Sloppy pitching and defense doom Dodgers again in loss to Diamondbacks

The Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t hit a ball out of the infield in Wednesday’s eighth inning.

To score the winning runs in their 3-1 defeat of the Dodgers, they didn’t need to.

Instead, sloppy pitching and mistake-prone defense doomed the Dodgers for a second straight day. Reliever Daniel Hudson issued a leadoff walk. Third baseman Max Muncy fired high to first after fielding a bunt in the next at-bat. And in the ensuing scramble, one run taken scored, another runner ended up at third, setting him up to score later in the inning, and the Diamondbacks had a lead they wouldn’t relinquish on their way to a rubber-match win at Chase Field.

It was the ultimate moment of deja vu during an afternoon that had many parallels to the Dodgers’ loss on Tuesday night.

A day after hitting into five double plays (tying a franchise record in the live ball era) and being punished for walks and errant defense, the Dodgers struggled with the same issues again in the series finale.

They were shut out for six innings by Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen, who escaped his only real jam of the day by striking out Cody Bellinger with two aboard in the sixth. The Dodgers failed to convert another opportunity in the seventh, when Gavin Lux struck out and Edwin Ríos was caught stealing on the same play to end the inning.

Then, after their offense tied the score at 1-1 in the top of the eighth on a Trea Turner RBI single, they came unglued in the bottom half of the inning.

Daulton Varsho drew the leadoff walk, checking his swing on a full-count fastball above the zone. Sergio Alcántara dropped a well-placed bunt in the next at-bat that was fielded by a charging Muncy.

His throw was too high. It deflected off the glove of a leaping Lux, who was covering from second base, then dribbled into foul territory. Varsho scored from first with ease. Alcántara raced all the way to third, later scoring on a Pavin Smith ground ball.

The Diamondbacks almost added to the lead again in the eighth, when Lux’s off-target throw to first dragged Freeman off the bag. Initially, baserunner Christian Walker was ruled safe. The call was overturned on a review, however, after video showed Freeman had gotten his foot back on the base in time.

In the end, it didn’t matter. The Dodgers went down in order in the ninth, suffering their first series defeat since the opening series of the season.

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.

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