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ARI@LAD: Ellis homers to score the Dodgers' first run

LOS ANGELES -- On Tuesday night at Chavez Ravine, the Dodgers kept looking for that big hit against the D-backs. Unfortunately, it never came.

While Los Angeles tallied 10 hits, the team managed only one run and took a 5-1 loss, snapping its five-game winning streak to split the two-game series against Arizona.

"We had a couple of chances and just couldn't get the big hit," manager Don Mattingly said. "We couldn't scratch to get back into it. The biggest thing is that we weren't able to get that big hit and get ourselves back in it to put some pressure on them. We never got to that point."

The Dodgers threatened in the third inning with back-to-back singles by Dee Gordon and Mark Ellis with two outs, but Scott Van Slyke grounded into a forceout at second to end the inning.

Van Slyke replaced Matt Kemp in the three-hole for Tuesday's game after the center fielder was placed on the 15-day disabled list on Monday. He was part of a tweaked Dodgers lineup that also saw newly recalled Jerry Sands in the sixth spot, along with catcher A.J. Ellis in the five-hole. Andre Ethier made his first career start in center field.

Mark Ellis was able to get the Dodgers on the board in the sixth, belting a home run to straightaway center field, his second of the season.

One of the few bright spots for the Dodgers on the night, Mark Ellis tallied three hits. In 12 games during May, he's batting .333 with two doubles, two home runs and seven RBIs, along with 10 runs scored.

Singles by Ethier and A.J. Ellis after the home run put runners on first and second with two outs, but D-backs starter Wade Miley got Sands to fly out to right field to end the inning.

"We just couldn't string any hits together," Ethier said. "And the home run we got was with no one on base. We just couldn't take advantage of the opportunities tonight."

The Dodgers finished 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position.

However, it wasn't just the offense. Starter Chad Billingsley also had a difficult time on the mound.

He got into some trouble in the second, when Jason Kubel led off with a double to left field. An intentional walk to Aaron Hill with two outs to get to Miley then backfired on the Dodgers.

Miley swung through a wild pitch by Billingsley and hustled down the line, only to be safe at first to load the bases for Gerardo Parra. Dealing with control issues, the right-hander then walked Parra, plating Kubel and giving the D-backs an early lead.

"I saw it kick away and I was like, I'm going to go, I'm going to run full speed and see if I can get there," Miley said. "You never know what can happen after that."

Billingsley couldn't fool anyone come the fifth, surrendering five straight singles, which led to his exit. In all, Billingsley gave up four runs on eight hits in four-plus innings to take his third loss of the season.

While it marked Billingsley's second consecutive start in which he tossed four innings, Mattingly felt like the right-hander was a little unlucky.

"I honestly thought Chad was pretty good today," Mattingly said. "He should have got out of the second with nothing, and if we look at it clearly, those singles just got by some of our guys' gloves.

"We don't like the result, but I am encouraged by the way the ball came out. He is working hard to get back to where he was at the beginning of the season and be more consistent."

Billingsley came into the start wanting to be more aggressive and cut down on his walks, something that plagued his last start. On Tuesday, he walked just two.

"I felt better today, but singles found holes," Billingsley said. "I felt comfortable and was attacking hitters, it is just a part of the game."

The only other run the D-backs scored came against right-hander Jamey Wright, who loaded the bases after giving up a walk and two singles to begin the seventh. A sacrifice fly by Lyle Overbay to left field gave Arizona a 5-1 lead.

Even with the loss, the Dodgers still have the Majors' best record at 24-12, including a 16-4 home mark.

"We aren't hanging our heads after this one and just have to keep going and play hard and go down to San Diego and get that first one tomorrow," Ethier said.

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