Retooled Dodgers blanked in Victorino's debut

Retooled Dodgers blanked in Victorino's debut

Retooled Dodgers blanked in Victorino's debut
LOS ANGELES -- After taking three games from the Giants in San Francisco over the weekend, Los Angeles was on the opposite end of a three-game sweep against a division foe as the D-backs won, 4-0, on Wednesday in Shane Victorino's debut for their sixth straight win against the Dodgers.

Victorino played left field and went 0-for-4 from the leadoff spot, and the rest of the offense didn't fare much better.

The team managed only two hits, one coming from starting pitcher Stephen Fife, and didn't have a baserunner after a Jerry Hairston walk led off the fourth inning.

"Guys are emotionally feeling great [after sweeping San Francisco], so the series scared me from the very beginning when I looked at the schedule," manager Don Mattingly said.

Victorino said he was on a similar sort of adrenaline rush Wednesday afternoon, like the one the rest of the team was on during the entire series.

"Hopefully, Friday things will be a little bit better," Victorino said. "I'll be a little bit calmer and a little more relaxed so I can go out there and have fun and be that guy who brings energy to this team."

Suddenly, the two-team race in the National League West has a new competitor, as the third-place D-backs sit only 1 1/2 games behind the second-place Dodgers, looking more and more like the team that won the division last season.

What was supposed to be a revamped, dynamic offense with Victorino and Hanley Ramirez struggled against Patrick Corbin, a rookie callup.

Ramirez went 0-for-10 in his first home series at Dodger Stadium, but there was still a smile wide across his face after the game despite the defeat. Newly acquired relievers Brandon League and Randy Choate were both charged with an earned run in the eighth when Choate gave up a two-run shot.

That was the second Arizona home run of the game and sixth of the series.

"They really hurt us with the long ball, to be honest with you, all three games of the series," Mattingly said. "We weren't able to put runs on the board. If you don't score, you're not going to win."

Although it was a rough day for the four newly acquired Dodgers, Mattingly said he was still confident and excited about what lies ahead with his new-look ball club.

"We are in a little bit of a transition," he said.

"We have to be the same type of club that makes a guy fight for his outs, be ready to fight you for every inch of the field all the time. That can't change. No matter the caliber of guys."

The scoring on Wednesday started with a single by Miguel Montero in the second that brought home Paul Goldschmidt, who led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a spectacular diving grab by catcher A.J. Ellis on Justin Upton's bunt attempt.

That run was all the D-backs would need, but they tacked on three more on a pair of homers by Chris Johnson and Montero for good measure.

"My execution was subpar," said Fife, who gave up two runs on six hits and threw 74 pitches in 4 1/3 innings. "I battled OK, but I fell behind a lot. I was making mistakes up in the zone."

For instance, Fife said the home run he gave up to Johnson on a 2-0 fastball was on the outer third and it should have been in the bottom of the zone.

With the Dodgers unable to land a starter at the Trade Deadline, like Ryan Dempster, and with Ted Lilly not feeling ready to return just yet, Fife might continue to be called upon if the team doesn't make a move.

Goldschmidt, who finished the series hitting 8-for-12 with four runs, five RBIs and two homers, was impressed by the pitcher making just his third career start.

"He's got good stuff," the powerful Arizona first baseman said. "He throws a couple of different pitches. His fastball is kind of like a cutter, he's got a variation of it, a little slower one that moves a little more and he's got a slider and curveball and maybe even a changeup to lefties."

Fife was taken out in the fifth with one out, a runner on first and Goldschmidt at the plate. Javy Guerra came in to take over for the young righty and he went on to pitch a scoreless 2 2/3 innings, a career high.

After the day game Wednesday, Los Angeles is off Thursday before hosting the Cubs at Dodger Stadium.

"I'm disappointed, but it is what it is," said Matt Kemp, who got one of the team's two hits. "Turn the page, have an off-day tomorrow and get back at it on Friday."

Mattingly shared his superstar's feelings.

"After a series like this, it's a good time for an off-day," he said with a laugh.

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