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Dodgers lose, 7-1, to Diamondbacks and stumble into the break

They drop 15 of their last 20 games, including three in a row to Arizona. Says Don Mattingly: 'We'll see if we're good enough in the second half.'

July 08, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers starter Chris Capuano paces around the mound as Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt rounds the bases after hitting a three-run home run in the fifth inning Sunday.
Dodgers starter Chris Capuano paces around the mound as Arizona's… (Roy Dabner / EPA )

PHOENIX -- There were conflicting emotions in the Dodgers' clubhouse.

Some voiced frustration with how the Dodgers lost 15 of their last 20 games before the All-Star break, including a 7-1 defeat to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday at Chase Field. What was once a 71/2 -game lead in the National League West had almost completely vanished.

"I don't like the way it ended," Manager Don Mattingly said, pointing specifically to the three consecutive losses to the Diamondbacks.

But there was also relief.

The Dodgers went into the midseason intermission in first place, half a game ahead of the second-place San Francisco Giants and four games ahead of the third-place Diamondbacks.

"We're right there," pitcher Chris Capuano said.

When they resume play Friday against the San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium, they figure to have Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier back in their lineup.

Kemp has played in only two of the last 51 games because of a strained left hamstring. Ethier has sat out the last 11 contests because of a strained muscle in the rib cage.

"It could've gotten pretty ugly," utilityman Jerry Hairston Jr. said. "When you have your No. 3 and 4 hitters out, it's going to affect you."

That was obvious Sunday, as the Dodgers were shut down by rookie right-hander Trevor Bauer.

A former UCLA star, Bauer earned his first victory by holding the Dodgers to two hits and a walk over six innings. Of the two hits Bauer gave up, one was by Capuano.

Of the Dodgers' five hits, three came in the ninth inning, when they scored.

The Dodgers were never in the contest.

The Diamondbacks blew the game open in the fifth inning on a three-run home run by Paul Goldschmidt against Capuano. The Dodgers were down 5-0.

Capuano, who didn't pitch in the majors in 2008 and 2009 because of elbow problems, headed into the All-Star break with a 9-4 record and 2.91 earned-run average.

Capuano has been one of several encouraging revelations in an injury-filled season that has forced Mattingly to use 73 lineups in 87 games.

Closer Kenley Jansen, who has 15 saves, has stabilized the back end of the bullpen.

The two runs given up by setup man Ronald Belisario in the seventh inning Sunday were the first runs charged to him since June 15. In 29 appearances, Belisario has posted an ERA of 1.53, lowest on the team. The Venezuelan right-hander sat out last season because a positive cocaine test prevented him from securing a work visa to the United States.

Right-hander Josh Lindblom (3.07 ERA in 39 games) and left-hander Scott Elbert (2.73 ERA in 35 games) have established themselves as dependable late-inning options.

"We'll see if we're good enough in the second half," Mattingly said.

Kemp and Ethier might not be the only additions in the coming weeks.

With the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline approaching, the Dodgers continue to search for offensive reinforcements. With first baseman James Loney and third baseman Juan Uribe combining for 37 runs batted in, the team is looking to upgrade at one of the corner infield positions.

They Dodgers would also like to add a starting pitcher and a left-handed reliever.

dylan.hernandez@latimes.com

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