|Arizona (59-49) «||0||2||0||1||1||0||0||2||0||6||10||1|
|L.A. Dodgers (48-59)||0||0||0||1||0||0||0||1||1||3||12||1|
The Giants will miss Saunders in the rotation, which is not a good thing for the Diamondbacks, who got another solid outing from the left-hander Sunday in a 6-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Saunders came within four outs of his second straight complete game, helping Arizona win for the 10th time in 15 games.
"I've missed the Giants at AT&T Park every time I've been there with the Angels and the Diamondbacks. I've yet to pitch there. It's unbelievable," said Saunders, who made his big league debut in 2005. "I've never even pitched there in an exhibition game. I know it's a great atmosphere and the fans are really into the game, so hopefully one day I can finally have that experience. I heard it's a pretty good pitcher's park, too."
Gerardo Parra homered twice and Ryan Roberts also went deep for the Diamondbacks. The victory, coupled with San Francisco's 9-0 loss at Cincinnati, helped Arizona climb within two games of first place.
|More on D-Backs at Dodgers|
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The Diamondbacks have lost seven of the first nine meetings this season, dropping all three games at AT&T Park in mid-May by one-one margins.
"I think we're a different team now and we've developed a lot of character," manager Kirk Gibson said. "This is what it's all about, and guys love it. It'll probably be pretty exhaustive. But it's not do-or-die, and I don't want guys to put pressure on themselves -- just continue to grit and grind.
"We know it's going to be different, playing in the Giants' ballpark instead of ours, because of the sold-out crowd," Gibson added. "But we know what that's like, so we're just going to have to keep our composure, as we have in every series, and not make too big of a deal of what the real situation is -- good or bad. We just have to keep an even keel, and however we come out of that series, we'll move on to the next one."
Saunders (8-8) won his fifth straight road decision, allowing two runs and eight hits -- including four singles by Andre Ethier and a solo homer by Dioner Navarro. Saunders was 0-5 over his first nine outings with a 5.02 ERA. But he has balanced his books, after finishing July 4-1 with a 2.16 ERA in six starts.
"It was a good month. It kind of makes up for the start I had," Saunders said. "I tried to get back to even-par the best I could, and now we can go on from here."
Los Angeles put two on in the ninth against David Hernandez. J.J. Putz came in with one out and gave up an RBI single to Tony Gwynn Jr. before getting the final two outs for his 24th save in 28 chances. Aaron Miles flied out and Ethier did the same while representing the potential tying run.
"He's not the guy you want to see up there with the game on the line," Putz said. "He's a guy who can beat you with power when he needs to and he can hit the ball to all fields."
The Dodgers, 10 games out of first place when July began, now sit 12 ½ off the pace after going 12-13 during the month.
"Everything is bad when you're not in first place and not contending," Kemp said. "It's not going too good right now. Our pitchers are doing a great job of keeping us in games, for the most part, but we've just got to start scoring some runs for them and get that timely hitting. There's still two months left, so we've got some work to do."
Rubby De La Rosa (4-5) matched Saunders' pitch total with 103. But the rookie right-hander lasted only four innings, giving up three runs, five hits and four walks while striking out six.
De La Rosa had allowed only four home runs over his nine previous big league starts before Roberts drove a 3-2 pitch into the lower seats in the left-field corner for his 15th of the season. Parra homered three pitches later for a 2-0 lead.
The Diamondbacks, who came in leading the NL with 339 extra-base hits, added five more to their total. Parra added his seventh homer in the eighth with a runner on against Hong-Chih Kuo, giving him his first career two-homer game.
"It was a big day for him," Gibson said. "When he's more selective and gets balls into his nitro zone, he can drive the ball. In spring training, he would try to force everything to the left side of the diamond. Now he's starting to understand what they're trying to do to him and he's making them pay. The one off Kuo, I mean, we haven't seen that since I've been here."
Parra's second homer of the day was only the second allowed by Kuo in 22 appearances this season. But the left-hander, who missed 32 games because of an anxiety disorder before returning to the bullpen on June 19, has yielded eight runs in two innings over his last four appearances.
