Capuano falls victim to long ball in loss to D-backs

Capuano falls victim to long ball in loss to D-backs

Capuano falls victim to long ball in loss to D-backs
LOS ANGELES -- On Tuesday, the Dodgers managed only five hits en route to an 8-2 loss to the D-backs that dropped them to second place in the National League West.

The offensive help will come on Wednesday, when Shane Victorino makes his Los Angeles debut. However, the recent pitching concerns are another story, as the front office was unable to land the frontline starter it was looking to add before the Trade Deadline.

Judging by the last two games, general manager Ned Colletti's work may not be done, despite the Deadline passing. Over the past two games, the Dodgers' starters have allowed 12 runs in 11 innings after Chris Capuano surrendered five runs in six frames on Tuesday.

But manager Don Mattingly doesn't plan on handing Colletti a phone to start making calls any time soon just because of the last two games, as most of the damage came off just four pitches.

On Tuesday, it was a two-run homer by Paul Goldschmidt in the first and a three-run shot by Miguel Montero in the sixth that chased Capuano. Aaron Harang gave up a three-run homer and a grand slam the night before.

"The long ball has hurt us," Mattingly said.

But it wasn't just that as the Dodgers' offense went cold for the second straight game.

The team managed only three hits and one run -- a solo shot by Mark Ellis in the first -- until Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier hit a pair of singles in the ninth.

Kemp is 5-for-8 the past two games, but Ethier and newly acquired Hanley Ramirez have gone 2-for-16 behind him in the lineup.

"We didn't really do enough to win the game," Mattingly said. "Cappy just really missed a couple of bad pitches."

The loss ultimately boiled down to those bad pitches by Capuano, who is now 1-5 in his last seven starts.

The veteran left-hander gave up six hits and five runs in six innings, coming off his worst start of the year, in which he surrendered a season-high 11 hits and six earned runs in 4 1/3 innings against the Cardinals.

Capuano's ERA his jumped from 2.81 to 3.33 over his last two outings.

"I seemed to struggle executing with guys on base," Capuano said. "And for me, I need to spend a little more time in the bullpen making those good pitches with guys on base, because right now I'm not making the same quality pitches out of the stretch that I am out of the windup."

Capuano was critical of his last two outings, but he has been pleased with his body of work prior to that, despite what his record might show. Matt Treanor said after the game he hasn't noticed anything different about Capuano recently, compared to earlier this season.

"These guys have seen him a few times," said Treanor, who caught Tuesday's game as A.J. Ellis got a day to rest. "It could be a lot of different reasons. Look at his game in New York, he punched out nine. He's still there. It's not like he's fading. He had a rough go today, but he competes. The whole staff does. His stuff, I feel, he hasn't lost anything."

Capuano pitched well at times, but he couldn't get out of the first and sixth innings, despite getting two quick outs. In the first, he walked Jason Kubel before Goldschmidt hit his second home run in as many days into the left-field stands.

"Maybe next time he'll punch me out four times," said Goldschmidt, who had three hits off Capuano. "You don't know. I'm sure he didn't like where some of those pitches were, they were good pitches to hit."

In the sixth, Capuano gave up back-to-back singles to Goldschmidt and Justin Upton to bring up Montero, who hit his 12th home run to give Arizona a 5-1 lead.

The D-backs tacked on three more in the ninth when the game appeared out of reach.

The D-backs now sit only 2 1/2 games behind the Dodgers, who have dropped the last five to Arizona. While the Dodgers and Giants stole the headlines on Tuesday by adding a pair of All-Star outfielders from the Phillies, the D-backs stayed pat right before the Deadline and opted not to make the major deal they were rumored to have in the works.

An inconsistent July for the Dodgers that featured a 1-7 stretch followed by an 8-3 run, ended with Los Angeles going 13-13 in the month. The team is hopeful the addition of Victorino will help turn things back around as the calendar turns to August and things start heating up.

"Our focus should be and is on playing good baseball," Treanor said. "Now that the Deadline is over, we have to put that past us, re-jell as a team and stay focused and win ballgames. It's not that you sit here and worry about who's coming and who's going.

"But take [Josh] Lindblom, he was a very big part of the bullpen, a great guy, and all of a sudden he's gone. It does have an effect on you. But everybody realizes it's a business, as cliche as that is. The front office got the pieces, and it's time for us to get our swagger back and play baseball."

Alex Angert is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.