Arizona Diamondbacks' Paul Goldschmidt hits a go-ahead two-run… (Stephen Dunn / Getty Images )
At this point, maybe the Dodgers would like to lay claim to at least being inventive in all this losing, yet it somehow seems remarkably familiar.
They lost again Tuesday — their sixth consecutive loss. This time Brandon League looked a lot like one of those closers who can only pitch with the lead.
He tried to maintain a tie game in the ninth, but instead surrendered a two-run homer to Paul Goldschmidt as the Diamondbacks topped the Dodgers, 5-3, before an announced Dodger Stadium crowd of 33,611.
The loss dropped the Dodgers deeper into the National League West cellar, falling 1 1/2 games back of the Padres.
League leads the Dodgers with eight saves, but he’s now 0-2 with an unseemly 5.40 ERA. Goldschmidt is now nine for 20 against the Dodgers this season, with two homers and seven RBI.
Starter Josh Beckett, who throws a pitch about once every equinox, threw better but not good enough to finally earn his first victory of the season — good enough for a no-decision.
Beckett went six innings, allowing three runs on nine hits and two walks. He struck out five. In seven starts this season, Beckett is now 0-4 with 5.13 ERA.
Arizona right-hander Brandon McCarthy also entered the game winless, starting the season 0-3 with a 7.22 ERA, but the struggling Dodgers could do little with him either.
The two teams began the night like they were out to score a run an inning.
The Diamondbacks started it in the first, Gerardo Parra doubling, getting sacrificed to third and scoring when Goldschmidt grounded out to second.
The Dodgers answered in the bottom of the inning on consecutive two-out singles by Matt Kemp, Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier.
In the second it was Arizona’s turn again, this time with Eric Chavez leading off with a double and scoring on Jason Kubel's base hit.
Next it was the Dodgers’ turn, and they struck quickly and unexpectedly, when Nick Punto drove a solo home run out to right, inside the foul pole. It was Punto’s first home run of the season. He has hit exactly one homer in each of his past four seasons.
The Dodgers offense then went briefly on hiatus, managing only two singles over the next four innings, but Arizona regained the lead with a run in the fifth. Shortstop Didi Gregorius, who had a terrific all-around game, opened with a hit. After a walk to Goldschmidt, Chavez singled to score Gregorius.
The Dodgers tied it again in the seventh, returning to their secret offensive weapon: Punto. Skip Schumaker led off with a walk and Punto lined a double into the right-center gap that allowed Schumaker to score from first.
The Dodgers missed a good opportunity to take the lead when Kemp led off the eighth with a double. The ensuing at-bats will not make the season highlight reel. Gonzalez popped up, and after Ethier was walked intentionally, Ramon Hernandez (in an 0-for-17 streak) flied out to shallow right and Schumaker lined out softly to shortstop.