Beckett pitches Dodgers to 2-1 win over Arizona

Associated Press Modified: September 2, 2012 at 11:32 am •  Published: September 2, 2012
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Dodgers' blockbuster trade that put Josh Beckett in the rotation finally paid its first dividend.

Beckett pitched 6 2-3 strong innings for his first win since being acquired from Boston a week ago and Andre Ethier hit a tiebreaking home run in the sixth inning of a 2-1 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday night.

"It's all about executing. There's been a couple of hiccups," said Beckett, who was iced from the top of his right shoulder down to his hand after the game, when he got squirted on the field with a hose wielded by Aaron Harang.

Beckett dropped his first start after the Aug. 25 trade, a 10-0 loss at Colorado last Monday. This time, he allowed one run and six hits, struck out nine and walked one to end a career-high five-game losing streak that began on July 20, when he was still with Boston.

"I have the same stuff I did last year when I had probably the best year of my career," he said.

Beckett credited catcher A.J. Ellis' game plan for helping him win.

"I don't know these guys that well," he said.

The Dodgers snapped an eight-game skid against their NL West rival, leaving the Diamondbacks 6-2 at Dodger Stadium this season.

The Dodgers have dropped five of eight since the blockbuster trade that brought them Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Carl Crawford and Nick Punto. The franchise took on about $275 million in salary in an attempt to make the playoffs for the first time in three years.

Gonzalez is struggling, going 0 for 4 on Saturday. Punto is 1 for 5 on the homestand and Crawford won't play this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

"We're trying to get to know one another," said Beckett, noting he's always been the one welcoming new teammates and not the one being traded.

His first week in Los Angeles has involved making 50-minute drives to the ballpark in the city's notorious traffic from a friend's home where his wife and young daughter are living during the transition.

Los Angeles trails San Francisco for the NL West lead by 4½ games and is 1½ games behind St. Louis for the second NL wild card.

"It's nice to be in the middle of that in September," said Beckett, having left a Boston team that has scuffled all season for one that has a chance to make the playoffs.

"We got to figure out some way to win some series. We got some tough ones coming up against the Giants. I kind of need to read up on where everybody is at."

Beckett left the game after giving up a single to Ryan Wheeler.

"I was hoping I was coming out after the seventh, but I made a dumb pitch to their third baseman," he said. "I shook A.J. off."

Beckett helped the Dodgers avoid their longest losing streak to the Diamondbacks, who had won six straight at Dodger Stadium.



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