LOS ANGELES (AP) — After his team's seventh defeat in 10 games and seventh straight against Arizona, Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly closed the clubhouse for a postgame meeting.
The Dodgers' 2-0 loss to the Diamondbacks on Thursday night was their 12th by shutout this season and it dropped them 4½ games behind first-place San Francisco in the NL West.
"We just listened," said Clayton Kershaw, who allowed a season-high nine hits in taking the loss. "We all have a ton of respect for Donnie. He knows how to come across to us. He's been through this before, a lot more than we have, and he's a good guy to look to for guidance. He just really voiced what needed to be said, and now we've got to move on."
Kershaw (12-8) gave up only Chris Young's two-run homer in six innings. He struck out nine and walked three but lost for the second time in three starts.
"It's a loss that we really can't afford," Mattingly said. "There's guys in that clubhouse I trust are going to get the job done. I continue to believe in these guys."
It didn't help the Dodgers that slugger Matt Kemp was out of the starting lineup with a stiff left shoulder. Adrian Gonzalez went 1 for 4 with a strikeout and Andre Ethier was 0 for 3 with a strikeout and a walk.
The Dodgers are 2-4 since last Saturday's blockbuster trade that brought Gonzalez and pitcher Josh Beckett from Boston.
"You get a lot of new guys on paper that give us a great lineup. Talent-wise, I don't think there's any denying the kind of talent we have in here," Kershaw said. "It's just a matter of going out there and playing, not pressing, and swinging the bats the way we're capable of and executing pitches the way we're capable of. It's not easy sometimes with a bunch of new guys, but there's no excuses right now."
The Diamondbacks ended their six-game skid and extended their winning streak over the Dodgers to seven in a row in the opener of a four-game series.
Ian Kennedy (12-11) struck out seven and walked two over 6 1-3 innings, bouncing back from a loss against San Diego in his previous outing. His last six starts against the Dodgers have been decided by three runs or less.
J.J. Putz gave up consecutive singles to Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez to start the ninth before retiring the next three batters for his 27th save in 30 chances. Juan Rivera popped out with runners at the corners to end it.
Miguel Montero led off the fourth with a double — the first of four consecutive hits allowed by Kershaw. Young sent a 2-2 pitch just inside the left-field foul pole for his 14th homer.
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