The Diamondbacks (35-28) lost 6-2 to San Francisco on Sunday as their advantage in the division was reduced to 1 1/2 games over the Giants and Colorado. Arizona has dropped three of four.
Its rotation has played a big part in the recent struggles, posting a 10.80 ERA in the past three losses. The poor performances have led to a heavy workload for the relievers, who pitched at least four innings each time in those defeats."Our starters have been giving up a lot of runs which puts a big strain on the bullpen," manager Kirk Gibson said. "(The relievers) are exhausted down there and it kind of has an effect on the players and they haven't been as sharp lately."
Gibson's starters have had no such problems against the Dodgers (27-35), recording a 2.93 ERA in the six matchups this season and allowing two or fewer earned runs four times. The rotation turned in three solid performances as Arizona swept a three-game set in Los Angeles from May 6-8.
They'll try for a fifth consecutive victory over the Dodgers when they face Kershaw (5-4, 1.93 ERA), who's among the major league ERA leaders but is winless in his last three starts.
While the left-hander has been solid over that stretch, he hasn't been his usually dominant self, posting a 4.05 ERA after giving up one or no runs in his previous five outings.
Kershaw has also pitched well against Arizona of late but has gone 0-4 in his last five matchups, due largely to almost nonexistent run support. He's posted a 1.98 ERA in the past four but has received a total of two runs of support.
Kershaw went seven innings and gave up two runs - one earned - in a 3-2 loss to the Diamondbacks on May 8. Paul Goldschmidt hit one of his two home runs in that game off Kershaw and went 7 for 13 with four homers and nine RBIs in the series.
Goldschmidt has two hits in 17 at-bats against Kershaw.
Arizona's Wade Miley (4-5, 4.92) gave up two runs over 7 2-3 innings for the victory and is 3-0 with a 2.17 ERA in four career starts at Dodger Stadium. Miley, however, is 1-4 with a 7.94 ERA in his last five starts overall.
Though he allowed a season-high 11 hits and three runs over 6 2-3 innings, the left-hander snapped a four-start losing streak in a 10-3 win over St. Louis on Wednesday.
Miley and the Diamondbacks will get their first look at Puig, who went 3 for 5 with a double in the Dodgers' 8-1 loss to Atlanta on Sunday.
Puig is 13 for 28 with four homers and 10 RBIs since his debut last Monday, while also exhibiting a powerful throwing arm that has resulted in two outfield assists.
"He's unbelievable," teammate Luis Cruz told the team's official website. "He's been hitting so far and hopefully he continues to do it and helps us win some games."
The injury-plagued Dodgers have won four of seven with Puig in the lineup, though they dropped the last two to the Braves.
Teammate Adrian Gonzalez has gone 10 for 21 with a homer and two doubles in this season series.
|Jerry Hairston Jr.||7||.143||1||0||0||0||2||.143||.286||.143|
|May 31, 2013||Brandon McCarthy||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|May 31, 2013||Eric Chavez||15-Day DL||Strained right oblique|
|May 30, 2013||Eric Chavez||Day-to-Day||Strained right oblique|
|May 26, 2013||Ian Kennedy||Day-to-Day||Cut on right index finger|
|May 08, 2013||J.J. Putz||15-Day DL||Strained right elbow|
|April 27, 2013||Didi Gregorius||7-Day DL||Mild concussion|
|Los Angeles Dodgers|
|June 08, 2013||Ted Lilly||Day-to-Day||Neck discomfort|
|June 07, 2013||Hanley Ramirez||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 05, 2013||Ted Lilly||15-Day DL||Neck sprain|
|June 05, 2013||Mark Ellis||Day-to-Day||Groin injury|
|June 02, 2013||Carl Crawford||15-Day DL||Strained left hamstring|
|June 02, 2013||Hyun-Jin Ryu||Day-to-Day||Sore foot|
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- When the Diamondbacks and Dodgers get together, it's bound to be close.
Six of their seven games this season have been decided by three runs or less, and the latest was even tighter.
