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Billingsley tabs first career victory as Dodgers top D-Backs

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
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PHOENIX -- Chad Billingsley's long-awaited first major league victory was a gem.

The 21-year-old right-hander threw seven scoreless innings and the Los Angeles Dodgers snapped a five-game losing streak by beating the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-1 Tuesday night.

"That was a big shot in the arm for him," Dodgers manager Grady Little said. "He's pitched a few good ballgames for us and come away with nothing to show for it, but he was outstanding out there tonight. You can't say enough about the way he pitched."

Billingsley (1-2) scattered six hits in the longest outing of his seven big-league starts, striking out four and walking two. Billingsley has thrown 14 straight scoreless innings, but had struggled with control problems since coming up from the minors in June.

"It was just me battling myself and giving the hitters too much credit," Billingsley said. "Today I just went out there and trusted my stuff and got ahead of the hitters, and just put guys away."

The Diamondbacks were surprised by the youngster's array of pitches.

"Fastball, curve, cutter, change -- it's good stuff," manager Bob Melvin said. "He threw a lot of cutters, some sliders at a little lesser speed, and some changeups, and had more pitches than we were aware of."

Billingsley has been working on his cutter, and used it effectively against the seven lefty batters in Arizona's starting lineup.

"He showed what he can do," said catcher Russell Martin, who also teamed with Billingsley in the minors. "He didn't even have his best stuff today."

It was good enough to impress Arizona's Orlando Hudson.

"That's the first time I've faced him," Hudson said. "He's got a good live fastball, a hard cutter, a great curveball. I tell you what, he had command of his pitches tonight."

Nomar Garciaparra doubled, tripled and drove in a run in the Dodgers' first win since the All-Star break.

Willy Aybar doubled twice with an RBI after being called up from Triple-A Las Vegas earlier in the day when Jeff Kent went on the 15-day disabled list with a strained muscle in his left side.

"He's like a lot of our other young players," Little said. "As soon as they hit the door, they come in there swingin' and making some noise."

J.D. Drew had an RBI single and Andre Ethier brought in a run with a sacrifice fly.

The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the fourth. Ethier walked with two outs and scored from first on Aybar's double into the right-field corner, where Arizona's Jeff DaVanon had a hard time coming up with the ball.

Diamondbacks starter Juan Cruz got into more trouble in the fifth. Kenny Lofton's walk and Garciaparra's ground-rule double put runners at second and third with one out. Drew singled home Lofton and Garciaparra scored on Ethier's sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.

Stephen Drew and pinch-hitter Andy Green singled to start the Arizona fifth, but Billingsley got three straight outs to end the threat.

Cruz (3-5) allowed three runs and six hits in five innings. He struck out four, walked three and hit a batter with a pitch.

Tony Pena, called up from Triple-A Tucson on Tuesday, allowed one run in 1 2/3 innings in his major league debut. Gold Glove second baseman Hudson misread Lofton's grounder in the seventh and it bounced past him for a double. Garciaparra then hit a run-scoring triple off Pena to make it 4-0.

Hudson hit a two-out RBI single off Takashi Saito in the ninth before Stephen Drew fouled out to Martin for the final out.

Arizona center fielder Eric Byrnes robbed Ramon Martinez of a hit with a headfirst, diving catch in the eighth.

Notes

  • After being ejected in the first inning Monday night, and having third base umpire Angel Hernandez toss his cap to a fan in the stands, Dodgers first base coach Mariano Duncan delivered the lineup to the umps at home plate before Tuesday's game with his cap taped to his head.
  • Arizona C Johnny Estrada threw two runners out at second. On the second one, Stephen Drew tagged out brother J.D. to end the fifth.
  • Diamondbacks 1B Conor Jackson sat out his second straight game with a right shoulder strain.
  • Estrada's hitting streak ended at 11 games.
  • Arizona had four left-handed batters and three switch hitters in its starting lineup.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Chad Billingsley tosses seven scoreless innings, yielding six hits and two walks with four K's.  (AP)
Chad Billingsley tosses seven scoreless innings, yielding six hits and two walks with four K's. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

