Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

Diamondbacks hitters fizzle again, waste solid start by Scherzer



LOS ANGELES – Whenever it seems things can’t get much worse for the Diamondbacks and their lowly offense, they play another game.

The bright side to their lackluster 3-1 loss to journeyman Jeff Weaver and the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday night: They’re done playing at Dodger Stadium for a while.

That’s seven consecutive losses for the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. They’ve lost three in a row and are now 8 1/2 games back in the National League West, their largest deficit in the division since September 2006.

The Dodgers are 12-0 at home this year, tying a modern major league mark.

Arizona right-hander Max Scherzer came up empty once more; it again was hard to blame the Diamondbacks’ young flame-thrower, who remains winless in 12 career starts.

Scherzer allowed three runs (two earned) in six innings, a performance that on a lot of teams might be enough for a win.

On the Diamondbacks lately, that just won’t cut it. Now with an offense that has scored four runs or fewer five times out of the six games on this road trip. They are 2-4 on this trip, which concludes with a two-game series in San Diego beginning Wednesday.

“I don’t go out there and try to create a win. I just need to go out there and do the best I can. That’s how I’ll get my first win,” Scherzer said. ”

That an unimposing pitcher such as Weaver shut Arizona down comes as no surprise these days. Once a frontline starter, Weaver posted a 6.20 ERA in 27 starts in 2007 and was out of the majors last year, when he had a 6.17 ERA in Triple-A.

But he had little trouble navigating through the Diamondbacks’ struggling lineup, giving up just one run in five innings.

The Diamondbacks, who came into the game hitting .211 with runners in scoring position, second-to-last in the league, struggled again in that department, going 0 for 11.

The Diamondbacks’ individual offensive numbers continued to plummet. With 0-for-4 nights, Conor Jackson’s average dropped to .195 and Chad Tracy’s fell to .224. Chris Young’s average went up a tick when he snapped an 0-for-23 skid with an infield single in the sixth.

The Dodgers scored three times in the first inning off Scherzer. Former Diamondbacks second baseman Orlando Hudson hit a bloop double to left field with one out, and Scherzer followed by intentionally walking slugger Manny Ramirez.

Andre Ethier then singled up the middle to score Hudson and a James Loney groundout brought home Ramirez, who moved to third on Ethier’s single.

Loney then stole second, took third on catcher Miguel Montero’s throwing error and scored on the next play on an error by shortstop Josh Wilson.

Scherzer carved up the Dodgers lineup through his next five innings, lowering his career ERA as a starting pitcher to 3.39. And yet he remains winless.

In five starts this season, he has received just six runs of support from his offense while he was on the mound.

He was partly responsible for the run the Diamondbacks scored Tuesday, singling to lead off the third inning and eventually scoring on a wild pitch by Weaver.

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