A stinging loss, as Putz's run of success ends

A stinging loss, as Putz's run of success ends

A stinging loss, as Putz's run of success ends
LOS ANGELES -- J.J. Putz had put together a streak of 24 scoreless outings.

"It wasn't long enough," the D-backs closer said after his blown save in the ninth inning helped the Dodgers walk off with a 5-4 win on Sunday afternoon at Dodger Stadium.

The loss, combined with a win by the first-place Giants, dropped the D-backs to 10 1/2 games back with just 27 left to play. Arizona opens a three-game set in San Francisco on Monday afternoon.

"We just need to strap it back on and get after it and try to win some ballgames," Sunday's starting pitcher, Wade Miley, said. "Especially over these next three days and give ourselves a chance."

They talked a good game, but the silence in the clubhouse spoke volumes about how the players know the math is getting beyond improbable at this point.

After winning the first two games of the series with the Dodgers, the D-backs dropped the final two, both by one run.

Sunday's hurt because they were just two outs from a 4-3 win when Adrian Gonzalez ripped a Putz fastball to right for a double that scored Mark Ellis and Shane Victorino to end the game, ending a string of 19 straight saves for the closer.

"I got ahead of Adrian there and tried to elevate to try and get him to swing and miss, try to get him to chase," Putz said of the 0-2 pitch. "And I just didn't get it up."

The ninth started out well for Putz as he fanned pinch-hitter Bobby Abreu.

"I thought after we got Abreu, that was going to be the toughest at-bat of the game," D-backs catcher Miguel Montero said.

Instead, Ellis followed with a broken-bat single to left and Putz then walked Victorino.

"That's the one that hurts," Putz said. "I was rushing to the plate, trying to be quick, trying to keep Ellis from taking the bag and ball was just up. I wasn't catching up with my arm."

"The ninth was kind of funny," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Bobby has done real well with Putz and he gets him out. Mark is like 2-for-11 and he starts it. Shane walking is a huge part, because it puts pressure on him to throw strikes. So, the walk was huge."

Funny is not a word the D-backs used to describe it.

"We had a chance to put them away, but J.J. didn't make a very good pitch on Gonzalez 0-2," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "It's not from lack of effort. But this one here stings. A big, big loss for us."

The ending spoiled a good start by Miley, who continued his push for Rookie of the Year honors with a solid 6 2/3-inning effort.

"I was making pitches, throwing strikes and guys were putting the ball in play and the defense was making plays," the left-hander said.

The first four runs of the game came via the home run.

Matt Kemp got the Dodgers off to a 1-0 lead with his 18th homer of the season, his first in a span of 80 at-bats. The towering drive just barely eluded the glove of a leaping Justin Upton, hit off the top of the wall and bounced over the fence.

"I wasn't happy early," Miley said. "I wasn't hitting some spots early, but I kind of made some adjustments and went from there."

Arizona tied the game in the third when John McDonald homered to left, just his fifth long ball of the year.

Montero then put the D-backs up 3-1 with a two-out, two-run homer to right.

The Dodgers pulled to within 3-2 when a sixth-inning groundout by Andre Ethier scored Kemp from third.

The D-backs pushed their lead to 4-2 in the seventh when McDonald hit a dribbler to the first-base side of the pitcher's mound. Gonzalez charged the ball and, after pitcher Shawn Tolleson fielded it, there was no one at first to take his throw. Paul Goldschmidt scored from third on the play.

An RBI single by Victorino in the seventh cut the D-backs lead to 4-3.

"We kept hanging in there, kept coming back," Mattingly said. "It's a huge win for us."

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.