Dodgers hammer D-backs for fifth straight win

Dodgers hammer D-backs for fifth straight win

Dodgers hammer D-backs for fifth straight win
PHOENIX -- Manager Don Mattingly loaded Monday night's lineup with five players who earlier this month were at Triple-A Albuquerque, but it was a group of veterans that gave the Dodgers a 6-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Matt Treanor, Andre Ethier and James Loney homered to support starter Chris Capuano as the Dodgers' latest win streak reached five games.

Capuano, coming off his lone loss of the year, allowed one run on four hits over six innings and, at 6-1, has a share of the National League lead in wins. Treanor, who has caught Capuano's last five starts, slugged his first Dodgers home run, a two-run shot in the second inning that brought in Jerry Sands, who singled. Ethier added to his league RBI lead (38) with a solo homer in the seventh inning, his ninth. Loney, inserted for defense, added a two-run homer in the eighth.

Despite the wave of injuries that has claimed starting position players Matt Kemp, Juan Rivera, Juan Uribe, Mark Ellis and utility man Jerry Hairston, Capuano said he isn't dismayed by depending on unfamiliar names.

"Donnie preached to us not to allow ourselves to get down," Capuano said. "The team we've got on the field is the team we got. Fortunately, the young guys have come up and done a great job. We're all just trying to win as many games as we can. We'll take off even more when we get the guys back."

Treanor, the backup catcher to A.J. Ellis, said the unselfish tone was set during Spring Training.

"They told us it would take more than the original 25, and that feeling has made everybody feel that way since camp," said Treanor, 36. "We would play that way, even the 'B' squad in a road game. I felt there was a sense that everybody mattered. It wasn't like, 'That's Matt Kemp, don't talk to him.' Everybody knows what's going on. Everybody knows [Clayton Kershaw] is the Cy Young. But everybody was comfortable.

"We don't sit around thinking about when the other guys are coming back. We just think about winning today. The young guys have come in and they're not overmatched. The goal is to continue to win."

Capuano retired the first nine batters he faced, only to suffer a slight relapse of lack of aggressiveness in the fourth inning. Willie Bloomquist led off with a triple, and the shutout was gone one batter later when Aaron Hill singled up the middle.

Capuano might have lost the lead if not for Tony Gwynn's running catch of Justin Upton's shallow fly and Capuano's own glove work, snagging Jason Kubel's line drive that appeared headed into center field with runners on first and second.

"It was just reaction. Self-defense," said Capuano, who snapped a personal four-game losing streak against Arizona. "If that ball gets to center field and a run comes it, it's a different game."

Capuano was removed after six innings and 94 pitches, the count swelling from that fourth inning.

"For whatever reason when I get in the stretch and use the slide step, the problem is I haven't thrown that much in the bullpen with it and when I get in the game I try to be quick to control the running game," he said.

Nonetheless, Capuano is 6-1 with a 2.25 ERA, numbers that put him right there with Kershaw and Ted Lilly for All-Star consideration.

"I couldn't be having more fun playing the game," said Capuano. "Since coming back from my second Tommy John surgery, both last year in New York and this year in L.A., I appreciate all of this, no doubt about it."

Against Arizona rookie lefty Patrick Corbin, Mattingly loaded up on right-handed hitters with a lineup including five starters that were with Triple-A Albuquerque earlier this month; among them a clean-up hitter (Scott Van Slyke) making his second Major League start; a No. 2 hitter (Elian Herrera) making his fourth career start and a No. 6 hitter (Ivan De Jesus) making his first Major League start of the year.

"Our kids are not so far removed from their kid," Mattingly said. "They're comfortable with a young guy. Our older players, they are more with the game plan and they don't know him. It's tougher for the veterans to prepare against a guy they don't know."

"They have a lot of good guys, I've thrown against most of them last year in Double-A, a lot of them can hit it out of the ballpark so you've got to keep it down and mix up the speeds to keep your team in the game," said Corbin.

The kids broke it open with a three-run eighth inning. De Jesus singled off second baseman Hill's glove, was tripled home by Justin Sellers (starting again for slumping shortstop Dee Gordon) and Loney homered.

The win raised the Dodgers to 16 games over .500 and they are 6-2 since Kemp went on the disabled list. The D-backs have lost 13 of their last 16 at home and are 10 1/2 games behind the first-place Dodgers.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.