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Dodgers' 1-0 loss to Arizona is a new and old story

It's the first time since 1914 that the franchise drops a game when giving up no more than one hit. Chad Billingsley works eight outstanding innings but contributes to the unearned run with an errant pick-off try.

May 14, 2011|By Jim Peltz
  • Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley delivers against the Diamondbacks on Saturday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
Dodgers starting pitcher Chad Billingsley delivers against the Diamondbacks… (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles…)

It hadn't happened to the Dodgers' franchise in nearly a century.

Chad Billingsley turned in a dazzling eight innings Saturday, holding the Arizona Diamondbacks to one unearned run and one hit. Six times the right-hander retired the side in order.

And the Dodgers lost.

That's because the Dodgers made one costly error and, with the club struggling again to mount any offense, this time against a pitcher making his first major league start, the Diamondbacks won, 1-0, at Dodger Stadium.

It was the first time the Dodgers franchise had lost when giving up no more than one hit since 1914, when the Chicago Cubs defeated the Brooklyn Robins, 3-2.

"It's tough to lose that one," Manager Don Mattingly said. "They pitched well, we pitched well. We got to be able to score."

In their last 10 games, the Dodgers have scored more than four runs only once.

Saturday's game in front of 30,602 turned on a play in the second inning.

After Stephen Drew led off with a double and with Miguel Montero at the plate, Billingsley spun and made a pick-off throw to second base. But no one was there to take the throw.

The ball sailed into center field, Drew moved to third base and scored on Melvin Mora's sacrifice fly.

Said Billingsley: "It was a mix-up on a pick-off play." He refused to elaborate or cast any blame.

But shortstop Jamey Carroll took responsibility.

"It was my fault," he said. "Obviously, I was supposed to cover. Miscommunication."

More perturbing for the Dodgers was that the play ultimately carried such weight.

That's because rookie Josh Collmenter, a right-hander with a pronounced over-the-top arm motion, handcuffed the Dodgers in his six innings of work.

One of the two hits Collmenter gave up was Billingsley's double down the right-field line in the third inning. Billingsley had a double and a single in his previous start.

Collmenter has "a different arm angle, and a good change-up off that arm angle, that made it hard for us to make adjustments . . . a little higher arm angle than you're used to," Carroll said.

Mattingly said Collmenter "got ahead in the count all day" and that "it's always dangerous when you get a guy you haven't seen."

The Dodgers threatened in each of the last two innings but couldn't push across a run.

James Loney led off the eighth inning with a double and was replaced by pinch-runner Tony Gwynn Jr. Rod Barajas moved Gwynn to third base with a sacrifice bunt. But pinch-hitter Dioner Navarro struck out and Jay Gibbons, also pinch-hitting, flied out.

In the ninth inning, Carroll led off with a single against closer J.J. Putz. Aaron Miles twice tried and failed to lay down a sacrifice bunt, then struck out. Andre Ethier walked but Matt Kemp hit into a game-ending double play.

Mattingly was asked about reaching a loss in a way the franchise hadn't seen in nearly a century. He shrugged and said, "It doesn't really matter how you get there."

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