D-backs finish with split vs. Dodgers
Arizona returns to Chase Field with one-game lead in NL West
LOS ANGELES -- If you had told the D-backs when they started their 10-game trek through California that they would come home with a 7-3 record, they no doubt would have been pleased.
Yet after dropping the trip's finale, 9-3, to the Dodgers on Sunday afternoon, the mood was not all smiles in the clubhouse.
That's because after winning the first two games of the series with the Dodgers, the D-backs missed a golden opportunity to really put the hurt on their National League West rivals.
"Obviously, after you win the first two you want to take at least one of the next two," D-backs manager Bob Melvin said. "But it didn't happen. It's not the worst thing in the world to split here. We did have a successful road trip, but it's a little disappointing after winning the first two that we couldn't pull out one of the last two games."
The D-backs return to the desert with a one-game lead over the second-place Dodgers, same as when the trip started, but they led by three after the first two games of the series with the Dodgers.
"We had a chance to be three up after today," starter Doug Davis said. "It's a huge difference, but at the same time I believe the way we're playing, the way we're pitching and playing defense and hitting right now, I believe we're going to be all right."
For the second day in a row, the Dodgers seemed energized by Trade Deadline acquisition Manny Ramirez. The slugger drove in three runs and is 8-for-13 since coming over from the Red Sox and looks like he could be a real force in the race.
"You put Manny in any lineup it's going to be more difficult," Davis said. "He probably is the best hitter in baseball right now. It's a different lineup."
Ramirez drove in the Dodgers' first tally with a single to left as part of a two-run first inning.
After Arizona tied the game in the top of the second, the Dodgers responded with three in the bottom half to take the lead for good. Ramirez was right in the middle of that rally, as well, capping it with a run-scoring double to left.
That sent Davis (4-5) to the showers. It was a frustrating outing for him coming on the heels of a start in which he carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning against the Padres.
"It's very humbling," Davis said. "You're on cloud nine and then all of a sudden you're below the earth."
This time around, though, he didn't seem to be able to hit his spots and when he fell behind, he had to come into the hitters, and they made him pay.
"Doug just didn't have his best stuff today," Melvin said.
Said Davis, "I didn't have the control for one and when I did get it in the zone it seemed they they hit the ball hard on the ground and put it in the holes. When I fall behind I'm not the kind of pitcher that can afford to make mistakes. That's what I did. I made a lot of mistakes today. It was one of those days."
The D-backs cut the lead to 5-3 in the fifth when Stephen Drew hit his 13th homer of the year to set a new career high.
"I'm just trying to get good [at-bats] and get on base," Drew said. "I'm just seeing the ball well."
Ramirez led off the bottom of the fifth with his second homer in as many days as the Dodgers began to pull away.
"He's Manny," Drew said. "He can hit. Everybody knows that."
The D-backs headed to Phoenix after the game to open a seven-game homestand beginning Monday.
"It was a good trip," catcher Chris Snyder said.
No question, but it could have been better.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.