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Roberts' first-inning homer sets the tone

PHOENIX -- For one night at least, everything worked for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

They banged out 14 hits and got a strong start from Joe Saunders in cruising past the Dodgers, 11-4, on Wednesday night at Chase Field.

With the win, the D-backs salvaged the final game of this three-game set and bounced back from a heartbreaking loss on Tuesday night in which they gave up a five-run lead in the seventh inning and a one-run lead in the ninth.

Whatever frustration the D-backs still felt one day later, they took it out on the baseball and Dodgers starter Ted Lilly.

"Obviously there wasn't a lot we could do about yesterday, but we bounced back today and scored some runs early and kept the pressure on them," D-backs shortstop Willie Bloomquist said. "It's nice to get one. Obviously we would have liked to have gotten more than one."

Ryan Roberts got things rolling with a homer in the first and Aaron Hill drove in a run later in the frame to give Arizona a 2-0 lead.

Maybe remembering what happened one night before, the D-backs did not take their foot off the gas as they scored two more runs in the second, one in the third and three in both the fourth and fifth innings to build an 11-1 advantage.

"It was definitely a combination of extremely poor pitching on my part and good hitting on theirs," said Lilly. "I was missing big. And when I would throw a decent pitch, they'd drive that, too. I felt like I was constantly searching for a different way to get them out. It was one of those nights that I couldn't find a way to get ahead or put guys away."

Bloomquist continued his hot hitting. The shortstop extended his hitting streak to eight games as he went 3-for-6 with a triple and three runs scored.

"I don't want to speak for him, but he didn't have his pinpoint control that he usually does, so we just tried to get pitches out over the plate and do something with it," Bloomquist said. "Guys had a pretty good approach off him tonight."

Roberts, who lost his everyday job at third earlier this week, only had one hit, but he drove in three runs.

Even more encouraging was slugger Justin Upton hitting his fifth homer of the year, to the opposite field no less.

"He's done that the last couple of days, actually," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said of Upton going to the opposite field. "He's coming. He's not where he wants to be, but at least we've been swinging the bat much better."

The D-backs had struggled of late against left-handed starters without overpowering fastballs. Barry Zito, Jamie Moyer, Bruce Chen and Chris Capuano have beaten them in the past week, but they pounded Lilly (5-1) for eight runs on nine hits in just 3 1/3 innings.

"Guys were waiting on the ball better," Gibson said. "We've seen several [lefties], so we should. Lilly had been throwing the ball great, so we were fortunate to get to him."

Saunders (3-3), meanwhile, held the Dodgers to just one run through six innings. He tired in the seventh and wound up allowing four runs in 6 1/3 innings.

"Joe stepped up huge on the mound for us," Bloomquist said. "The fact that we were a little bit beat up in the bullpen, and he stepped up big and gave us some quality innings."

Said Saunders, "It always makes it easier when your boys are doing everything well, especially against a guy that, coming into the game, has been dealing all year. Hats off to our offense for beating a good pitcher at a pretty good time."

While they could be happy about the win, the D-backs know they have a long way to go to get back into the National League West race. Arizona trails the first-place Dodgers by 10 1/2 games.

"They've got a big lead on us, for sure. Everyone knows that," Saunders said. "It's just a matter of taking it one game at a time, one pitch at a time. That's all you can do. Just focus on today and when tomorrow comes, worry about tomorrow. So we'll see where we're at. Hopefully we can kind of whittle away at that lead as we come down the stretch here."

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