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Kubel clocks homer in 11th to pick up D-backs

LOS ANGELES -- It would not be a surprise if Jason Kubel celebrated the clock striking midnight Friday night like it was New Year's Eve.

August was a month of struggles at the plate that the D-backs left fielder would like to forget.

Kubel did, however, end the month on a positive note as his 11th-inning homer off Matt Guerrier proved to be the difference as the D-backs beat the Dodgers, 4-3, on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

The D-backs have won eight straight games against the Dodgers and are 6-1 at Dodger Stadium this year, and there are still two games left in this four-game set.

'Well, we've got to beat somebody," said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson, whose team had lost six straight prior to this series. "Is that eight in a row? I hope we can make it nine. They're a very good team. We've had good pitching and we've played good defensive baseball and kept it close and scratched these two wins out."

With a loss by the Giants, the D-backs moved to within 8 1/2 games of first place in the National League West.

Kubel was 0-for-3 with a walk when he stepped to the plate against Guerrier to lead off the 11th.

"A cutter in," he said of the 1-1 pitch he hit out. "They'd been throwing me inside all game and I guess finally decided to get the head out on one. Just happy I got it pretty good."

Said Guerrier, who made his first appearance after spending four months on the disabled list with an elbow injury: "I just didn't get it in enough. I know him well. I played with him. That is what he likes to do."

Kubel entered August with a .290 batting average and in the first 30 days of the month he hit just .155 with four homers and eight RBIs.

"For a while I was chasing everything and I stopped doing that and just wasn't making the contact like I'd like to," Kubel said. "I'm hoping this one tonight can give me a little more confidence going forward."

For the first five innings, it did not look like the D-backs would need extra innings to win this one.

Arizona took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Andre Ethier lost Chris Johnson's fly ball in the twilight. Instead of being an inning-ending easy flyout, it wound up dropping behind Ethier for a triple and Miguel Montero came all the way around from first to score.

D-backs starter Trevor Cahill helped his own cause in the fifth when his one-out single up the middle scored Johnson, who had led off the inning with a double.

One out later, Aaron Hill doubled to right-center to score Cahill and the D-backs went ahead, 3-0.

Cahill sailed through the first four innings allowing just one hit.

But after retiring the first two hitters in the fifth, Cahill found himself in a jam as Luis Cruz singled to right, A.J. Elllis was hit by a pitch and pinch-hitter Nick Punto beat out an infield dribbler to third.

That loaded the bases, and Mark Ellis followed with a ground ball through the hole at short to score Cruz and A.J. Ellis and cut the Arizona lead to 3-2.

The lead evaporated one inning later.

Matt Kemp drew a one-out walk, stole second and moved to third on a flyout to right.

With two outs and the left-handed-hitting Ethier at the plate, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson brought in southpaw Mike Zagurski to pitch. Ethier managed to bloop a single to left that scored Kemp and tied the game at 3.

"He made great pitches on Ethier," Gibson said of Zagurski. "He made a good pitch and Ethier just kind of fisted it out there and they tied it up."

Gibson used six relievers and they combined to work 5 1/3 scoreless innings with J.J. Putz closing things out for his 28th save.

"The bullpen was just outstanding for us again," Gibson said.

Full Game Coverage
LOS Full Game Coverage ANGELES -- It would not be a surprise if Jason Kubel celebrated the clock striking midnight Friday night like it was New Year's Eve.

August was a month of struggles at the plate that the D-backs left fielder would like to forget.

Kubel did, however, end the month on a positive note as his 11th-inning homer off Matt Guerrier proved to be the difference as the D-backs beat the Dodgers, 4-3, on Friday night at Dodger Stadium.

The D-backs have won eight straight games against the Dodgers and are 6-1 at Dodger Stadium this year, and there are still two games left in this four-game set.

'Well, we've got to beat somebody," said D-backs manager Kirk Gibson, whose team had lost six straight prior to this series. "Is that eight in a row? I hope we can make it nine. They're a very good team. We've had good pitching and we've played good defensive baseball and kept it close and scratched these two wins out."

With a loss by the Giants, the D-backs moved to within 8 1/2 games of first place in the National League West.

Kubel was 0-for-3 with a walk when he stepped to the plate against Guerrier to lead off the 11th.

"A cutter in," he said of the 1-1 pitch he hit out. "They'd been throwing me inside all game and I guess finally decided to get the head out on one. Just happy I got it pretty good."

Said Guerrier, who made his first appearance after spending four months on the disabled list with an elbow injury: "I just didn't get it in enough. I know him well. I played with him. That is what he likes to do."

Kubel entered August with a .290 batting average and in the first 30 days of the month he hit just .155 with four homers and eight RBIs.

"For a while I was chasing everything and I stopped doing that and just wasn't making the contact like I'd like to," Kubel said. "I'm hoping this one tonight can give me a little more confidence going forward."

For the first five innings, it did not look like the D-backs would need extra innings to win this one.

Arizona took a 1-0 lead in the second inning when Andre Ethier lost Chris Johnson's fly ball in the twilight. Instead of being an inning-ending easy flyout, it wound up dropping behind Ethier for a triple and Miguel Montero came all the way around from first to score.

D-backs starter Trevor Cahill helped his own cause in the fifth when his one-out single up the middle scored Johnson, who had led off the inning with a double.

One out later, Aaron Hill doubled to right-center to score Cahill and the D-backs went ahead, 3-0.

Cahill sailed through the first four innings allowing just one hit.

But after retiring the first two hitters in the fifth, Cahill found himself in a jam as Luis Cruz singled to right, A.J. Elllis was hit by a pitch and pinch-hitter Nick Punto beat out an infield dribbler to third.

That loaded the bases, and Mark Ellis followed with a ground ball through the hole at short to score Cruz and A.J. Ellis and cut the Arizona lead to 3-2.

The lead evaporated one inning later.

Matt Kemp drew a one-out walk, stole second and moved to third on a flyout to right.

With two outs and the left-handed-hitting Ethier at the plate, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson brought in southpaw Mike Zagurski to pitch. Ethier managed to bloop a single to left that scored Kemp and tied the game at 3.

"He made great pitches on Ethier," Gibson said of Zagurski. "He made a good pitch and Ethier just kind of fisted it out there and they tied it up."

Gibson used six relievers and they combined to work 5 1/3 scoreless innings with J.J. Putz closing things out for his 28th save.

"The bullpen was just outstanding for us again," Gibson said.

 

Arizona Diamondbacks, Trevor Cahill, Chris Johnson, Jason Kubel, J.J. Putz