Diamondbacks third baseman Chris Johnson is congratulated by teammates… (Lisa Blumenfeld / Getty…)
The Dodgers were understandably all excited. They had just swept the rival Giants in San Francisco. Had regained a share of the division lead for the first time in more than two weeks.
And now after a successful 10-game trip, they were home Monday against the Diamondbacks.
Yet Manager Don Mattingly, who’s been around the diamond once or twice, knew what loomed.
“This is a dangerous series,” he said. “It’s a trap series. It’s an easy thing to be flat.”
Don Mattingly, a regular Carnac the Magnificent.
The Dodgers looked plenty flat in their 7-2 loss to the Diamondbacks before an announced Dodger Stadium crowd of 33,180. They stayed even in the NL West standings with the Giants, who lost in 10 innings to the Mets, 8-7.
Of course, when your starting pitcher is giving up a three-run homer in the first inning and a grand slam in the fifth -- as Aaron Harang did Monday -- a team is going to appear as flat as home plate.
Paul Goldschmidt followed a pair of singles from Gerardo Para and Aaron Hill in the first with his 14th home run of the season to give Arizona an early 3-0 lead.
It stayed that way heading into the fifth inning as right-hander Trevor Cahill easily put the Dodgers down, before a walk, a Jason Kubel double and an intentional walk loaded the bases for the Diamondbacks.
That brought up Chris Johnson, whom the Diamondbacks had just acquired from the Astros. Johnson crushed a Harang offering for the grand slam.
Arizona’s new guy ended up having a much better night than the Dodgers’ new guy. Hanley Ramirez, in his first game at home since joining the Dodgers last week, went hitless in four at-bats.
Harang (7-6) left after five innings, having surrendered the seven runs on nine hits and three walks.
Cahill (9-9) beat the Dodgers for the third time in four starts this season. He threw six innings, giving up one run on six hits and three walks.
The only run the Dodgers scratched off Cahill came in the sixth inning after Matt Kemp was safe on an infield single. Andre Ethier singled Kemp to third, and he scored on Jerry Hairston Jr.’s groundout.
The Dodgers added one more in the eighth inning off former Dodger Takashi Saito on consecutive doubles by Juan Rivera and Kemp.