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Diamondbacks-Dodgers Preview

Jun 2, 2010 - 6:49 AM By BRETT HUSTON STATS Writer

Arizona (20-32) at Los Angeles (29-22), 3:10 p.m. EDT

While the Los Angeles Dodgers are becoming experts in the one-run win, the Arizona Diamondbacks keep finding different, painful ways to lose.

The Diamondbacks' third straight walk-off loss was their ninth in a row overall, leaving them in need of a win in Wednesday afternoon's finale in Los Angeles to avoid the worst road trip in franchise history.

Arizona (20-33) was five games below .500 entering its current nine-game trip, but it had scored 41 runs in winning four of five at home.

The Diamondbacks' offense has dropped off considerably on the trip, totaling 17 runs through eight games, but the way they've lost has been the most crushing part. San Francisco came up with two tying runs in the ninth before winning 6-5 in the 10th on Sunday, then Arizona gave up three runs in the final two innings Monday at Los Angeles - with an Esmerling Vasquez balk ending that 5-4 defeat.

Nothing was decided through nine innings Tuesday, but the Dodgers (30-22) again dealt the Diamondbacks an agonizing loss. Matt Kemp crushed a 10th inning pitch from Juan Gutierrez into the bleachers to give Los Angeles a 1-0 win, spoiling starter Dan Haren's excellent performance.

"It's tough," Haren said. "We're finding every which way to lose a game, it seems like."

Arizona has never gone winless on a road trip of more than six games. It went 1-8 on trips in its inaugural 1998 season and in 2004, when it lost a franchise-record 111 games.

That was the same season as the Diamondbacks' last double-digit losing streak. They lost 14 in a row from July 9-25, just weeks after dropping 11 straight from June 18-29.

Los Angeles has been happy to capitalize on Arizona's misery this season. The Dodgers have won seven of eight against their NL West rivals, three by one run. Their 10-5 record in one-run games is the third-best in the majors behind Oakland (9-2) and Pittsburgh (12-5).

Kemp's homer was his fourth versus Arizona, and he's hit safely in all eight games (.342) while driving in nine. The rest of the Dodgers' big bats have done plenty of damage against the Diamondbacks as well - Manny Ramirez is hitting .393 with eight walks, Andre Ethier has nine RBIs and James Loney is batting .417.

Ethier homered off Edwin Jackson (3-6, 6.03 ERA) in a 6-3 Los Angeles victory on May 12, as the right-hander was charged with all of those runs over 6 2-3 innings.

Jackson has finally started to show some improvement since then. He's 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA, limiting opponents to a .179 average. Five walks hurt Jackson as he yielded three runs over seven innings Friday in a 5-0 loss at San Francisco.

Kemp and Loney are a combined 5 for 12 against Jackson, but Ramirez is 2 for 13 (.154) with five strikeouts.

Arizona's only experience against Carlos Monasterios (2-0, 2.20) came when the rookie faced them twice as a reliever. Now, Monasterios is the latest pitcher whom manager Joe Torre is trying as the fifth starter.

Monasterios, who could be back in the bullpen once Charlie Haeger (turf toe) is healthy, gave up four runs - two earned - over five innings Friday in a 5-4 win at Colorado.

"I thought he pitched well," Torre told the Dodgers' official website. "... He changed speeds, got left-handers out consistently."

Diamondbacks third baseman Mark Reynolds missed Tuesday's game with a strained right quad, and could be held out Wednesday as well.