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Dodgers lose late lead, fall to Diamondbacks despite Mookie Betts' big night

Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Baseball

Mookie Betts ran as fast as he could, jumped as high as he could, reached as far as he could.

But on the outfielder's best night yet as a Los Angeles Dodger, the lasting image will be a ball that soared just beyond his outstretched glove. In the bottom of the eighth inning Friday night, Christian Walker's bases-clearing three-run double turned a two-run Arizona Diamondbacks deficit into a one-run lead, the fatal blow in the Dodgers' eventual 5-3 loss at Chase Field.

Before the decisive eighth inning, Betts had helped push the Dodgers in front with his bat and his arm.

In the bottom of the first, he retrieved Ketel Marte's broken-bat line drive in shallow right and fired an on-the-fly rope to third base that easily beat Marte, who was trying to stretch a double into a triple, to the bag.

Betts put the Dodgers on the board in the fourth, turning on a changeup well inside the plate to loop a solo home run inside the left-field foul pole, his first homer as a Dodger. An inning later, he doubled the lead by whacking a first-pitch cutter the other way, driving home a runner from third.

After individual moments of brilliance in his first seven games -- scoring from third base on a grounder on opening day, doubling home a run in extra innings Wednesday in Houston, making two heads-up plays on the base paths and a diving catch in right field Thursday -- his three-hit, outfield-assist stat line Friday comprised his most complete effort.

 

Yet it all went for nothing after Arizona's four-run eighth inning.

After reliever Brake Treinen began the inning with a strikeout, a ground ball from Marte skipped off the mound and over the glove of third baseman Justin Turner, who was shifted to the middle of the infield.

After the error, the Diamondbacks' offense -- which was limited to a single hit over four scoreless innings from starter Tony Gonsolin and, up to that point, had only managed a run against Dodgers reliever Victor Gonzalez, who was making his big league debut -- finally kicked into gear.

Kole Calhoun drew a one-out walk. Starling Marte advanced the two runners with a soft grounder to shortstop. And the Dodgers intentionally walked switch-hitting Eduardo Escobar to get to the right-handed Walker.

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