LOS ANGELES (AP) — Mike Bolsinger got out of the first inning on five pitches and three ground balls in his first big league start. Then he struck out four of his next five batters and was sailing along until the Los Angeles Dodgers figured him out the second time through the lineup.
The 26-year-old right-hander didn’t make it through the fifth. By then, the defending NL West champions had turned a four-run deficit into a four-run lead for Dan Haren and went on to beat the Diamondbacks 8-6 – despite Martin Prado’s two-run double in the eighth against Brian Wilson.
“The first time through the order was good, but I kind of got away from my game plan a little bit,” Bolsinger said. “I left some balls up. And when you do that up here, there’s consequences. It’s how you respond to it. Each time I’ve been out there, I’ve kind of learned. I learned a lot from my first time out and I learned a lot from this start. Hopefully I can take it on to the next one.”
Bolsinger (0-1) was inserted into the rotation in place of an ineffective Trevor Cahill, who went 0-4 with a 9.17 ERA before earning his first career save on Friday. Cahill pitched three perfect innings of relief Saturday, and has retired all 12 batters he’s faced since his 8-6 loss to Haren on April 13.
Bolsinger pitched three innings last Monday in his big league debut, allowing two runs and six hits against the New York Mets after winning both of his starts with Triple-A Reno.
“Michael started off really good today, really hitting his spots, staying on the corners,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “Then in the fourth inning and fifth inning he made some mistakes. In the fifth, his pitches were just finding more of the middle of the plate.”
Bolsinger got his first big league hit during Arizona’s four-run third, which included Paul Goldschmidt’s two-run single with the bases loaded. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez’s fifth error of the season made three of the runs unearned.
Bolsinger was charged with seven runs – six earned- and seven hits in four-plus innings. He gave up a three-run homer to Andre Ethier in the fourth, and the Dodgers kept piling it on in the fifth as Adrian Gonzalez greeted Oliver Perez with a two-run single and Matt Kemp followed with a two-run double.
“I think any home run like that energizes you,” Kemp said. “We’re never out of a game, especially with the offense that we have. We have a lot of guys who can drive the ball our of the ballpark. We just need to get guys on base. Today we got big hits with runners on base, and we didn’t do that too much last night.”
Haren (3-0) was charged with five runs – two earned – and seven hits over 7 1-3 innings. The right-hander struck out five in his fourth start of the season, six days after his victory over Cahill.
“He has a few weapons he likes to go to,” Diamondbacks left fielder Mark Trumbo said of his former Angels teammate. “He usually likes to work the outer half of the plate, and that’s what he did tonight with his cutter, his two-seamer, his split and his curve. More than anything, he knows how to pitch. So you take the runs where you can get them.”
Haren led off the fifth with a single and later scored when Prado fielded a potential double-play grounder to third base by Ramirez with the bases loaded and dropped the ball as he looked toward second base.
Haren departed with an 8-4 lead and was replaced by Wilson, who recovered from Prado’s clutch hit and retired Chris Owings on a grounder with runners at the corners to end the eighth. Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth for his sixth save, striking out Goldschmidt with the potential tying run at the plate.
“He’s a dangerous cat,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Goldschmidt, who drove in Arizona’s first two runs with a single. “We want to be careful with him, but we wanted to be careful with him last year. Maybe we’re executing better, and getting him at the right time so far.”
NOTES: Trumbo played his first game at Dodger Stadium since the Angels traded him in December and was 2 for 4. The Anaheim native played in eight interleague games at Chavez Ravine during his three full seasons with the Halos, going 7 for 31, and his only RBI came on a home run against Hiroki Kuroda in 2011. … Gonzalez extended his hitting streak to 14 games. His longest streak in the majors is 18, two seasons ago with Boston.