Merrill Kelly’s disastrous start dooms D-backs in 3rd straight loss to Dodgers
For the third straight game against the Dodgers in two days, the Arizona Diamondbacks took an early lead in Los Angeles on Tuesday.
And for the third contest in a row, the D-backs fell to their NL West Division rival, this time 12-2 in the second matchup of a doubleheader.
Jordan Luplow and Christian Walker gave Diamondbacks starter Merrill Kelly a two-run cushion before taking the mound with back-to-back solo home runs in the top of the first inning off Dodgers starter Tyler Anderson.
— Arizona Diamondbacks (@Dbacks) May 18, 2022
Kelly failed to record an out before the Dodgers tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom half of the frame.
Los Angeles’ Mookie Betts walked, Freddie Freeman doubled and Trea Turner brought them both in with a two-RBI single before getting thrown out at second base.
The Dodgers poured it on in the second with six runs, all of which came off of Kelly.
After walking Max Muncy and Cody Bellinger to start the inning, a Gavin Lux two-RBI double made it 4-2 Dodgers before another Turner RBI single made it 5-2 Los Angeles.
Edwin Rios homered the very next batter to make it 8-2 Dodgers with the sixth and final run of the second inning.
Kelly finished the night having only gone 2.0 innings and allowed eight earned runs on five hits (one HR), four walks (one IBB) to go along with two strikeouts on 56 pitches (35 strikes).
“We had a lot to overcome. Merrill got dinged up a little bit and I think we lost a little bit of momentum for a little while throughout the middle parts of this game,” manager Torey Lovullo told reporters postgame. “I felt we got off to a good start. We had a couple solo home runs and we were ready to go, we have one of our guys on the mound.
“But we’re a young team and we did a lot of immature things today. We have to tighten that up. I don’t care what venue it is. I don’t care where we’re playing, who we’re playing against — we have to play better.”
The Dodgers added three more insurance runs in the sixth and one more in the eighth off D-backs right-handed reliever Edwin Uceta, who was recalled from the team’s taxi squad earlier on Tuesday after RHP Keynan Middleton was placed on the 15-day injured list due to right elbow inflammation.
The Diamondbacks offensively finished the night with three runs on 11 hits and no walks and left six runners on base while going 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and striking out a total of eight times. They also committed three errors defensively.
“Sloppy in a lot of different ways in a lot of different areas,” Lovullo said. “We have to put the ball in play. We talk about it. These guys slug with men on base and you can’t give them free passes. Got to put the ball in play. You have to pick up the baseball and you got to throw it the right way to the right bases.
“When you give them extra outs, it’s going to cost you and that’s what happened today.”
Arizona has now lost five games in a row and falls to two games under .500 with a record of 18-20.
The D-backs complete the four-game series in three days against the Dodgers on Wednesday at 1:10 p.m. on ESPN 620 AM or 98.7 FM HD-2.
Arizona RHP Zach Davies is scheduled to start against Los Angeles RHP Walker Buehler.