Willie Bloomquist put Arizona ahead with a bases-loaded, two-run infield single off Los Angeles closer Brandon League in a four-run ninth inning, helping the D-backs rally for a 5-4 victory on Monday night.
"It's going to come down to the last at-bat against them," Bloomquist said. "I was just trying to stay up the middle. I didn't hit it great but sometimes direction is better than hitting it hard."
Diamondbacks closer Heath Bell then barely held on as Arizona won its fifth straight against the Dodgers and improved to 6-1 against them this season, including a three-game sweep in May.
"Heath kept his composure," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "Guys buckled down and they didn't give in."
The D-backs closed to 3-2 on pinch-hitter Jason Kubel 's infield single to second base that scored Martin Prado , who singled with one out in the ninth. Gerardo Parra doubled to deep center before League walked pinch-hitter Didi Gregorius to load the bases.
Bloomquist hit a sharp grounder that shortstop Nick Punto stopped with a dive behind second base but couldn't hold onto the ball and Parra and Josh Wilson , running for Kubel, scored to give the D-backs a 4-3 lead, their first of the game.
"The groundball with the bases loaded, it was just an inch away from being an out," League said. "But I didn't do my job in the ninth and I got an `L' for it."
Peter Moylan replaced League and gave up a RBI single to Paul Goldschmidt , making it 5-3.
Juan Uribe pulled the Dodgers to 5-4 in the bottom of the ninth with a solo homer off Bell. Tim Federowicz followed with a double that glanced off the glove of right fielder Parra.
"I made a mistake and they got a hit," Bell said. "The Dodgers are really hot right now. It was just a good win for us."
Pinch-hitter Skip Schumaker sacrificed Federowicz to third on Prado's fielding error, but Bell retired three in a row to finish for his 12th save.
Tony Sipp (3-1) pitched one-third of an inning for the victory.
"Nobody is giving in ever," Arizona starter Wade Miley said. "We battled and battled and battled, got opportunities and made it work."
League (2-3) gave up four runs and four hits, struck out one and walked one in two-thirds of an inning for the loss.
Dodgers rookie sensation Yasiel Puig went 3 for 4 with a strikeout while hitting fourth in the lineup after batting leadoff in his first seven big league games last week. He was named NL player of the week on Monday for his stellar performance that featured 13 hits in 28 at-bats, four home runs and 10 RBIs.
Puig's single loaded the bases with no outs in the eighth, but Jerry Hairston Jr. grounded into a double play to third and Andre Ethier flied out to center to end the inning.
Mark Ellis ' homer in the fifth extended the Dodgers' lead to 3-1. He went 3 for 4 with a walk and two runs scored.
Uribe snapped a 1-all tie with his broken-bat double that scored Hairston, who singled and took second on Ethier's single. Puig opened the inning with a single, and tried to eke out an extra base on Hairston's hit but was thrown out at third by right fielder Parra.
Arizona's first run came on Miguel Montero 's RBI single in the second that tied the game 1-1.
Parra robbed Federowicz of extra bases with a catch at the wall leading off the seventh. Federowicz hit the first pitch from Charles Brewer, who was making his major league debut after being called up earlier Monday.
Miley gave up three runs and nine hits, struck out four and walked two.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw allowed one run and six hits, struck out five and walked two to remain winless in his last four starts with two no-decisions.
NOTES: The D-backs recalled LHP Joe Paterson and Brewer from Triple-A Reno, optioned LHP Tyler Skaggs and placed LHP Matt Reynolds on the 15-day DL with a strained left elbow. ... Dodgers CF Matt Kemp , on the DL with a strained right hamstring, will rehab with the team through Wednesday, and then likely go on a minor league rehab assignment. ... Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez was out of the starting lineup for the fifth straight game because of a nagging left hamstring. The team said an MRI done Sunday didn't show any damage. ... The Dodgers recalled INF Justin Sellers from Triple-A Albuquerque, giving them another option to help fill the void until Ramirez returns.