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D-backs fall to the Dodgers on Friday, losing streak reaches 15 in a row

Caleb Smith #31 of the Arizona Diamondbacks delivers a first inning pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field on June 18, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Despite a brilliant pitching performance from starter Caleb Smith, the Arizona Diamondbacks offense was missing in action and the bullpen could not put up zeros in a 3-0 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday night at Chase Field.

The loss is the team’s 15th in a row, setting a franchise record for longest losing streak in team history. They have lost 29 of their last 31 games.

Josh Rojas was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks, a double, and a stolen base while David Peralta reached base safely in his 10th straight game.

“I’m pissed,” Manager Torey Lovullo said via the postgame Zoom press conference on the losing streak. “I don’t like it, and we got to find a way out of it.”

“We got to go out and execute and do the things we’re supposed to do the way we know how to do them and get the job done and win a baseball game. That’s it,” Lovullo said.

In his fifth start of 2021, Caleb Smith was once again very effective and was able to pitch his way out of some jams using some timely double plays that kept the Dodgers from scoring during his outing.

He walked two batters in the first but got Albert Pujols to hit into an inning ending double play. He then pitched two clean innings before allowing his first hit of the game in the fourth to another D-back, A.J. Pollock.

An error at third base by Asrdrubal Cabrera extended the inning and enabled the Dodgers to load the bases, but Smith was able to once again get an inning ending double play to keep L.A. off the scoreboard.

The error was just the team’s third total error in their last 12 games.

After issuing his fourth walk of the day in the sixth inning to Chris Taylor, Smith once again got an on-demand double play to end the inning against Justin Turner.

Smith pitched six outstanding innings against the Dodgers, allowing just one hit and no runs. He struck out five and walked four.

“It was exactly what we needed on a night where we were a tad thin in the bullpen, we got six unbelievable innings from Caleb,” Lovullo said on his starter’s outing.

“He fought and clawed for everything that he got today,” the D-backs manager added. “He was making pitches. Early in the game, he was making pitches when he had some traffic out there. It was a very good outing for him.

“He carried us into that seventh inning with a chance to win a baseball game. He did more than enough today.”

The game was scoreless until the 8th inning, when former D-back Steven Souza Jr. reared his head to smite his former ballclub.

In the seventh inning, he made a spectacular sliding catch in right field to get Nick Ahmed on a foul ball. Then in the top of the eighth, after getting brushed back by a Joe Matiply pitch high and in, he took the next pitch deep to left field for the game’s first run.

The Dodgers added one more in the inning against Mantiply and a third run on a Stefan Crichton balk, but the Souza home run was all they needed against a listless D-backs offense.

“I have very high expectations of our offensive capabilities. We can drop a three-spot on anybody at any time, we just got to remember how to do it,” Lovullo commented.

Rojas was hot early, starting the game with a leadoff double against Dodgers starting pitcher and yet another former D-back Trevor Bauer. He was stranded despite being in scoring position with no outs.

Rojas found himself in scoring position when he was on base in his first three plate appearances, but the D-backs just couldn’t bring him in for any runs.

Arizona went 0-for-6 with runners in scoring position. Their final 13 batters recorded outs.

The D-backs offense as a unit couldn’t get anything cooking against Bauer in his lengthy outing. Eduardo Escobar’s hitting streak ends at six in the loss.

“I think we’re all getting tired of it,” Lovullo said on this difficult stretch. “The fans are getting tired of it. You guys are getting tired of it. It’s time to find a way.”

UP NEXT

The D-backs will have Matt Peacock on the mound for game two of this three-game series with the Dodgers. First pitch on Saturday night is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.

Peacock will make his second career start against Los Angeles and is 1-4 as a starting pitcher for Arizona this season with a 4.88 ERA. He has allowed three earned runs or less in all six of his starts.


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