C. Billingsley
IP 7.0
H 6
ER 0
BB 2
K 4
Los Angeles

N. Garciaparra
AB 5
R 1
H 2
HR 0
RBI 1
 

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Los Angeles Dodgers
Rafael Furcal, SS5000010 .267
Kenny Lofton, CF4220111 .298
Nomar Garciaparra, 1B5121000 .346
J.D. Drew, RF3011101 .285
Andre Ethier, LF2111112 .340
Willy Aybar, 3B4021002 .282
Ramon Martinez, 2B3000111 .326
Russell Martin, C3020000 .286
Chad Billingsley, P3000024 .111
   a- Ricky Ledee, PH1000001 .257
    Danys Baez, P0000000 .000
    Takashi Saito, P0000000 .000
Totals3341044612 
a-grounded into a double play for Billingsley in the 8th
Batting
2B - Kenny Lofton (8, Pena), Nomar Garciaparra (25, Cruz), Willy Aybar 2 (11, Cruz, Aquino)
3B - Nomar Garciaparra (2, Pena)
SF - Andre Ethier (5)
RBI - Nomar Garciaparra (56), J.D. Drew (53), Andre Ethier (33), Willy Aybar (21)
2-OUT RBI - Nomar Garciaparra (21), Willy Aybar (11)
CS - J.D. Drew (3, 2nd base by Cruz/Estrada), Andre Ethier (4, 2nd base by Cruz/Estrada)
Team LOB - 8
Fielding
DP - Furcal-Garciaparra
Los Angeles Dodgers
Chad Billingsley (W,1-2) 7600240 3.66
Danys Baez 1000010 3.91
Takashi Saito 1211010 2.15
Pitches-Strikes - Chad Billingsley 103-63, Danys Baez 19-12, Takashi Saito 20-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Chad Billingsley 7-8, Danys Baez 1-1, Takashi Saito 1-1
Batters Faced - Chad Billingsley 27, Danys Baez 3, Takashi Saito 5
Arizona Diamondbacks
Jeff DaVanon, RF4010012 .282
Eric Byrnes, CF4010001 .289
Luis Gonzalez, LF3000104 .265
Chad Tracy, 3B3110112 .276
Johnny Estrada, C4000013 .319
Shawn Green, 1B4010001 .305
Orlando Hudson, 2B4021002 .262
Stephen Drew, SS4010012 .133
Juan Cruz, P1000010 .000
   a- Andy Green, PH1010000 .209
    Tony Pena, P0000000 .000
    Randy Choate, P0000000 .000
   b- Damion Easley, PH1000010 .238
    Greg Aquino, P0000000 .000
Totals331812617 
a-singled for Cruz in the 5th
b-struck out for Choate in the 7th
Batting
2B - Chad Tracy (24, Saito)
RBI - Orlando Hudson (36)
2-OUT RBI - Orlando Hudson (11)
CS - Jeff DaVanon (3, 3rd base by Billingsley/Martin)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Aquino-Drew-Green
Arizona Diamondbacks
Juan Cruz (L,3-5) 5633340 4.53
Tony Pena 1.2211010 5.40
Randy Choate 0.1000110 3.00
Greg Aquino 2200000 4.81
HBP - Martin (by Juan Cruz)
Pitches-Strikes - Juan Cruz 97-52, Tony Pena 25-17, Randy Choate 9-3, Greg Aquino 27-18
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Juan Cruz 4-5, Tony Pena 2-2, Greg Aquino 3-2
Batters Faced - Juan Cruz 23, Tony Pena 7, Randy Choate 2, Greg Aquino 7
Game Information
Attendance - 27471
Game Time - 2:53
Temperature - 83
Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Randy Marsh, Second Base - Angel Hernandez, Third Base - Hunter Wendelstedt