08/16/09 8:24 PM ET
D-backs' rally too little, too late in loss
Arizona unable to complete sweep despite three-run eighth
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
Sure they got blitzed, 9-3, by the Dodgers at Chase Field, but if you look at it from a bigger perspective, they took two of three from the National League West leaders and finished 4-2 on the homestand, both positive developments.
Now the D-backs take to the road for a four-city, 11-day trip that includes a makeup game on Monday in Atlanta before three games each in Philadelphia, Houston and San Francisco.
"If you start the homestand saying you're going to go 4-2 against the Mets and Dodgers we'd deem that a success," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "At the end of the day, we still deem it a success. We got beat up today, so be it. We've shown some resiliency, we'll come back on the road. This is going to be a good test for us. We're going to have to play well and play consistent baseball to continue this momentum that we've gained."
The D-backs showed the ability to come from behind in Saturday's win over the Dodgers when they got a pair of ninth-inning homers to tie the game before winning it in the 10th.
Sunday, though, they were out of the game early due to the struggles of Yusmeiro Petit.
Before the 34,012 in attendance had a chance to get comfortable in their seats, Matt Kemp doubled, Orlando Hudson followed with a single and Andre Ethier brought them home with his 24th homer of the year.
Petit (2-7) retired the side without further damage and held the Dodgers scoreless in the second and third innings.
"I thought Petit adjusted," Hinch said.
Petit might have, but if he did, the Dodgers adjusted right back as they scored four runs in the fourth inning to go up, 7-0.
Dodgers starter Randy Wolf and former D-back Orlando Hudson each hit two-out, two-run homers in the frame.
"He didn't finish the hitters very well and they made him pay," Hinch said. "They found ways to deliver some tough blows and to score runs. We got beat up pretty good today. They came out swinging the bats early very well."
The seven runs were more than enough for Wolf, who allowed a single to Ryan Roberts in the first and then retired 20 straight hitters until Rusty Ryal led off the eighth with his first big league home run.
"He pounded the zone," D-backs third baseman Mark Reynolds said of Wolf, who threw 100 pitches, 71 for strikes. "He pitched good. He was tough."
The D-backs eventually chased Wolf from the game while scoring three runs in the eighth, one of which came on Stephen Drew's triple to left, but it was too little, too late to salvage the game.
"He's always hit his spots well," Drew said. "Kind of sneaky, I like to say."
The win helped the Dodgers salvage a 3-3 record on their road trip as they head home to face the Cardinals.
"He gave us the lift we needed after last night's game and we came off the trip on a good note," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said.
It was an emotional roller coaster 24-hour period for Ryal.
Called up for the first time last week, he lined a rocket off Hiroki Kuroda's head Saturday night and then Sunday smacked his first big league homer in front of his mother and brother.
"I don't even know what was going through my head," Ryal said of the homer. "It was a good swing, felt good coming off the bat. It was a good day for me, but unfortunately we didn't get the win."
Ryal was shaken up following the injury to Kuroda and wrote a letter to the pitcher Saturday night wishing the pitcher a speedy recovery.
Kuroda suffered a concussion, but was released from the hospital Sunday morning and accompanied his teammates back to Los Angeles following the game. He seemed touched by Ryals' note.
"There are no hard feelings," said Kuroda. "He didn't have to do that. We are both professional athletes. He was doing his job. I hope he becomes a superstar and I can say I got hit by this hitter."
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.