Former Aces' 1B Allen Hits Second Career HR

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

LOS ANGELES -- Brandon Allen had no doubt the ball was going out this time. Sure enough, his towering drive landed halfway up the right field pavilion.

Allen's two-run homer highlighted a four-run fifth inning and the Arizona Diamondbacks went on to a 4-1 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday night, their sixth win in seven games.

He homered on the first pitch from Chad Billingsley a night after being robbed of a pinch-hit, potential game-winning two-run homer on an outstanding catch by right fielder Andre Ethier.

"He might have got up and got it," Allen said jokingly.

That's what Ethier did Tuesday, jumping up and snagging the ball at the top of the right-field wall before falling down and rolling over, the ball still snug in his glove.

"That was yesterday. I was just going for it today," Allen said. "It was awesome. Can't give away an out, you got to make it count."

Billingsley was cruising along, having retired the first 13 batters he faced before the D-backs got to him for three consecutive one-out hits in the fifth. Then, with two outs, the right-hander allowed another three hits in a row.

"It was just one bad inning. I felt good all night, the best I've felt in a while. I located well and had my off-speed pitching working on both sides of the plate," he said. "I just had one really big mistake pitch that Allen hit. It just cut a little bit and came back over the middle. I couldn't do anything about those other hits. They came on good pitches and just found a place where we weren't."

Billingsley (12-9) struck out five and walked one in six innings, losing his third straight for the first time this season. He hadn't lost that many in a row since April 8-24, 2008, when he dropped four, including two against the D-backs.

"It's been a struggle right now for myself. I just have to keep going out there and battling, figure something out and try to get this thing rolling," he said. "I always know what I want to do out there or I have a good idea. It's just a matter of executing."

Max Scherzer (9-8) allowed one run and seven hits in 7 2/3 innings, struck out four and walked one in winning his second straight. Juan Gutierrez pitched the ninth for his third save in four chances.

"I was able to throw my off-speed for strikes, especially my slider," he said.

Scherzer retired the Dodgers in order on five pitches in the bottom of the fifth.

"He manages his emotion, he was in the strike zone and had electric stuff at times," Arizona manager A.J. Hinch said. "They had a lot of first-pitch outs, which is uncharacteristic of their team."

After Allen's homer, shortstop Rafael Furcal fielded Stephen Drew's grounder in the hole and tried for the force at second but threw the ball away, putting runners at second and third. Drew was credited with an RBI single as Alex Romero scored, giving Arizona a 3-0 lead.

Gerardo Parra followed with an RBI single that dribbled up the third base line to Ronnie Belliard, who had no play.

"We didn't do anything for Billingsley for four innings," Hinch said. "The Allen homer was big because he had pounded strike after strike and then we were able to nickle and dime him."

The Dodgers' run came on Manny Ramirez's single up the middle in the eighth, his 50th RBI of the season. Doug Mientkiewicz was reinstated from the 60-day DL and had a pinch-hit single in the sixth. He had been out since April 17 after dislocating his right shoulder sliding into second base.


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