The Arizona Diamondbacks have now lost five of their last six games as the Los Angeles Dodgers -- with the help of a Phoenix native and ASU baseball star -- beat the Rattlers 7-3 in Phoenix last night.
That Phoenix native and ASU baseball star, of course, is Dodger outfielder Andre Ethier.
Ethier led the way for the Dodgers going 3 for 5 -- including two doubles -- in last night's game, driving in two runs in the fifth inning to give the Dodgers a 4-1 lead.
"I'm going up there trying to get a good pitch to hit, putting a good swing on it," Ethier, who has 10 home runs and 34 RBIs in 30 games, said after the game. "I think I've become a little bit smarter with my approach and my swing. I know my swing a lot better and what has led to my success in my career, and I try not to shy away from that."
Last night's performance boosted Ethier's batting average to .393 on the season, and Dodgers manager Joe Torre has taken notice to Ethier's wave of success, telling reporters "he's just all about confidence right now."
As for the D-backs: Last night wasn't the worst showing of the season, but it was dreadful in its own right.
As usual, the D-backs bullpen -- combined with the team's current inability to hit a baseball --lost the game for the Rattlers last night.
D-backs pitcher Rodrigo Lopez went seven decent innings, giving up four runs, including a James Loney home run and Ethier's two-run double.
Then it was the bullpen's turn, and while it didn't blow the game this time around, it certainly didn't help things.
The D-backs headed into the ninth inning down 4-2. That manageable, two-run deficit was soon expanded after D-backs' reliever Bob Howry allowed a three-run, ninth-inning rally, which put the nail in the coffin for the Snakes.
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Down 7-2 in the bottom of the ninth, the D-backs got a little something going when a late-game single drove in Chris Young to make the final score 7-3.
"It's difficult to put together rallies that way, and we're not swinging," manager A.J. Hinch said after the game. "It hasn't been a good homestand at all. Much of our identity, at least early on, was about quality at-bats, and now they're few and far between."
The Diamondbacks take the field again tonight in the second game of the team's series with the Dodgers. First pitch is at 6:40 p.m. TV: FSAZ (Channel 34). Radio: KTAR-FM (92.3), and KSUN-AM (1400). For more information, go to www.diamondbacks.com.