Except for a W, letter-perfect night for young Skaggs

Except for a W, letter-perfect night for young Skaggs

Except for a W, letter-perfect night for young Skaggs
LOS ANGELES -- In a game of solo homers, the D-backs came up one run short.

The Dodgers smacked a pair of long balls en route to a 2-1 win over the D-backs on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

The loss snapped the D-backs' eight-game winning streak against the Dodgers. Arizona still has a chance to capture the four-game series if it manages a win in the finale Sunday.

The D-backs got an outstanding performance by starter Tyler Skaggs. The left-hander, who grew up in nearby Santa Monica, allowed one run over five innings of work in his first road start in the Majors.

After attending plenty of games at Dodger Stadium as a kid, pitching here was a big thrill for the rookie and he had family and lots of friends in attendance.

"It was unbelievable," Skaggs said. "Exciting. It's nice to know you have people in the L.A. crowd rooting for you, so it was fun. When I was warming up in the bullpen, I had a lot of friends watching me."

After retiring the Dodgers in order in the first, Skaggs ran into a bit of trouble in the second.

With one out, Hanley Ramirez gave the Dodgers a 1-0 when he hit a 2-2 pitch over the wall in center.

"I wanted to go outside and it just ran right back down the middle," Skaggs said.

The next two hitters singled and both catcher Miguel Montero and pitching coach Charles Nagy visited the mound to try to settle Skaggs down and urge him to work quicker.

"It seemed like as soon as he picked up the pace everything changed," Montero said. "His secondary stuff was better, his fastball command was better."

"Every time out, he's going to learn," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "I'm sure it was kind of overwhelming to an extent because he was virtually pitching at home in Dodger Stadium and it was only his third Major League start. Threw the ball well, kept his composure."

One inning later, the D-backs tied things up when Justin Upton hit a monster homer to left that landed in the trees beyond the Dodgers bullpen.

That was the only run that Dodgers starter Josh Beckett would allow in his 6 2/3 innings of work.

"Beckett did a good job tonight," Montero said. "He made good pitches and kept us off the bases. He threw the ball good. We've got to give credit to him."

The D-backs might have gotten two runs on the Upton homer, but Aaron Hill was thrown out trying to steal second just prior to the homer.

"I kind of blew it with Aaron Hill on the steal," Gibson said. "J-Up two pitches later hits the ball out. That's how it works out."

Matt Albers relieved Skaggs in the sixth and he fanned the first two batters he faced. Andre Ethier, though, followed by blasting a 3-2 pitch for a home run and a 2-1 lead for the Dodgers.

Beckett, who was making his second start for the Dodgers and first at Dodger Stadium since coming over from Boston in a blockbuster trade, fanned nine and allowed six hits and a walk in 6 2/3 innings.

"It was great," Beckett said. "A win. We needed that."

The Dodgers had a chance to add to their lead in the eighth when Matt Kemp lofted a one-out fly ball to right. Shane Victorino tagged up at third on the play and attempted to score.

Upton's throw to Montero at the plate bounced just before it got to Montero's glove and almost instantaneously Victorino slammed into Montero, who hung onto the ball for the inning-ending double play.

"That was a good one, huh?" Montero said. "That was a good one. It was a tough one, it was a tough throw. As soon as he threw the ball I said I was going to stay with the ball. Sometimes you have the chance to pick up the runner and see where he's at, but at that time I know he's fast and I knew I wasn't going to have the time. I short-hopped it and all I was thinking was stay with the ball and catch it. I never saw it. I was watching the ball and as soon as the ball came into my glove it was pretty much, 'Boom.' "

Montero said he initially felt dizzy, but that it did not last long.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.