Rich Hill surrendered five runs in the first inning and the Los Angeles Dodgers dropped the first game of a three-game series with the Arizona Diamondbacks, 7-6, on Tuesday night at Chase Field.
The D-backs jumped all over Hill to start the game as six of the first seven hitters reached base, punctuated with a two-run home run by A.J. Pollock.
A.J. Pollock hits a 2-run home run for his 8th home run of the season!!! #OurSeason pic.twitter.com/lFsMjCXucY— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB_) August 30, 2017
"They got him early," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts told the media following the game. "He wasn't sharp. His breaking ball didn't have that finish that it typically does and they were taking a lot of good swings off him."
J.D. Martinez and Brandon Drury both hit back-to-back doubles in the inning and before the desert dwellers found their seats, the Snakes were up 5-0.
Despite digging themselves a five-run hole, the Dodgers chipped away at the lead, starting with a solo shot in the second inning from Yasiel Puig.
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Puig's rocket shot to center extended his career-high to 24 home runs on the season. Puig is batting .407 with 7 runs, 3 doubles and three homers in his last eight games.
Birthday boy, Chris Taylor, celebrated his 27th year on earth with a two-run home run in the third that cut the Arizona lead to 5-3.
"I was just looking for a pitch up," Taylor said of the hme run. "He left one up over the middle and I was able to put a good swing on it."
Three batters later, Yasmani Grandal hit a two-out, RBI single, that scored Justin Turner and the Dodgers found themselves within a single run.
The roller coaster ride that is Rich Hill didn't last much longer as the left-hander did not make it out of the fourth inning, less than a week from his 10-inning no-hitter at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Hill had one of his worst starts of the season.
"It was just a bad night," a disappointed Hill told reporters. "Everybody did what they were supposed to do, put runs on the board and play defense. I was terrible. Tonight was unacceptable."
Hill (9-6) took the loss, snapping his run of unbeaten starts at nine, after allowing six runs on eight hits with one walk and four strikeouts in just three and 2/3 innings.
"Rich has had a very good season for us," added Roberts, "But today just wasn't a good day for him."
Ross Stripling entered the game in relief and promptly served up a 90MPH slider to Paul Goldschmidt for his 32nd homer of the season.
Paul Goldschmidt hits a solo home run for his 32nd home run of the season!!! #OurSeason pic.twitter.com/NVZxkcoZSb— TheRenderMLB (@TheRenderMLB_) August 30, 2017
Zack Godley (6-7) got the win, allowing four runs on six hits with one walk and five strikeouts in six solid innings.
Fernando Rodney struggled in the ninth, allowing a leadoff double to Chase Utley and an RBI single to Taylor before inducing a groundout from Yasmani Grandal to get the win and his 33rd save of the save.
The loss marked the first time the Dodgers have dropped three consecutive games since June 4-6. It ties their longest losing streak of the season, and they are the only team in MLB this season not to have a losing streak of four games.
Just two days after their unbeaten series streak was snapped at 22, the Dodgers saw another streak snap at the hands of the Snakes as their winning streak of 40 consecutive games when scoring four runs or more was snapped on Tuesday.
The streak was the third highest in MLB history, behind only the 1906 Giants (41) and the 1954 Cleveland Indians (42).
The Dodgers magic number to clinch their fifth consecutive National League West Division title remains at 14 games.
It will be a battle of Southpaws in the summer heat on Wednesday as LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu goes up against All-Star Robbie Ray at 6:40PM PST.