D-Backs notes: Inconsistency haunts Gonzalez - East Valley Tribune: Sports

D-Backs notes: Inconsistency haunts Gonzalez

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Posted: Tuesday, July 4, 2006 11:32 pm | Updated: 4:05 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

LOS ANGELES -- After pitching brilliantly in his first three big league starts, Enrique Gonzalez has suffered through the kind of inconsistency one might expect from a rookie.

That was painfully apparent Tuesday when he surrendered a two-run lead by giving up seven runs in four innings of an 11-3 loss to the Dodgers. Gonzalez followed up three consecutive quality starts to begin his career with a pair of games in which he gave up a combined 12 runs in nine innings.

He recovered to limit the Mariners to one run on three hits in seven innings June 29, then yielded eight hits and two walks in four innings Tuesday.

Gonzalez gave up just one hit - J.D. Drew’s leadoff double in the second - in the first two innings, but the Dodgers collected six singles and two walks in a five-run fourth. Gonzalez lasted one more inning, but the damage had already been done.

“His command wasn’t as good as we’ve seen,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “He got behind guys. I thought (he was) probably a little too (predictable). He had trouble putting the ball where he wanted to.”

HOME GROAN

Andre Ethier became the 71st native Arizonan to play in a major league game when he made his Dodgers debut on May 2 at Chase Field.

He went 1-for-4 in that game, but he’s been a pain in the neck of his hometown team ever since.

Ethier, a graduate of Phoenix St. Mary’s High School who starred at Arizona State, drove in four runs to lead the Dodgers to their 11-3 victory Tuesday.

In the first two games of this series — both lopsided wins by the home team — Ethier is 5-for-8 with six RBIs, two runs, two doubles, a triple and a walk.

LINEUP SHUFFLED

The Diamondbacks’ lineup had stayed pretty consistent on this road trip until Tuesday when Melvin “flipped it around a little bit.”

Johnny Estrada took the day off after suffering “a little groin tweak” similar to the one he experienced earlier this year, and Conor Jackson got a day of rest so Tony Clark could get his first start since June 21. He had been shelved with a sore right shoulder. Orlando Hudson moved up to No. 2, Shawn Green moved up to No. 3 and Eric Byrnes batted cleanup for the first time this season. Chad Tracy dropped to sixth in the order, but Melvin said it was not a demotion.

Though Byrnes is tied with Tracy for the team lead with 12 home runs this season, Melvin said he moved him into the cleanup spot to break up the lefties in the lineup.

CRUZ HEALTHY

Juan Cruz said he felt fine a day after his first game back from the disabled list. He surrendered four runs on seven hits and two walks in three innings before being removed from Monday’s loss. Melvin said again he thought Cruz was just rusty after a month away from big league competition.

“He felt fine today,” Melvin said. “His velocity was down some. He was just a little out of sync and a lot of that happens your first time back.”

SHORT HOP

The Diamondbacks will stay in rotation after Thursday’s off day, meaning Miguel Batista will pitch Friday and Brandon Webb Saturday. There was some speculation the pitchers would flip days if Webb was going to start the All-Star game, but that’s no longer an option after Webb threw his bullpen session Tuesday.

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