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Dodgers can't solve D-backs, drop 3rd straight

LA falls to 1-6 vs. Arizona, loses 7th straight at Chase Field
MLB.com @kengurnick

PHOENIX -- The Dodgers began life without Corey Seager Monday night with an 8-5 loss to the first-place D-backs and A.J. Pollock, who crushed three of Arizona's four solo home runs.

Ross Stripling, making a spot start for Rich Hill and his infected finger, allowed home runs to Pollock and Nick Ahmed in his four innings. Brock Stewart relieved and also allowed a home run to Pollock in the fifth inning, as did Josh Fields in the eighth inning. Pollock also had a two-homer game against the Dodgers on April 14.

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PHOENIX -- The Dodgers began life without Corey Seager Monday night with an 8-5 loss to the first-place D-backs and A.J. Pollock, who crushed three of Arizona's four solo home runs.

Ross Stripling, making a spot start for Rich Hill and his infected finger, allowed home runs to Pollock and Nick Ahmed in his four innings. Brock Stewart relieved and also allowed a home run to Pollock in the fifth inning, as did Josh Fields in the eighth inning. Pollock also had a two-homer game against the Dodgers on April 14.

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Despite spotting Arizona a 5-0 lead, the Dodgers scored five runs late, but their bullpen couldn't put the brakes to the D-backs' attack. Dodgers relievers have allowed 20 earned runs in their last 21 1/3 innings.

"The 'pen will get untracked," said manager Dave Roberts.

Meanwhile, hours after learning of Seager's loss for the rest of the season to Tommy John surgery, the depleted Dodgers offense was contained by former teammate Zack Greinke until the sixth inning. Greinke (3-2) struck out 10 in six innings, had an RBI single and double and is 15-1 in his last 21 starts at Chase Field. Greinke left after allowing Yasmani Grandal's RBI single and Joc Pederson's RBI triple. Max Muncy homered off Yoshihisa Hirano in the seventh inning, Pederson had a sacrifice fly and pinch-hitter Matt Kemp's single cashed in Grandal's second double for the other Dodgers runs.

"The guys continued to chip away and battle, I loved the way they competed until the last out, we really did," said Roberts. "We lost by three runs, but the fight was there tonight."

Video: LAD@ARI: Pederson lines RBI triple down the line

The Dodgers thought they were also contending with the generous strike zone of veteran plate umpire Jerry Layne, who fined Pederson for throwing equipment after taking a wide third strike in the fourth inning. Greinke took advantage of Layne's zone; Stripling admitted he didn't.

"I didn't realize it was such a pitcher-friendly zone until I got inside [the clubhouse]," said Stripling. "If I had realized it, I would have tried to take advantage of it more."

"You never want to use the home-plate umpire, the zone, as an excuse," said Roberts. "You look back at video, it was a little too liberal. When you're a pitcher like Zack Greinke, with his command, he's going to exploit that. He figured out early he was getting balls off the plate and he continued to do that and flipped a lot of counts. That's a guy that doesn't need a lot of help. It's hard enough to hit when the ball's on the plate."

Chris Taylor, starting at shortstop for the injured Seager, doubled and scored a run, but also committed a throwing error that allowed Arizona's seventh run to score.

At 12-16, the Dodgers are eight games back, their largest deficit after 28 games since 1967. The Dodgers have lost six of their last seven games, are 1-6 against Arizona this year and have lost seven consecutive games at Chase Field.

"The D-backs are hot, but we're going to be fine, 100 percent," said Cody Bellinger. "We've got a great bunch of guys in here. We're going to play with a chip on our shoulder right now. We just have to play as hard as we can until we get our guys back."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Hit the cutoff man: Ahmed singled home Daniel Descalso with one out in the bottom of the second inning and Dodgers rookie right fielder Alex Verdugo showed off his arm by air-mailing his throw over catcher Grandal, allowing Ahmed to advance to second. That put Ahmed in position to tag to third on Jeff Mathis' flyout and score a gift run on Greinke's two-out single.

Video: LAD@ARI: Ahmed smacks RBI single to right

SOUND SMART
It's alive again: Dodgers reliever Tony Cingrani, who complained of a dead arm in San Francisco, had his fastball clocked at 94.7 mph in his return to game action. But he also walked one batter and hit another in a four-batter appearance.

HE SAID IT
"He's my roommate in L.A., I kind of knew it was coming a little bit. I knew he had been playing in pain for a while. He said when it started affecting his swing was when he'd have to say something. I guess he reached that point." -- Stripling, on Seager's season-ending injury

Video: Seager on needing Tommy John surgery, missing season

UP NEXT
Clayton Kershaw starts Tuesday's 6:40 p.m. game against Matt Koch and the D-backs, and the Dodgers ace has work to do to rebound from his last start, a six-walk outing against the last-place Marlins. His 5-8 mark at Chase Field is his worst at any ballpark.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

Los Angeles Dodgers