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Dodgers fall out of first-place tie in NL West

Arizona Diamondbacks win, 8-2, behind sharp pitching by Wade Miley and a three-run homer by Miguel Montero.

July 31, 2012|By Jim Peltz

The Arizona Diamondbacks are making it clear that the National League West race isn't only between the Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.

Though the Dodgers acquired outfielder Shane Victorino and reliever Brandon League in trades Tuesday to bolster their playoff hopes, Arizona defeated Los Angeles for the second consecutive night and for the fifth straight game overall.

A three-run home run by Miguel Montero and sparkling pitching by starter Wade Miley led Arizona to the 8-2 win in front of an announced crowd of 52,832 at Dodger Stadium.

"We were holding them, and then it gets away," Manager Don Mattingly said. "We really didn't do enough" at the plate "to win the game."

The Dodgers hope to salvage the three-game series' finale Wednesday afternoon.

San Francisco also won, so the Dodgers dropped one game out of a first-place tie with San Francisco in the NL West while Arizona remained 31/2 games behind the Giants.

After Arizona took a 2-1 lead into the second inning, the game settled into a duel between left-handers Miley (12-6) and Chris Capuano (10-7) of the Dodgers.

But in the sixth inning, after Capuano retired the first two batters, Paul Goldschmidt and Justin Upton singled. Montero then lined a 2-0 pitch into the Arizona bullpen in right field, giving the Diamondbacks a 5-1 lead.

Chris Johnson hit a two-RBI single off Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario in a three-run ninth inning.

Capuano has lost five of his last seven decisions and failed for the second consecutive game to match his win total of 11 set last season with the New York Mets. Miley, 25, allowed one run while holding the Dodgers to three hits in his eight innings.

Capuano said he struggled making good pitches to left-handed batters and with men on base. "That's got to be my focus, making better pitches with guys on base because I'm just not seeming to have the same sharpness with the location when I'm going from the stretch right now," he said.

Goldschmidt gave Capuano and the Dodgers trouble early, as he had the night before.

After Jason Kubel walked with two out in the first inning, Goldschmidt hit his 15th home run of the season to the left-field corner. Goldschmidt hit a three-run homer in the first inning Monday.

Mark Ellis responded in the Dodgers' half of the first inning with a solo home run, also to the left-field corner.

Swapping leagues

After the Seattle Mariners' win Monday night, reliever League said he went into the Mariners' clubhouse, "gave a couple of high-fives and [they] called me right into the office and told me I was traded."

To the Dodgers, that is, in exchange for minor leaguers Leon Landry and Logan Bawcom. Standing beside his Dodgers locker for the first time Tuesday, League said he was sad to leave Seattle after 21/2 seasons.

"I'm also very excited to start a new chapter and help a team that's in a race right now, a tight race, so I'm happy to be here," said League, who wears No. 31.

League, 29, was an All-Star last year but struggled early this season and lost his role as the Mariners' closer. He came to the Dodgers with a 0-5 record and 3.63 earned-run average.

Despite his problems this season, League "has big-time stuff," Mattingly said. "He gives us another quality guy late in the game in our bullpen."

Left-handed pitcher Michael Antonini was designated for assignment to clear room on the Dodgers' 40-man roster.

Gibson's request

Dodgers clubhouse manager Mitch Poole threw out the ceremonial first pitch at the request of Diamondbacks Manager Kirk Gibson.

It was Gibson's bobblehead night, with the figure highlighting his dramatic home run in the opener of the 1988 World Series.

Poole was a Dodgers batboy that night, putting balls on the practice batting tee when the injured Gibson took some swings, decided he could hit and sent Poole to tell Manager Tom Lasorda.

james.peltz@latimes.com

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