PHOENIX -- At this rate, the Dodgers are in danger of overworking Drew Butera.
For the second time in three games, the backup catcher was pressed into service as a pitcher to finish out a blowout loss. This time, it was an 18-7 beating by the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night that began with one of the worst starts in Clayton Kershaw's career and only got worse from there.
Kershaw never got out of the second inning. The Diamondbacks scored seven times on six hits, including three triples and a double in a span of six batters.
"You definitely don't expect it from him so it is kind of shocking any time he has an inning like that," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "You're kind of expecting him to go seven or eight (innings), give up two or three runs or less and if you can score, you've got a good chance of winning. This is definitely not the norm."
The 12/3-inning debacle was the second-shortest start of Kershaw's career and the seven-run second inning matched the most he has allowed in a single inning. Both of those previous lowlights came on May 4, 2010 against Milwaukee.
"I just got hit hard tonight. I don't know why," Kershaw said hours later after the game had dragged to its conclusion. "Left some balls up and they got hits. I can't make excuses and say they just found holes or anything. They hit balls hard. They hit balls in gaps. And I just got hit hard tonight."
Playing in front of their new executive Tony LaRussa, the Diamondbacks let the Dodgers back in the game with a five-run sixth inning that included a three-run home run by Carl Crawford and a dropped fly ball that led to two more runs. That was just an illusion. The Diamondbacks kept scoring � nine times in their final three innings � to set a franchise record for runs in a game.
Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig also homered in the game. That extended his hitting streak to 16 games with an extra-base hit and an RBI in each of the past eight games. That ties the L.A. Dodgers single-season record for consecutive games with an RBI and is the longest stretch of consecutive games with both an extra-base hit and an RBI since Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria went eight games in September of 2009.
(c)2014 The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.)
Visit The Orange County Register (Santa Ana, Calif.) at www.ocregister.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services