D-backs lose record 15th straight, Souza homers in return

MLB Baseball

PHOENIX (AP)The Diamondbacks stumbled to their franchise-record 15th straight loss, with Steven Souza Jr. hitting a go-ahead home run in his return to Arizona following a horrific knee injury and helping the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 3-0 victory Friday night.

Arizona broke the team mark of 14 straight losses from July 9-25, 2004, and lost for the 38th time in 43 games. They have the worst record in the major leagues at 20-51, and set a major-league record with their 23rd straight road loss Thursday.

”We have to find a way to get out of it,” manager Torey Lovullo said. ”It’s time to find a way.”

Souza homered in the eighth off Arizona reliever Joe Mantiply (0-2). Souza slipped on home plate and tore his left ACL while playing for the Diamondbacks in an exhibition game against the Chicago White Sox on March 25, 2019. Souza did not return until the 2020 regular season.

”The last time I touched home plate didn’t end well for me,” Souza said. ”Being able to touch it and walk away being up 1-0 was definitely emotional.”

Trevor Bauer (7-5), in the best of his three starts since word began to spread that Major League Baseball would begin cracking down on pitchers’ use of illicit sticky stuff, pitched three-hit ball over seven innings. He struck out eight and walked three, lowering his ERA to 2.45.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Bauer’s tempo was better than it had been his previous two starts.

”Just get the ball, get on the mound and keep things moving,” Bauer said. ”I thought it would benefit me in my command and also help guys not stand out there for an extended period of time.”

Jimmy Nelson and Kenley Jansen each pitched an inning to finish a three-hitter, with Jansen getting his 17th save in 19 chances and finishing the Dodgers’ sixth shutout.

Arizona was blanked for the ninth time.

Dodgers center fielder Mookie Betts added a sacrifice fly in the eighth, scoring shortstop Gavin Lux, who had walked and gone to third on a pinch-hit double by Andy Burns. Arizona reliever Stefan Crichton then balked in a run.

Bauer escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fourth when Carson Kelly hit an inning-ending flyout. Eduardo Escobar hit an inning-ending popout that stranded two runners in the fifth, starting a string in which the Diamondbacks’ last 13 batters were retired in order.

Souza helped Bauer get through the seventh with a sliding catch into foul territory in right field to retire Nick Ahmed.

Diamondbacks starter Caleb Smith allowed one run in six innings with four walks and five strikeouts.

ROSTER MOVE

Diamondbacks: Arizona designated P Keury Mella for assignment and selected the contract of reliever Noe Ramirez from Triple-A Reno. Mella had a 32.40 ERA in two appearances with the Diamondbacks. Ramirez had an 8.00 ERA in eight appearances at Reno.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: OF Cody Bellinger (hamstring) ran the bases Wednesday and Roberts said, ”he responded really well.” Roberts said Bellinger should be activated off the injured list for the series against San Diego beginning Monday. … 1B Max Muncy (oblique) will not need a rehabilitation assignment and could be ready for the second or third game of the Padres series … SS Corey Seager (hand) could start a rehab assignment next week. … Roberts said he hopes LHP Scott Alexander (shoulder inflammation) will be ready to rejoin the Dodgers by early July

Diamondbacks: LHP Madison Bumgarner (shoulder) threw off flat ground Friday and is scheduled to pitch a bullpen session Tuesday. … RHP Taylor Widener (groin) threw a 31-pitch bullpen Friday. … RHP Tyler Clippard (knee) threw 15 pitches off flat ground and 10 off a mound . … OF Kole Calhoun took batting practice.

UP NEXT

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Walker Buehler is 6-0 with a 2.38 ERA in 13 starts this season going into his outing at the Arizona Diamondbacks and Brad Peacock (2-4, 5.26). Buehler is 2-0 with a 2.47 ERA in nine starts against Arizona, including seven scoreless innings during a May 17 win at Dodger Stadium in which the only hit he allowed a one-out single in the first to Josh Rojas.

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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