Snakes and ladders.
The Los Angeles Dodgers were just nine outs away from breaking out of their recent slump…then the bullpen happened.
Adam Liberatore couldn't handle the lead that Clayton Kershaw gave him and the Dodgers dropped their eighth consecutive game at Chase Field, 4-3, to the Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in Arizona.
Kershaw gave the Dodgers everything he had, leaving with the lead after allowing just two runs on six hits with one walk and six strikeouts in six strong innings.
"He worked hard tonight," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Kershaw. "We have to find a way to pick him up. The pen in the last 9-10 days, it's been rough. It's been a slump. We have to find a way to get out of it."
The three-time Cy Young Award winner bounced back from a bad performance in his last outing against the Marlins, but as we've seen throughout the first month of the season, the Dodgers simply continue to find ways to lose.
"I would have liked to go deeper into the game obviously," said Kershaw. "When it's not going well it's going to take a lot to get a win. Especially against a team like that. We just have to keep going."
Arizona jumped out to an early lead thanks to the red-hot bat of A.J. Pollock. The 30-year-old outfielder hit his NL-leading 10th home run of the season, and his fourth in the last two days as he sent Kershaw deep on an 89MPH slider in the second inning.
"I probably shouldn't have thrown a bad slider to him," said Kershaw of the Pollock home run.
Pollock moved into a tie with the Yankees Didi Gregorius, the Angels Mike Trout, and the Mariners Mitch Haniger for the most home runs in the Major Leagues.
"There are stretches you go through you see the ball well and there are stretches that you don't," said Pollock. "I'm seeing the ball pretty well right now. I don't know. Some days it just works."
The Dodgers took the lead on a two-run bomb from Cody Bellinger in the top of the third inning.
Bellinger's 435-foot blast was the second longest home run hit by a Dodger this season.
L.A. would tack on an insurance run in the top of the fourth before Christian Walker unloaded on a Kershaw slider that landed in the upper-deck to cut the lead down to one.
The 478-foot home run was just Walker's second hit of the season.
Kershaw left with the lead after the sixth, but Liberatore allowed back-to-back singles to start the seventh before Daniel Descalso hit a two-run triple to give the Diamondbacks the lead.
Descalso continues to be a thorn in the Dodgers side as he finished the game 2-for-4 with two RBI.
Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger shut the door on the Boys in Blue from there as the right-handed closer earned his 10th save of the season.
Arizona improved to 17-0 when leading the game going into the seventh inning or later and are the only team in baseball yet to blow a save this season.
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The Dodgers are 1-7 against the Diamondbacks this season and have a lost a franchise record eight straight at Chase Field.
The Dodgers will send LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu to the mound on Wednesday against RHP Zack Godley for the Diamondbacks. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40PM PST.
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