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Dodgers' Josh Beckett shows his command, but gets no support

The Dodgers lose 1-0 to Arizona despite Beckett striking out nine and holding the Diamondbacks scoreless through the first eight innings.

April 14, 2013|By Dylan Hernandez
  • Dodgers starter Josh Beckett didn't allow a run until the bottom of the ninth.
Dodgers starter Josh Beckett didn't allow a run until the bottom of… (Christian Petersen / Getty…)

PHOENIX — Like Clayton Kershaw two days earlier, Josh Beckett was masterful on the mound at Chase Field. And like Kershaw, Beckett didn't get a single run of support from the Dodgers' high-priced lineup.

Beckett gave up a ninth-inning single to Paul Goldschmidt that drove in A.J. Pollock for the only run of the game on Sunday, a walk-off, 1-0 victory for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

"It's disappointing, frustrating and borderline embarrassing that we weren't able to put anything across for him," catcher A.J. Ellis said. "For this team to be shut out twice in the same series, it's unacceptable."

BOX SCORE: Arizona 1, Dodgers 0

Beckett was even more dominant than Kershaw was in the series-opening defeat on Friday, when he limited the Diamondbacks to a run over the first seven innings.

Beckett threw only 92 pitches before the ninth inning.

He struck out nine batters and touched 94 mph, which was a couple ticks faster than in his previous two starts.

"This is the best that I've seen from Josh since our trade last year," Ellis said. "He executed all day long. After a while, I got out the way and let him call his own game. His execution today was almost flawless."

Beckett didn't pitch past the sixth inning in either of previous two starts and entered this game with a 4.91 earned-run average.

"I felt like I've gotten ahead," Beckett said. But this time, "I just didn't leave a couple balls over the middle of the plate."

The Dodgers were held to six hits over 7 1/3 innings by Trevor Cahill. Adrian Gonzalez collected three hits, including a double, but the three hitters behind him were a combined one for nine.

Manager Don Mattingly said he had no hesitation about sending Beckett back to the mound in the ninth inning.

"It's his game," Mattingly said.

Pollock doubled to left-center with one out. With first base open, Beckett intentionally walked Miguel Montero. That brought up Goldschmidt.

Lilly in limbo

By refusing to continue his minor league rehabilitation assignment, Ted Lilly has essentially told the Dodgers to either activate him from the disabled list or release him.

Lilly said he is willing to pitch out of the bullpen, but the Dodgers want him to continue to prepare as a starter without assuring him of a place in the rotation. With Chris Capuano replacing Zack Greinke, Lilly is the only extra starter on the Dodgers' roster.

Mattingly said he believes that because Lilly is recovering from shoulder surgery and is behind in his throwing program, he isn't ready to pitch in the major leagues, regardless of the role.

Lilly can't be forced to pitch in the minor leagues. He's also not supposed to be the disabled list if he's not injured. This could force the Dodgers to place him on their overcrowded roster or let go of him and his $12-million salary.

Honoring an icon

Jackie Robinson's widow, Rachel Robinson, will be at Dodger Stadium on Monday to take part in Jackie Robinson Day festivities. Robinson's daughter, Sharon, and son, David, will also be in attendance.

"God Bless America" will be performed in the middle of the seventh inning by Kelley Jakle, the great-granddaughter of Branch Rickey, the Dodgers' general manager who signed Robinson.

The first 40,000 fans at Dodger Stadium will receive a statue of Robinson, Don Newcombe and Roy Campanella. With large crowds expected, gates will open early Monday and Wednesday: 4:10 p.m. for season-ticket holders and 4:40 p.m. for everyone else.

Twitter: @dylanohernandez

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