Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez makes his way back to the dugout after… (Christian Petersen / Getty…)
Matt Kemp was back. Clayton Kershaw was back. Heck, even Dee Gordon was back.
Trouble was, the same struggling, mysteriously vacant Dodgers offense was also back.
The Dodgers wasted another opportunity and lost another day on the calendar Tuesday, falling, 1-0, to the Diamondbacks at Chase Field on an unearned run.
The loss dropped the Dodgers six games back of the Giants in the National League West, with just 20 games left to play. The ticking of their season's clock is becoming deafening to the Dodgers. They remain 1 1/2 games behind Atlanta and St. Louis in the wild-card race.
Ian Kennedy won a terrific pitching duel against Kershaw, the Diamondbacks finally breaking the scoreless tie with a lone run in the seventh.
Kershaw, who was held out of his scheduled start Sunday in San Francisco with a sore hip, returned in fine form.
But Paul Goldschmidt led off the seventh with a chopper to Hanley Ramirez at short. Ramirez waited on the bouncer and then hurried his throw, bouncing it to Adrian Gonzalez, who tried a back-handed stab but could not keep control of the ball.
One out later, Miguel Montero doubled to right and Arizona led 1-0.
Montero took third on a passed ball by catcher A.J. Ellis, and then it easily could have been 2-0 if not for a dynamic throw by Kemp on a fly to medium center by Chris Johnson. Kemp, who had sat out the past two games with a sore left shoulder, caught the ball and fired home, where Ellis applied the tag on the sliding Montero.
Kershaw left after the seventh, allowing only the unearned run on three hits. He walked three and struck out five.
But Kennedy was just a little better. He kept the Dodgers scoreless for his 7 1/3 innings, holding them to four hits. He struck out six and did not walk a batter.
Early on, there wasn't even much that resembled a rally by either team.
Kennedy held the Dodgers to one hit through the first four innings when Andre Ethier hit a two-out double in the fifth.
Luis Cruz, who had the only other Dodger hit to that point, then jumped on a Kennedy offering, sending left-fielder Jason Kubel sprinting back to the wall. At the last moment, Kubel jumped and made a catch at the top of the wall that may have saved a two-run homer.
In the third inning, the Diamondbacks loaded the bases with two outs on a single by John McDonald and a pair of walks, but Kershaw got Kubel to ground out.
The Dodgers had one final chance to tie it when Shane Victorino doubled with two outs in the ninth, but Gonzalez was called out on strikes. It was the 14th time this season the Dodgers have been shut out.
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