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Dodgers capitalize on D-Backs' eighth-inning meltdown

CBSSports.com wire reports
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LOS ANGELES -- Even without Manny Ramirez, the Los Angeles Dodgers don't feel as if they're ever out of a game. Now, all they have to do ride out the second half of his 50-game suspension.

James Loney hit a tying three-run double in the eighth inning and Casey Blake followed with an RBI single, leading the defending NL West champions to a 6-5 victory against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night and improving their record to a major league-best 36-18.

Dan Haren pitched seven innings of two-hit ball for the Diamondbacks and went 3-for-3 at the plate, leaving before the Arizona bullpen crumbled.

"Haren was on his game tonight. But as long as you have outs, you have a chance because there's no clock in this game. That's the fun thing about it," Loney said. "It's fun to see guys still battling and not moping around, hanging their heads."

Tony Pena, who nearly squandered a three-run lead in the ninth inning Monday night in a 3-2 victory, took over for Haren in the eighth with a 5-1 lead and walked Orlando Hudson on four pitches with the bases loaded. Loney then greeted Daniel Schlereth (0-1) with his clutch hit before Blake gave the Dodgers their first lead.

"It's frustrating to lose this way, because we were in control of the game from the second inning on," manager A.J. Hinch said. "With a four-run lead heading into the eighth, we felt pretty good. We were one out away from heading into the ninth with a four-run lead, but we couldn't get that third out."

Jeff Weaver (3-1) pitched two scoreless innings after replacing starter Randy Wolf. Jonathan Broxton pitched a perfect ninth for his 12th save in 14 attempts.

Justin Upton hit his first career grand slam for the Diamondbacks.

Andre Ethier drove a first-pitch home run about halfway up the right-field pavilion with two outs in the second inning, snapping a homerless drought of 24 games and 89 at-bats by the Dodgers' right fielder. The only other hit Haren allowed was Ethier's ground-rule double with one out in the fifth.

"I got a little tired there at the end, but I gave it all I had," said Haren, who threw 110 pitches and struck out seven. "I knew my pitch count was getting up there, but I wanted to make sure I got through the seventh. My stuff was still there and I got a couple of strikeouts, but once I got Ethier out, I didn't have much left in the tank."

Wolf got his eighth no-decision in 12 starts this season, allowing five runs and seven hits in six innings.

Brad Ausmus started behind the plate for the Dodgers, one night after Russell Martin had to contend with a franchise record-tying five wild pitches thrown by relievers Cory Wade and Brent Leach. Manager Joe Torre said Ausmus' eighth start of the season already was determined on the team's flight back from Chicago on Sunday night.

Martin caught Wolf in all of his 11 previous starts, and the switch appeared to have affected the left-hander early on as he retired only five of his first 12 batters and gave up five runs.

"I don't think it was that big of a shock," Wolf said. "I mean, Brad obviously watches every game and he knows what I want to do out there. So it's definitely not an excuse for anything that happened. Brad's a very smart catcher and he does his homework, so I don't think you can really pin that on Brad and I not working together that much."

Wolf did admit to shaking off Ausmus a few times when he looked in for the sign.

"After the second inning, though, I didn't shake Brad off once," Wolf said. "I knew it wasn't going to get any worse, so at that point, I just decided to throw the pitches that Brad put down. After the second inning, it's probably the most efficient I've ever been. I told him if I ever throw to him again, I'm never shaking him off."

Jose Lopez scored in the first inning on a bases-loaded groundout by Mark Reynolds. The Diamondbacks loaded them up again in the second, and Upton drove an 0-1 pitch into the left field pavilion. Wolf retired 11 of his next 13 batters, two on double plays, before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter.

Notes

  • Ramirez is eligible to return from his suspension for violating baseball's drug policy on July 3, when the Dodgers begin a three-game series in San Diego. They are 15-10 since he left the lineup, and have lost three of their past five.
  • One reason Martin didn't start was because he's 3-for-16 lifetime against Haren.
  • The grand slam was the fourth allowed by Wolf in his career and the first since April 23, 2002, when San Diego's Deivi Cruz victimized him at Philadelphia's Veterans Stadium.
  • The Diamondbacks have had at least one extra-base hit in all 53 games this season, and 74 straight since a 7-2 defeat at Dodger Stadium on Sept. 6.
 
Copyright 2015 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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The Dodgers' James Loney ties up the game in the eighth inning with a three-run double.  (AP)
The Dodgers' James Loney ties up the game in the eighth inning with a three-run double. (AP)

Players of the Game
Los Angeles

J. Loney
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 0
RBI 3
Arizona

J. Upton
AB 3
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 4
 

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Arizona Diamondbacks
Felipe Lopez, 2B5220022.308
Ryan Roberts, 3B4020004.369
Justin Upton, RF3114101.322
Mark Reynolds, 1B4001022.258
Eric Byrnes, LF4010002.215
Chris B. Young, CF4010002.175
Chris Snyder, C3100102.233
Augie Ojeda, SS4000001.257
Dan Haren, SP3130000.280
Gerardo Parra, PH1000010.315
Totals3551052516
BATTING
HR - J Upton (10)
RBI - J Upton 4 (33); M Reynolds (32)
BASERUNNING
SB - C Young (5)
Arizona Diamondbacks
Dan Haren 7.02111712.42
Tony A. Pena 0.22442103.12
Daniel Schlereth (L,0-1) 0.12110003.86
Los Angeles Dodgers
Juan Pierre, LF4110010.379
Rafael Furcal, SS3100110.249
Orlando Hudson, 2B2101210.329
James Loney, 1B4113021.284
Casey Blake, 3B4011011.299
Andre Ethier, RF4121002.261
Matt Kemp, CF3110011.310
Brad Ausmus, C3000002.314
Randy Wolf, SP1000000.080
a-Jamie Hoffmann, PH-RF1000000.176
Mark Loretta, PH-2B1000011.288
Totals30666388
a-Grounded out for R Wolf in the 6th.
BATTING
2B - J Loney (12); A Ethier (12)
HR - A Ethier (7)
RBI - O Hudson (32); J Loney 3 (41); C Blake (34); A Ethier (31)
FIELDING
E - M Kemp (2)
Los Angeles Dodgers
Randy Wolf 6.07552113.21
Jeff Weaver (W,3-1) 2.03000204.05
Jonathan Broxton (S,12) 1.00000201.38