(Sports Network) - The Dodgers' sweep of the Diamondbacks nearly a month ago certainly didn't feature as many close games. For a team on the verge of its longest losing streak in almost six years, that has left Arizona as frustrated as ever.
Los Angeles will try to extend its six-game winning streak over Arizona, losers of nine straight, and finish of a three-game sweep this afternoon at Dodger Stadium.
The Diamondbacks have struggled to an 0-8 mark on their nine-game road trip that ends today and are just 1-7 versus the Dodgers this year. Los Angeles has won 10 of the last 12 meetings overall between the clubs and seeks its second straight series sweep after taking all three games in Arizona from May 10-12. The Dodgers last swept the Diamondbacks in three games at LA from Sept. 5-7, 2008.
After finding a new way to lose in Monday's opener, falling 5-4 on Esmerling Vasquez's two-out balk in the ninth inning that allowed the game-winning run to score, Arizona lost a pitchers' duel last night in more conventional fashion. D-Backs starter Dan Haren hopefully put his season-long struggles behind him with eight scoreless innings, but Juan Gutierrez yielded a homer to Matt Kemp in the bottom of the 10th inning for another disappointing 1-0 setback.
"It's not fun. It's impossible not to hang your head. It sucks. We have to find a way. It's embarrassing," said Haren.
Arizona dropped its ninth game in a row for the first time since Aug. 5-14, 2004. It hasn't lost 10 straight since a 14-game slide from July 9-25 of that season, a campaign in which Arizona lost a club-record 111 games.
The Diamondbacks played without slugger Mark Reynolds, who left Monday's game in the ninth inning due to a nagging right quad injury. Reynolds is day-to- day, but with an off day looming on Thursday it is unlikely he would play today.
Arizona's frustrations boiled over a bit in the seventh inning when shortstop Stephen Drew took exception to Russell Martin's slide into second base in which the Dodger catcher caught Drew with his spikes. The two exchanged words and benches emptied, but nothing further developed.
Kemp then set off more fireworks in the 10th with his walk-off homer, which extended his hitting streak to seven games and gave Los Angeles its third win in a row and fourth in five games. The Dodgers also moved to within a game of the first-place Padres in the National League West.
"It was a fastball, and I got good wood on it. I knew it was gone. It's my first walk-off homer. It's a pretty good feeling," said Kemp, who is hitting .310 (9-for-29) with two homers and five RBI over his hit streak.
Kemp is 3-for-6 lifetime versus Arizona starter Edwin Jackson, who aims to rebound today after being doomed last time out with nearly no offensive support. He was on the losing end of a 5-0 game versus San Francisco on Friday in which the D-Backs were held to just one hit by Giants starter Matt Cain.
Jackson himself didn't pitch poorly, allowing three runs on four hits and five walks with seven strikeouts over seven innings, but he still had a two-start win streak end while falling to 3-6 on the season with a 6.03 earned run average. Friday's outing also marked the fourth time in the right-hander's last five starts that he pitched at least seven innings.
A former sixth-round pick by the Dodgers in 2001, Jackson is 1-1 with a 5.68 ERA in two starts against his former club, which he pitched with from 2003-05. The 26-year-old lost to the Dodgers on May 12, giving up six runs over 6 2/3 innings. Andre Ethier tagged him for a two-run homer in the fourth inning, while Manny Ramirez brought home three runs with a bases-loaded double that ended his outing.
Ethier is 1-for-8 in two games since returning from a broken right finger, while Ramirez is hitting just .203 in 21 games with two homers and 13 RBI since his own return from a disabled list stint.
With Charlie Haeger not ready to return from a toe injury that landed him on the disabled list, LA's Carlos Monasterios will make his third start of the season and second in a row this afternoon.
The Venezuelan rookie was effective versus Colorado on Friday, yielding four runs on five hits over five innings of a 5-4 victory. Only hal f of those runs allowed were earned due a first-inning error and manager Joe Torre said after the start that he wouldn't be afraid to pitch Monasterios again if he had to.
The righty is 2-0 with a 2.20 ERA in 13 total appearances this year and makes his first ever start versus Arizona. Monasterios, 24, has faced the Diamondbacks twice in relief, including May 11, when he threw two perfect innings of a 13-3 triumph.