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Kershaw struggles early, Dodgers bashed 18-7 by big-hitting Diamondbacks

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PHOENIX - Clayton Kershaw had been solid in two starts since returning from the disabled list.

Once the Arizona Diamondbacks started hitting the two-time Cy Young Award winner, he couldn't stop them.

Kershaw allowed seven runs in the second inning in the second-shortest outing of his career, leaving the Los Angeles Dodgers in a deep hole that led to an 18-7 loss to the Diamondbacks on Saturday night.

"I just got hit hard tonight. I don't know why," Kershaw said. "I left some balls up. They got hits. You can't really make excuses saying they found holes. They hit balls hard, they hit gaps. I just got hit hard tonight."

Hoping to shake out of an early season funk, the Diamondbacks announced before the game that they had hired Hall of Fame manager Tony La Russa as their chief baseball officer.

Once it started, Arizona showed off its offensive capabilities by beating up on Kershaw (2-1).

The Dodgers came storming back with a five-run sixth to pull within 9-7, but Arizona kept hitting to set team records for runs, hits in a nine-inning game (21), extra-base hits (13) and triples in an inning (3 in the second).

Paul Goldschmidt was the catalyst, with two homers, two doubles, a career-high six RBIs and a team-record five runs.

Chris Owings finished a single shy of the cycle, Martin Prado had three RBIs and Chase Anderson (2-0) pitched into the sixth inning for Arizona. A.J. Pollock and Eric Chavez also homered, helping the Diamondbacks emphatically end a seven-game home losing streak to Los Angeles.

"We hadn't really broken out this year and tonight we did," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "Anybody they threw at us, we were patient, got good pitches to hit and hammered them.'"

The Dodgers tried to keep up even after Kershaw struggled.

Yasiel Puig hit a two-run homer to set one Dodgers record, tie another and stretch his hitting streak to 16 games. Carl Crawford also hit a three-run homer and the Dodgers had 13 hits.

They just couldn't seem to keep the Diamondbacks from racing around the bases, going through five pitchers before turning to catcher Drew Butera to pitch in the eighth inning.

"We just paid for our mistakes tonight," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. "Give them a lot of credit they swung the bats extremely well. Anytime we were in the middle of the plate, they didn't miss it. That is what good teams do. That is a good team over there."

It started in the second inning against Kershaw.

Arizona followed the left-hander's second walk of the season by pounding baseballs to the gaps, including three triples and a double.

Cliff Pennington had the first triple, driving in two runs, then Pollock and Owings followed with run-scoring triples. Goldschmidt added a run-scoring double and Tuffy Gosewich and Prado had RBI singles, chasing Kershaw after 1 2-3 innings.

Kershaw allowed seven runs — three more than his season total — and six hits, with three strikeouts, two walks and a balk.

"It's kind of shocking anytime he has an inning like that," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "You expect him to go seven or eight (innings) and give up two or three runs or less. If you can score you have a good chance of winning. It's definitely not the norm with him."

Anderson won his major league debut against the Chicago White Sox last Sunday, but wasn't quite as sharp against the Dodgers.

Puig hit the first pitch he saw in the third inning well over the wall in left-centre, the team-record eighth straight game he has had an extra-base hit and run batted in. It's the first such streak of nine games in the majors since Tampa Bay's Evan Longoria did it in 2009.

Puig's eight straight games with an RBI matched the team record held by four others, most recently Adrian Beltre in 2004.

Anderson was lifted after giving up a three-run homer to Crawford and the Dodgers pulled within 9-7 on a two-run double by Andre Ethier off Evan Marshall.

Anderson allowed five runs and seven hits in 5 1-3 innings.

NOTES: Arizona 2B Aaron Hill was scratched from the lineup with a sore right shoulder. ... Puig has six homers and 21 RBIs during his hitting streak. ... The last team to have three triples in an inning was Houston in the first inning against Washington on April 19, 2012. ... Arizona RHP Josh Collmenter will start the series finale against the Dodgers. He is 1-0 with a 3.42 ERA in his last four starts. RHP Dan Haren, who pitched for the Diamondbacks from 2008-10, will pitch for the Dodgers after allowing three runs in seven innings.

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