Things were going so well early for the Dodgers, there was no way they could have anticipated a major reversal.
They blew a 4-0 lead, then a 6-4 lead. They saw baserunners thrown out, and the bullpen fall apart, and fielders make miscues. And what had all the makings of an easy victory turned into a 10-6 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Monday at Chase Field.
The Dodgers bullpen, which had been pitching well of late, gave up all 10 runs after right-hander Mike Bolsinger had to leave after four innings because of flu-like symptoms. The Dodgers ended up using six relievers; four were charged with at least two runs and not one pitched well.
The game’s final four runs came in a disastrous eighth inning for the Dodgers. Pedro Baez got off to the wrong start by walking Jake Lamb. He scored on a double off the center-field wall by Welington Castillo, breaking a 6-6 tie and putting Arizona ahead for good. Baez then fielded a bunt by Chris Owings and threw the ball past first baseman Adrian Gonzalez for an error as Castillo scored.
With two on and two out, the Dodgers went to J.P. Howell, who, in keeping with the night’s theme, walked the bases loaded and then gave up a two-run single to Paul Goldschmidt.
And the Diamondbacks snapped their seven-game losing streak to the Dodgers.
The game began with the Dodgers’ ex-Diamondbacks pitcher looking better than the Diamondbacks’ ex-Dodgers pitcher, though neither would stick around long.
Arizona’s Allen Webster tried his best to reward the Dodgers for having drafted him, loading the bases in the first with no outs on two walks (eight consecutive balls) and a hit batter. Apparently the Dodgers do not receive gifts well. Gonzalez bounced into a double play to account for the only run and Yasiel Puig flied out to end the inning.
The Dodgers tried a different approach in the fourth, using that 2015 standby, the long ball. Andre Ethier led off with his 10th home run of the year and Yasmani Grandal immediately followed with his 11th. Three batters later, Joc Pederson hit a bomb for his 20th home run.
That inning not only gave the Dodgers a deceptively comfortable 4-0 lead, it fashioned of all sorts of interesting power numbers. It gave the Dodgers an even 100 home runs on the season, tops in the National League and third overall.
It was the third time this year the Dodgers managed back-to-back home runs. It was the fourth time they had three home runs in one inning. Six Dodgers now have at least 10 home runs.
For Ethier, it was his 155th career home run, surpassing Willie Davis for ninth on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ all-time list. And only two rookies in National League history have ever had more home runs than Pederson before July 1 – Wally Berger (22 in 1930 for the Boston Braves) and Albert Pujols (21 in 2001 for the St. Louis Cardinals).
But the lead would not hold. Bolsinger threw four scoreless innings (three hits, no walks, four strikeouts) before his illness forced him out of the game.
Joel Peralta took over in the fifth and quickly gave up a basehit to Owings and a two-run homer to Nick Ahmed.
Yimi Garcia took over in the sixth and picked up his cue from Peralta. He gave up a single and a two-run homer to Yasmany Tomas to tie it at 4-4. The homer was reviewed by the umpires, who determined a fan reaching over the wall did not touch the hit.
The Dodgers briefly regained the lead in the seventh. Gonzalez walked and was doubled to third by Ethier. Left-hander Andrew Chafin intentionally walked Grandal to load the bases with one out and Jimmy Rollins delivered a two-run single.
In the bottom of the inning the Diamondbacks picked up a pair of two-out basehits off Juan Nicasio, which sent out a call to left-hander Adam Liberatore. The Diamondbacks caught Liberatore napping and executed a double steal, before David Peralta tripled both runners home to tie it yet again.
The Diamondbacks did not lead until scoring four times in the eighth.