ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

D-backs’ bats can’t match strong defensive showing in loss to Dodgers

May 28, 2022, 9:17 PM | Updated: May 31, 2022, 7:38 am

Gavin Lux #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is tagged out at third base by infielder Josh Rojas #10 of ...

Gavin Lux #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is tagged out at third base by infielder Josh Rojas #10 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on May 28, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Dodgers defeated the Diamondbacks 3-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks’ defense and bullpen gave the team every opportunity to swipe a win away from the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday.

L.A. did not score after the fifth inning and four Dodgers ran into outs on the bases, including two pickoffs.

The D-backs, though, did not pick up the difference-making hit late and fell 3-2 at Chase Field, dropping their third straight game.

“We were fighting all the way until the end and we had some opportunities to tie the score and go ahead in a couple key situations,” manager Torey Lovullo said postgame. “We just couldn’t get that big hit.”

The setup was there.

Second baseman Ketel Marte extended his hitting streak to 10 games with a leadoff double in the ninth inning down a run. The heart of the order had a chance.

First baseman Christian Walker grounded out to third, failing to move Marte over. Outfielders David Peralta and Jake McCarthy followed with strikeouts to end the game.

The D-backs stranded six runners on Saturday, primarily early on as they were held hitless in innings 5-8.

They led 2-1 after four frames, as McCarthy and shortstop Geraldo Perdomo each picked up RBI triples in the second inning to grab a 2-1 lead.

Both balls were hit over 102 miles per hour, and McCarthy was the sole D-backs player with multiple hits.

“We did a good job of piling up some hits with the bottom of our order,” Lovullo said. “I thought Perdomo, Jake McCarthy had some really nice approaches.”

Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin dominated from there, allowing one hit over the next 4.1 innings to close out his performance. He surrendered only the two runs in six frames with seven punch outs.

The bullpen followed with three scoreless frames, with former D-backs pitcher Daniel Hudson grabbing the save.

Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner drove in a run with a single to tie the game 2-2 in the fifth inning off D-backs starter Merrill Kelly.

Catcher Will Smith followed with a low liner to right field which McCarthy laid out for a spectacular catch. First baseman Freddie Freeman, though, tagged from third and scored the eventual game-winning run.

Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts led off the ballgame with his 14th home run of the season. The National League’s home run leader, Betts continued to haunt the D-backs with a pair hits on Saturday. He has 15 home runs in 42 games against Arizona in his career.

Kelly, in his third start against L.A. this young season, finished with three earned runs and seven hits allowed with five punch outs in five innings. He also picked off Dodger designated hitter Edwin Rios in the second inning.

“Everything was a lot sharper, locations were better, so even though I didn’t get the result that I wanted, definitely something to build on moving forward,” Kelly said postgame. “I was happy with how I felt.”

Lovullo called on Kyle Nelson, Sean Poppen, Noe Ramirez and Joe Mantiply out of the pen, and the quartet kept the score tight.

The seventh inning was crucial for Arizona’s defense.

Second baseman Gavin Lux led off with a double and tagged up on a Betts fly out. Lux slid into third before the tag, although, replay revealed that Lux popped up off the base and was out.

Freeman then drew a walk, but Poppen picked him off to end the inning.

Arizona had not picked off two runners in a game since 2014.

Lovullo has seen a lot of positives from his defense recently, saying it is playing the way it should.

“Very pleased with our defense,” Lovullo said. “I couldn’t be more pleased with the pace in which we are playing defense. The trust and the crispness of our throws in some very crucial moments were fantastic today.”

Arizona bested Los Angeles in their first series matchup of the season in late April, which kicked off a stretch of 11 wins in 14 games. The Dodgers, though, have won seven straight against the D-backs since.

“It’s frustrating,” McCarthy said. “I don’t really think it’s specific to the Dodgers, but anytime a team comes in — they beat us four times last series and they’re up three now — you want to beat these guys.”

VARSHO UPDATE

D-backs catcher/outfielder Daulton Varsho was a late scratch for Saturday’s game as he deals with a scapula contusion from a hit-by-pitch.

Lovullo said he could not lift his right hand above his head before the game, but the manager is not ruling Varsho out for Sunday.

“So he’s getting work done and he’s gonna try and join us tomorrow,” Lovullo said. “That’s my mindset.”

UP NEXT

The D-backs will look to avoid the sweep Sunday at 1:10 p.m.

Arizona starter Zach Davies will take the mound against Tyler Anderson.

Tune in on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station for the action.

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