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Dodgers let another early lead slip away in 5-3 loss to Arizona

Chad Billingsley loses his fifth straight start when he can't hold an early lead.

July 07, 2012|By Steve Dilbeck
  • Gerardo Parra celebrates as he scores the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly by Stephen Drew in the fifth inning.
Gerardo Parra celebrates as he scores the go-ahead run on a sacrifice fly… (Rick Scuteri / Associated…)

Here’s a pattern the Dodgers want to avoid: Jumping out in front only for their starting pitcher to give it all back.

It looked familiar Saturday when another early lead came and went for the Dodgers in their 5-3 loss to the Diamondbacks.

For the second consecutive game, the Dodgers took the early lead, only to watch the Diamondbacks come from behind.

The best news for the Dodgers came before the game even started, when they learned the Giants had already lost. Despite losing to the Diamondbacks, the Dodgers maintained their half-game lead in the National League West.

The Dodgers opened the scoring, as has been their way of late, with a pair of runs in the first inning. In their last four games, the Dodgers have scored as many runs in the first innings (seven) as they have in the other 35 innings combined.

This time they got a one-out double from Luis Cruz and a two-run homer from Jerry Hairston Jr.  in the top of the first off right-hander Trevor Cahill to take an early 2-0 lead. Cahill (7-7) did not give up another run in his seven innings.

It was Hairston’s fourth home run of the season, but second in four games.

Chad Billingsley held the Diamondbacks in check through four scoreless innings, but lost the lead when he surrendered three runs in the fifth.

After Miguel Montero doubled and Geoff Blum singled before the Dodgers’ best buddy on the Diamondbacks, Gerardo Parra, doubled both home. A Cahill bouncer advanced Parra to third, where he scored the go-ahead run on a Stephen Drew sacrifice fly to deep left.

Justin Upton hit Arizona’s fifth double off Billingsley in the sixth, took third on a Jason Kubel fly out and scored on a Paul Goldschmidt sacrifice fly to right.

A.J. Ellis  hit a line-drive solo home run in the seventh to pull the Dodgers back to within one. It was the seventh home run of the season for the catcher, giving the Dodgers a touch of unexpected power.

Billingsley (4-9) went six innings, giving up the four runs on six hits without allowing a walk.

He struck out five to give him 1,003 career strikeouts, making him only the 12th Los Angeles Dodger to reach the 1,000-strikeout mark. Still, it wasn’t enough to prevent him from losing his fifth straight start for the first time in his career.

Arizona added a final run on a solo home run by Kubel off Josh Lindblom in the eighth inning.

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