PHOENIX -- Andruw Jones showed up early Monday at Chase Field to work in the cages, and later on the field he had what hitting coach Mike Easler called his best batting practice session of the season.
But Jones couldn't replicate in the game what he did in practice, his continued struggles at the plate mirroring those of the Dodgers' lineup in a 9-3 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks, who used Esteban Loaiza as a launching pad to extend their home-opener celebration.
"Cage is cage, batting practice is batting practice," Jones said. "The game is totally different."
Jones swung at and missed a wild pitch by Diamondbacks starter Dan Haren in the second inning in his first at-bat, which ended with him grounding out to third. Jones finished 0 for 4 with two strikeouts as his average dropped to .115.
"He just can't find that zone where he can lock in," Manager Joe Torre said. "He's not very selective right now, and he's flying out of there."
Torre and Easler said they continued to see from Jones the problem he was trying to fix, the dropping of his back elbow.
But Jones alone couldn't be blamed for the defeat as the Dodgers were limited to eight hits and were one for seven with runners in scoring position.
"Guys who are capable of hitting are going to hit," Torre said. "We're going to hit."
The Dodgers have faced an all-star in each of their last three games -- Jake Peavy and Chris Young of San Diego, and Haren of Arizona -- and have been limited to a combined six runs in those games.
"The pitching has been good," Rafael Furcal said. "You have to give credit to those guys."
Haren, who was acquired by Arizona in an off-season deal with Oakland, picked up his first win with his new club, striking out five in six innings. He gave up six hits and three runs, of which only one was earned.
Regaining semblance of his former self was Jeff Kent, who sat out the Dodgers' series-ending victory in San Diego on Sunday and had what amounted to 48 hours of rest. He belted a solo home run in the fourth to bring the Dodgers to within 4-1.
Kent also drove in the second run of the Dodgers' two-run sixth on a single to left to close the gap to 4-3. The Dodgers' first run that inning came when Russell Martin singled to right, advancing Rafael Furcal to second. With Furcal rounding the bag, Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton rifled the ball to third. The ball sailed high and into the stands, and Furcal scored on a two-base error.
Loaiza put the Dodgers at an early disadvantage, his first 11 pitches resulting in four runs for the Diamondbacks. Pitch No. 11 was launched an estimated 445 feet for a two-run shot by Mark Reynolds, the first of his two home runs.
Torre sent Delwyn Young to pinch-hit for Loaiza in the fifth, at which time Loaiza had retired the last 10 batters he faced. Torre explained that the Dodgers had to put some runs on the board, but Loaiza was puzzled by why he was pulled.
The bullpen gave up a combined five runs in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings.
"I didn't have no clue why they were taking me out," said Loaiza, who fell to 0-2 and saw his earned-run average inflate to 6.75.
Torre, on the other hand, wouldn't say if Loaiza would remain his fifth starter.
"I'm not looking to beyond tomorrow right now," Torre said.