Less-than-timely hitting and key error lead Dodgers to 5-3 loss to Diamondbacks
The final score will say the Arizona Diamondbacks won against the Dodgers 5-3 on Tuesday night.
But the Dodgers simply beat themselves.
After jumping out to a three-run, first-inning lead, the Dodgers stumbled at every other juncture, losing their first game this season in which they held a lead.
At the plate, they hit into five double plays, went just two for eight with runners in scoring position and were caught stealing on their only attempt.
In the third inning, an error from second baseman Gavin Lux and sporadic command from Tony Gonsolin led to three Arizona runs.
The deciding blow also resulted from a Dodgers mistake. After issuing a four-pitch leadoff walk in the bottom of the eighth, Dodgers reliever Brusdar Graterol tried to throw a low slider to David Peralta. The pitch stayed up and over the plate, however, allowing Peralta to crush a 433-foot home run.
“It’s the first one in quite some time where I felt we gave it away,” manager Dave Roberts said. “It should have been a completely different game.”
Much like Monday’s series opener, the Dodgers didn’t wait long to jump in front Tuesday night.
They loaded the bases in the top of the first on back-to-back walks from Freddie Freeman and Trea Turner and an infield single by Max Muncy.
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That brought Will Smith to the plate with two outs. On a 2-and-1 count, the catcher hammered a hanging sinker into right-center field, scoring all three runners with his third double of the season.
After that, though, the Dodgers (12-5) suffered through one sloppy sequence after the next.
The top of the second inning ended on a Freeman double-play grounder. Turner made the final out in the third, getting caught trying to steal second base.
In the bottom of the frame, Gonsolin’s strong start to the night came to a sudden halt. He gave up a two-strike single to Geraldo Perdomo, then walked Jose Herrera on four pitches. In the next at-bat, his wild pitch allowed both runners to advance.
Gonsolin did get Daulton Varsho to hit a ground ball after that. But, as Perdomo scored, Lux fired wide with his throw to first, bouncing the ball past a diving Freeman and all the way to the dugout.
Herrera scored, Varsho took second, and one batter later, the Diamondbacks (7-11) tied the game on Pavin Smith’s single up the middle.
Lux said he had a bad grip on the ball and wished he’d taken an extra shuffle before making the throw.
“Feel bad for Tony,” Lux said. “He was cruising.”
The Dodgers had plenty of chances to respond. Smith drew a leadoff walk in the fourth, but it was wiped out by a Cody Bellinger double-play grounder.
Turner singled to lead off the sixth, but then Justin Turner rolled into another double play at second.
The worst blunder came in the seventh.
After Chris Taylor and Hanser Alberto singled with one out, Mookie Betts laced a line drive to left. Taylor was running from second base on contact, believing the ball would easily drop in for a hit. But by the time he looked back, Peralta had made the catch in the gap and easily doubled him off with a throw to second.
“It was just a bad read,” Taylor said. “For some reason, I thought he hit it off the end of the bat and thought it was going to drop. Tried to get a good jump and score. But it stayed up and he caught it. Can’t happen.”
The Dodgers had one more chance to go in front in the eighth, when Smith came to the plate with the bases loaded again. This time, however, he bounced a grounder to third base, triggering the night’s fifth double play, minutes before Peralta hit the game-deciding blast.
“Any big-league ball club, you don’t put them away and keep them in games, things can happen, as evidenced tonight,” Roberts said. “I don’t know how many guys we left on base, but we ... just couldn’t get a hit when we needed.”
There were some familiar faces in the Dodgers clubhouse Tuesday, as Dustin May, Victor González and Danny Duffy — who have all been rehabbing injuries at the team’s nearby Camelback Ranch spring training complex — showed up at the ballpark.
May and González threw bullpen sessions, while Duffy told reporters he recently began his throwing progression.
Walker Buehler strikes out 10 and gives up only three hits as Dodgers defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 4-0.
May is coming back from Tommy John surgery and said he is still targeting a return during the latter-third of the season. Duffy is coming off a flexor tendon surgery this offseason that will likely keep him out until at least June, though manager Dave Roberts didn’t have an exact return date. They are both on the 60-day injured list.
González had a good spring training but landed on the 10-day injured list to start the season because of elbow inflammation. Roberts said he is close to going out on rehab assignment.
Roberts confirmed that Tyler Anderson will make his second consecutive start in Friday’s series-opener against the Detroit Tigers, with Andrew Heaney still on the injured list. Roberts said Heaney, who is battling shoulder discomfort, has not resumed throwing yet.
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