Yasiel Puig sits out again and Dodgers fall to the Diamondbacks, 4-2

Yasiel Puig is ready for a return to the lineup, but will it be with the Dodgers?
(Christian Petersen / Getty Images)
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The comedown was not inevitable, but after the euphoria of the previous night, it felt understandable. Unable to replicate the gripping events of Friday at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers shuffled through a 4-2 defeat to Arizona on Saturday.

The entire evening felt like an anticlimax. Held down by a rookie pitcher for six innings, the team produced a rally in the seventh when rookie Andrew Toles walked, took second base on a passed ball and scored on a two-out single by Scott Van Slyke.

And then Van Slyke promptly got thrown out trying to steal second base.

“That was on his own,” Manager Dave Roberts said. “He wanted to make something happen. But obviously, in that situation, you don’t want to make an out on the bases.”


Thus the Dodgers lost ground on the Giants. San Francisco won in the afternoon, notching only their third victory since the All-Star break. The results extended San Francisco’s division lead back to two games.

In the eighth inning, Roberts offered a window into his perception of outfielder Yasiel Puig, who sat out for the seventh game in a row due to tightness in his right hamstring. Before the game, Roberts insisted he hoped Puig would be healthy enough to start on Sunday.

But in the eighth inning, with runners at the corners, the tying run at the plate and the pitcher’s spot up, he sent up rookie Chris Taylor to bat instead of Puig. Taylor flew out to add to the lack of dramatics. Joc Pederson cranked a solo shot in the ninth, but the deficit was too large to overcome.

Scott Kazmir lasted into the seventh inning and departed with two outs in the frame. He recovered from a shaky start, but was still charged with four runs.

The first inning has befuddled Kazmir all season. He found himself in a hole three pitches into Saturday. An 0-and-2 fastball caught enough of the plate for second baseman Jean Segura to rip a leadoff home run.

“The first two pitches were nice and smooth — good direction, good delivery,” Kazmir said. “And then I tried to overthrow the third one, and ended up giving up a home run.”


Kazmir survived the rest of the inning, but his travails extended into the second. Kazmir fired a 91-mph fastball, low and away, to outfielder Yasmany Tomas. Tomas flicked a leadoff double into right field for the first of three two-base hits in the inning.

The next double featured less exit velocity than Tomas’ hit. Kazmir flipped an 0-and-2 changeup well outside the zone, but shortstop Chris Owings chased it. He flared an RBI hit into right, and took second base as Toles searched for the baseball.

Segura supplied the final double. Kazmir tried to fool him with a full-count changeup. But the pitch hovered over the heart of the plate. Segura volleyed it into left to drive in his team’s third run.

On Friday night, the Dodgers proved how quickly a lead could disappear when held by the Diamondbacks. The Dodgers erased a four-run deficit in a frenetic seventh inning and overcame their own bullpen collapse for a victory that Roberts referred to as the best of the season.

To author another comeback, the Dodgers needed to vanquish a rookie making the second start of his career. Arizona right-hander Braden Shipley got waxed for six runs in 51/3 innings in his debut on Monday in Milwaukee. He experienced better luck on Saturday.


The Dodgers showed signs of understanding Shipley’s approach. But the offense failed to sequence its hits properly. The team hit three doubles in the first five innings. All three occurred with two outs, and Shipley responded by stranding each runner.

“You never like losing,” Roberts said. “But offensively, the scorecard doesn’t really show the quality of our at-bats. Our guys competed, and squared the baseball up.”

Kazmir had retired 10 batters in a row when pinch-hitter Phil Gosselin came to the plate with two outs in the seventh. Gosselin rolled a hit down the first base line. Gosselin opted to search for a double. The throw from Toles beat him to second base, but Corey Seager applied a late tag.

With a runner at second, Roberts removed Kazmir. He called upon Pedro Baez, who only contributed to his team’s trouble. Baez smoked Segura with a 96-mph fastball to start his appearance.

A subsequent RBI single by second baseman Brandon Drury deepened the Dodgers’ hole.

“Just one of those things,” Kazmir said. “We didn’t quite finish it at the end.”

Follow Andy McCullough on Twitter @McCulloughTimes