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Diamondbacks rattle Dodgers' pitchers, 11-4

Ted Lilly has his worst game of the season as Dodgers' six-game winning streak ends.

May 23, 2012|By Bill Shaikin

PHOENIX — The hitting wasn't there. You could see that coming. The Dodgers had not thrown out a lineup without Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp all season.

The pitching, well, that was a little off.

The Arizona Diamondbacks scored early and often Wednesday, pounding Ted Lilly and Jamey Wright for 11 runs in the first five innings of an 11-4 victory over the Dodgers.

The Dodgers' six-game winning streak came to an abrupt end. Nonetheless, the Dodgers (30-14) flew home with the best record in the major leagues, and a seven-game lead in the National League West.

The Dodgers have been so dominant that the gap between first and second place in the NL West is the same as the gap between first and last place in the American League West.

Lilly took the mound ranked second in the NL in earned-run average. By the time he left, he was not even in the top 25.

He faced 24 batters, 14 of whom reached base, on nine hits and five walks.

"I only throw four pitches," Lilly said. "Any one of the four that I chose to throw was either a ball that they laid off of or, if I did throw a strike, they hit it hard."

He had not given up more than four earned runs in any start this season. He gave up eight Wednesday, as his ERA jumped from 1.79 to 3.14.

"It was definitely a combination of extremely poor pitching on my part," Lilly said, "and good hitting."

Lilly retired the first batter in the first inning. Things did not go well from there.

Ryan Roberts, the second batter, hit a home run. Lilly walked two of the next three batters. Arizona scored two runs in the first, two more in the second, one in the third and three in the fourth, a grand total of eight runs off Lilly, in 31/3 innings.

Wright fared no better in the fifth inning. The Diamondbacks batted around, scoring three runs on four hits, a walk and a hit batter.

A.J. Ellis provided the Dodgers with their lone run of the first six innings, hitting a solo home run in the fourth.

The home run was the fourth this season for Ellis—two more than the rest of the starting lineup combined.

With Ethier getting the night off, Ellis batted fifth in Wednesday's lineup, behind four players who did not open the season with the Dodgers.

Bobby Abreu, the No .3 hitter, was picked up by the Dodgers after he was released by the Angels.

The other three batters ahead of Ellis — Elian Herrera, Jerry Sands and Scott Van Slyke — started the

season at triple-A Albuquerque.

Herrera batted leadoff for the first time, hitting two doubles and lifting his average to .346.

"He has handled the bat great since he has been up here," Manager Don Mattingly said.

Although Mattingly has searched for leadoff options beyond the struggling Dee Gordon, the manager indicated Herrera might return to the minor leagues once the Dodgers' regulars return from the disabled list.

"I've got to be able to play him to lead him off," Mattingly said.

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