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ARI@LAD: Collmenter shuts out Dodgers in first start

LOS ANGELES -- The D-backs may have collected only one hit Saturday against the Dodgers, but one hit is all Arizona needed to get a 1-0 win and give Josh Collmenter his first Major League victory as a starter at Dodger Stadium.

It is the first time in franchise history the D-backs won a one-hitter, snapping their five-game losing streak. The last time the Dodgers lost when allowing one or no hits occurred July 17, 1914, when Brooklyn lost, 3-2, to the Chicago Cubs.

Arizona's lone hit and run came in the second inning against Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley. Stephen Drew led off the inning with a double to right field and got to third on a throwing error by Billingsley on a pickoff attempt.

On the attempt, no one covered second and Billingsley's throw went straight into center field. Drew then scored on a Melvin Mora sacrifice fly to right field.

"I am not going to be picky. The most important thing is that we won the game," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "Yep, one hit, and we really didn't have another opportunity. These guys are grinding."

Drew's double continued his hot hitting against Billingsley. Drew came into Saturday's game against the righty batting .358 with one home run and three RBIs in 53 at-bats. Since 2008, Drew has 58 hits against the Dodgers, which leads the Majors.

A walk by Miguel Montero in the second and another walk by Drew in the seventh marked the only other baserunners in the game for Arizona.

"This game is crazy sometimes. It is a big win for us," Drew said. "The past six days have been frustrating losing by one. I never thought that was going to be the only hit, but it worked out well for us."

In his first career big league start, Collmenter matched Billingsley pitch for pitch.

In six innings, the righty gave up just two hits, surrendered no walks and struck out three. Collmenter moves to 2-0 on the season with a 0.90 ERA.

Efficiently mixing his fastball and changeup, Collmenter kept the Dodgers hitters off-balance with his funky over-the-top delivery.

"I felt like I saw him good. I hit some balls good off of him," Dodgers shortstop Jamey Carroll said. "But he's got a different arm angle. He has a good changeup off that arm angle that made it hard for us to make adjustments on it today."

With Collmenter limited to a pitch count of 75, he made the most of it. The righty threw 71 pitches, 54 for strikes.

"The way he commands the zone, he is able to throw to both sides of the plate," Gibson said. "He throws the ball down and he elevates as well. He throws good sequences. When you have a guy hitting his spots, it makes it a lot easier to defend as well."

Getting through the first two innings seamlessly, Collmenter gave up a double with one out on an 0-2 curveball to Billingsley down the right-field line in the third. But Collmenter retired Carroll and Aaron Miles on groundouts to end the inning.

Collmenter, who took Barry Enright's spot in the rotation, appeared in seven games in relief after Arizona called him up on April 15 from Triple-A Reno.

In 14 innings of relief this season, the righty gave up just eight hits and one walk, while striking out 11. While Collmenter saw prolonged action in the bullpen, he has been a starter throughout his pro career.

"Coming up as a starter, I always dreamed of starting in the big leagues, so to get this opportunity, I wanted to make the most of it and was just excited to get out there," Collmenter said. "When I found out I was starting, I was able to get into that routine and it naturally took over. I just didn't want to make it anything more than it was."

Getting to the ballpark early, the D-backs righty wanted to make sure he had time to prepare and go about his business as usual.

"He had the exact same routine today," Gibson said. "I think maybe his biggest asset is his makeup. He just processes the situation so well. He has a great inner confidence. He understands the game."

Aaron Heilman pitched a perfect seventh inning before David Hernandez came in to face the Dodgers in the eighth. The righty gave up a leadoff double to James Loney and Rod Barajas sacrificed Loney to third. But Hernandez got out of the jam by striking out Dioner Navarro and getting Jay Gibbons on a flyout to left field.

Closer J.J. Putz made it interesting in the ninth when he gave up a leadoff single to Carroll and a walk to Andre Ethier with one out, but on the first pitch to Matt Kemp, he got him to hit into a game-ending double play. It marked Putz's eighth save of the season.

"I know once you turn it over to the bullpen that they have been pitching well and are going to come in and do a good job," Collmenter said. "Even in the last inning, it is that easy to get a ground ball and you trust him because that is what he is here to do and he did a great job." Comments