Justin Upton singled in the ninth to extend his hitting streak to 12 games, but his streak of 10 straight games with an extra-base hit ended.
|Gerardo Parra watches as one of his two homers soars past the outfield wall. The D-Backs move within two games of the Giants. (AP)|
|Players of the Game|
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|Willie Bloomquist, SS||5||0||1||0||0||2||3||.279|
|Kelly Johnson, 2B||5||1||2||0||0||2||2||.220|
|Justin Upton, RF||4||0||1||0||1||0||2||.303|
|Miguel Montero, C||3||0||0||0||2||1||2||.274|
|Xavier Nady, 1B||4||0||0||1||0||1||3||.256|
|Ryan Roberts, 3B||3||2||2||1||2||0||1||.256|
|Gerardo Parra, LF||4||3||2||3||0||0||3||.288|
|Collin Cowgill, CF||2||0||1||1||2||1||0||.143|
|Joe Saunders, P||4||0||1||0||0||2||1||.158|
|Ryan Cook, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|David Hernandez, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|J.J. Putz, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|2B - Kelly Johnson 2 (21, De La Rosa, Lindblom)|
|HR - Ryan Roberts (15, De La Rosa), Gerardo Parra 2 (7, De La Rosa, Kuo)|
|SF - Xavier Nady (4)|
|RBI - Xavier Nady (35), Ryan Roberts (43), Gerardo Parra 3 (28), Collin Cowgill (1)|
|SB - Collin Cowgill (2, 2nd base off De La Rosa/Navarro)|
|CS - Willie Bloomquist (8, 2nd base by De La Rosa/Navarro), Collin Cowgill (1, 2nd base by De La Rosa/Navarro)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|DP - Roberts-Johnson-Nady, Bloomquist-Nady|
|E - Ryan Roberts (8, Throwing)|
|Joe Saunders (W,8-8)||7.2||8||2||2||0||3||1||3.56|
|David Hernandez (H,14)||0.2||1||1||1||1||1||0||3.00|
|J.J. Putz (S,24)||0.2||1||0||0||0||0||0||2.89|
|Pitches-Strikes - Joe Saunders 103-70, Ryan Cook 6-3, David Hernandez 22-13, J.J. Putz 10-8|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Joe Saunders 10-9|
|Batters Faced - Joe Saunders 30, Ryan Cook 2, David Hernandez 4, J.J. Putz 3|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Tony Gwynn Jr., LF||5||0||1||1||0||2||0||.262|
|Aaron Miles, 3B||5||0||0||0||0||0||2||.301|
|Andre Ethier, RF||5||1||4||0||0||0||2||.305|
|Matt Kemp, CF||4||0||2||0||0||0||3||.317|
|Juan Rivera, 1B||4||0||2||1||0||0||2||.253|
|Dioner Navarro, C||4||1||1||1||0||1||3||.199|
|Jamey Carroll, 2B||3||1||1||0||1||1||0||.294|
|Dee Gordon, SS||4||0||1||0||0||0||1||.233|
|Rubby De La Rosa, P||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.214|
|Josh Lindblom, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|a- Eugenio Velez, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Blake Hawksworth, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|b- Trent Oeltjen, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||.231|
|Hong-Chih Kuo, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|Mike MacDougal, P||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||.000|
|c- James Loney, PH||1||0||0||0||0||0||1||.256|
|a-grounded out for Lindblom in the 5th|
|b-flied out for Hawksworth in the 7th|
|c-flied out for MacDougal in the 9th|
|HR - Dioner Navarro (4, Saunders)|
|RBI - Tony Gwynn Jr. (15), Juan Rivera (32), Dioner Navarro (13)|
|2-OUT RBI - Juan Rivera (17)|
|Team LOB - 9|
|E - Mike MacDougal (2, Throwing)|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Rubby De La Rosa (L,4-5)||4||5||3||3||4||6||2||3.71|
|IBB - Montero by Josh Lindblom|
|WP - Rubby De La Rosa (3), Hong-Chih Kuo (2)|
|Pitches-Strikes - Rubby De La Rosa 103-61, Josh Lindblom 29-14, Blake Hawksworth 29-18, Hong-Chih Kuo 28-15, Mike MacDougal 20-12|
|Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rubby De La Rosa 4-0, Blake Hawksworth 1-4, Hong-Chih Kuo 1-0, Mike MacDougal 3-0|
|Batters Faced - Rubby De La Rosa 19, Josh Lindblom 6, Blake Hawksworth 6, Hong-Chih Kuo 7, Mike MacDougal 4|
|Attendance - 43935|
|Game Time - 3:36|
|Temperature - 75|
|Umpires - Home - Sam Holbrook, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Chad Fairchild, Third Base - Joe West|