D-backs take too long to get going vs. Dodgers, drop to .500 for 1st time since April

Aug 8, 2023, 11:25 PM

Tommy Pham...

Tommy Pham #28 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts to a strike out against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the sixth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on August 08, 2023 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks are a .500 club.

They had not been since April 7 entering Tuesday, more than four months ago, when they improved to 4-4 with a win over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chase Field in the second week of the the season. 

The Dodgers (66-46) returned to the Valley for the first time since that series on Tuesday and knocked Arizona right back to the plateau it had surpassed by 16 games at four different points this year.

The D-backs (57-57) rallied late to cut a 5-2 deficit to 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth, but Corbin Carroll bounced into a double play to end the game. He did not run out of the box, initially thinking the chopper to first baseman Freddie Freeman was foul. He said there was no excuse for it.

“As someone who prides himself and I think we’re a team that prides itself on playing hard and playing the right way and doing the right things, that was situation when I didn’t do it,” Carroll said. “One to reflect on and learn from.”

The loss was Arizona’s seventh in a row, its longest losing streak since the 52-110 campaign in 2021.

“Winning a big league baseball game is hard. There’s things that you can do inside of the game that either make it more difficult or a little bit easier to to go out and win moments and end up winning margins,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “When you don’t win the margins, you end up having difficulties.”

The D-backs were shutout through the first seven innings on Tuesday, with Dodgers starter Julio Urias continuing his success vs. Arizona with six shutout frames. He’s allowed 10 earned runs in 64 innings vs. the D-backs in his career (1.41 ERA).

Former D-backs outfielder David Peralta robbed catcher Carson Kelly of a two-run homer in the fifth inning to keep the shutout intact.

Arizona’s offense ramped up late with five hits and two walks across the final two innings. Tommy Pham, Christian Walker, Alek Thomas and Ketel Marte all picked up RBI knocks. They took extra bases when possible and applied pressure to a Dodgers bullpen trying to hold on for dear life by the end.

Lovullo said there was a certain energy in focus in the dugout while noting that his team isn’t good enough to play for two of nine innings and win.

“We didn’t play our game, just kind of rolling with what was happening. That’s not us,” Lovullo said. “We play with intensity and energy and a certain swagger. I haven’t seen that in a while. But I saw it in those two innings.”

The Diamondbacks had not scored four runs in a game since July 31, their most recent win 4-3 over the San Francisco Giants. Arizona has not reached five runs since July 26, a span in which its 32 runs are the fewest in the league.

Starting pitcher Brandon Pfaadt did not receive much of even a threat for run support early on.

Pfaadt battled through the first four frames with one earned run and four strikeouts.

He walked the lead-off man in the fifth, and with one out, Mookie Betts made him work.

They faced off for an 11-pitch at-bat that ended with an RBI double. Freeman followed with a double poked down the line in left at 60 mph off the ball, followed by a flare RBI single from Will Smith.

Pfaadt’s final line was 4.2 innings, four earned runs, six hits, two walks and five strikeouts. The Dodgers did not hit him particularly hard outside a pair of doubles with an 83.5 mph exit velocity. It was also Pfaadt’s second MLB start out of 10 without a home run allowed.

“Brandon was very adequate,” Lovullo said. “He was following a good game plan was was getting information and just really challenging hitters in and making pitches. It was that third time around the lineup that they started to nick him up a little bit and some patient approaches resulted in some base hits … ended up scoring four run which really held up for most of the game.”

Peralta’s return

Chase Field showed a video tribute for Peralta early in Tuesday’s game. He tipped his cap in left field while receiving an ovation.

“It was special for me, it was really special,” Peralta told Sportsnet LA after the game. “The D-backs, they have a special place in my heart and I’m thankful to be here. Thank you to the fans for supporting me.”

The Diamondbacks traded Peralta to the Tampa Bay Rays last season at the deadline, and he signed with L.A. during the offseason. This is his second road series at Chase Field after playing 961 games for Arizona.

Scoreboard watching

While the Dodgers have picked up 10 games on the D-backs since they had a virtual tie at the top of the NL West less than a month ago, Arizona remains two games back of a wild card spot entering Wednesday.

The Chicago Cubs jumped back into the third wild card spot with a win over the New York Mets.

What’s next?

Merrill Kelly will start for the D-backs in the two-game series finale Wednesday night against Dodgers rookie Bobby Miller.

Arizona has Thursday off before facing the San Diego Padres in three games from Friday to Sunday.

First pitch from Chase Field is at 6:40 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and 

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