier. ... Diamondbacks LHP Joe Saunders goes for his third straight win on Saturday and will face RHP Nathan Eovaldi, who will be called up from Double-A Chattanooga. ... RHP John Ely will be sent down to clear space on the roster for Eovaldi. ... Saunders has struggled in the first inning, allowing 17 runs in 22 starts, with opponents hitting .355 against him. ... Eovaldi, who had never pitched above Single-A before this season, will be the fourth pitcher to be called up by the Dodgers from Chattanooga, joining Rubby De La Rosa, Guerra and reliever Josh Lindblom.
The Associated Press News Service
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