(Sports Network) - The Arizona Diamondbacks will try to produce their first series win over the Los Angeles Dodgers this season when the National League West foes wrap up a three-game set this afternoon at Chase Field.
The Dodgers have dominated Arizona over the course of this 2010 campaign, having won 11 of the 14 meetings between the clubs. The Diamondbacks haven't taken a series from Los Angeles since winning two of three matchups in Phoenix from August 14-16, 2009.
They're in position to possibly end that drought today, however, after coming through with a 5-2 victory over the Dodgers last night behind another outstanding performance from rookie Dan Hudson. The midseason acquisition yielded a mere two hits and came one out away from notching his first career complete game.
Hudson was touched for a pair of runs and was removed after allowing an RBI single to James Loney with two outs in the ninth, but still managed to improve to 7-1 with a splendid 1.69 earned run average in 11 starts since coming over in a late-July trade with the Chicago White Sox.
"He has a good feel for what he has to do at any given time," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson about Hudson. "The key for him will be if he can continue to improve, throw strikes and get deep into games."
Cole Gillespie was the offensive star for the Diamondbacks, belting a three- run homer off Dodgers starter John Ely in the sixth inning to snap a 1-1 tie and help his team prevail for the fourth time in its last five games.
Ely (4-9) did strike out seven Arizona batters in 5 1/3 innings but surrendered four runs and hurt himself with walks, issuing six free passes in dropping his fourth straight decision.
"He needs to give himself a better chance to get ahead of hitters," said Dodgers manager Joe Torre. "That is what the difference is from when he came to us early [in the season]. Then he was getting ahead in the count and it made a big difference."
Arizona will be sending out another pitcher acquired just prior to the July 31 trade deadline in today's finale, with Joe Saunders attempting to build off one of his best outings as a Diamondback. The ex-Angel limited Colorado to one run on six hits and struck out seven without a walk over eight sharp innings to best the Rockies at Chase Field last Tuesday.
Since joining Arizona as part of the trade that sent ace pitcher Dan Haren to Anaheim, Saunders has compiled a 3-6 record with a 4.46 ERA in 11 starts. Counting his time with the Angels, the left-hander has suffered 16 losses on the season, tied with Baltimore's Kevin Millwood for the most in the majors.
Saunders has yet to face the Dodgers as a member of the Diamondbacks, but made three starts against them during his tenure with Los Angeles' crosstown rival. He's 1-1 with a 3.86 ERA lifetime against the Dodgers.
Los Angeles, which has lost seven of its last 10 contests, will send out Chad Billingsley in today's rubber match. The durable right-hander will be aiming to halt a personal three-start losing streak that has dropped his 2010 record to 11-11.
Billingsley is coming off a five-inning stint against San Diego in which he was reached for five runs on six hits and walked three in a 6-0 setback. He received a hard-luck loss in his previous assignment, holding San Francisco to one run and striking out seven over seven frames but getting no run support back on September 15.
The 2009 All-Star does own an 8-5 record with a 3.70 ERA in 19 career appearances (17 starts) against Arizona and has yet to lose to the Diamondbacks this year, having gone 1-0 with a 4.68 ERA in four starts. That victory took place at Chase Field on May 10, with Billingsley permitting two runs on only three hits and striking out seven over 5 1/3 innings of work.