Advertisement

Door Is Slammed on L.A.

Share via
TIMES STAFF WRITER

These are desperate times for the Dodgers, who are flat and fading with a National League West championship within reach.

They slipped again Friday night and their fans are apparently fed up, as evidenced by their strong reaction in a 10-0 loss to the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium.

Many in crowd of 44,321 repeatedly booed the club as the Diamondbacks took a 4-0 lead on Matt Williams’ grand slam--the 11th in his career--in the fourth against Terry Mulholland (1-1), setting the tone for another bad night for the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.

Advertisement

“It’s crucial now,” outfielder Shawn Green said after the Dodgers dropped four games back in the West and five in the wild-card race. “We’ve got to come out and just try to get back in the race here.

“Every day that we lose is just making it that much more difficult. It’s getting real simple now.”

The Diamondbacks batted around and extended the lead to 9-0 with five runs in the seventh while chasing rookie pitcher Luke Prokopec. The crowd erupted in a mock cheer when reliever Al Reyes struck out Rod Barajas to end the inning.

“Nothing to say about tonight other than the fact that we got beat,” Manager Jim Tracy said. “The important thing is that we just put it behind us, because the next two days are obviously extremely important to us.

“The question was asked of me, do we need to win three out of four? As I said, a split does nothing more than take four days off the calendar. We know what our situation is. The thing about tonight is we just have to forget about it.”

Although the Dodgers were not sharp behind Mulholland in his first start for the club, the veteran left-hander disappointed again in another shaky performance.

Advertisement

The Diamondbacks had three hits, including Williams’ 16th homer, in four innings against Mulholland. Three of the four runs he gave up were earned.

Mulholland has pitched so poorly since being acquired from the Pittsburgh Pirates that his earned-run average with the Dodgers decreased from 7.90 to 7.64.

Green’s 13th-inning solo homer early Friday morning ended a 4-hour 48-minute game, providing the difference in a 3-2 victory in the opener of the key four-game series.

But the good vibes from Green’s club-record 47th homer didn’t even last a day.

The Dodgers continued a disturbing trend for them against Miguel Batista (10-8), getting only four hits against the Diamondbacks’ No. 5 starter.

The right-hander was pounded in his last start against the San Francisco Giants, giving up six hits and five runs in four innings, but he cruised Friday in a solid seven-inning outing.

And the news doesn’t get better for the Dodgers: After being shut down by Batista, they still must face the 1-2 punch of left-hander Randy Johnson and right-hander Curt Schilling in the final two games of the series.

The crowd expressed its frustration in the fifth, booing the Dodgers after they failed to score with runners on first and third and none out.

Advertisement

Eric Karros led off with a double down the left-field line and advanced to third on Adrian Beltre’s single up the middle.

Alex Cora, batting .216 beginning play Friday, flied out to shallow center, and Danny Bautista threw a perfect one-hop strike to catcher Barajas to nail Karros at the plate and complete a double play.

Chris Donnels, pinch-hitting for reliever Eric Gagne, popped out to end the inning and ignite booing.

The Dodger infielders did not help Mulholland in the fourth.

Bautista led off with a seemingly routine grounder to short, but Cora had problems getting the ball out of his glove.

He bounced a throw to Karros that Bautista beat to the bag. Luis Gonzalez then sent a grounder through Karros’ legs and down the right-field line, and the Diamondbacks had runners in scoring position on the two-base error.

Mulholland walked Reggie Sanders to load the bases, and Williams unloaded.

“We dug ourselves a hole tonight,” Karros said. “We’ve got to win [today]. That’s the bottom line. We’ve got to win [today]. They’ve got their best going and we’ve got our best going.”

Advertisement
Advertisement