Dodgers have a long night as they are routed by Diamondbacks

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It was tough to tell what was more lethargic Wednesday night.

The mind-numbing pace of a 3-hour, 23-minute game at Dodger Stadium.

Or the head-scratching performance of the Dodgers’ offense after a four-run first-inning outburst.

After surging in front with a quick four-spot against debuting Arizona Diamondbacks starter Cristian Mena, the Dodgers’ bats came to a screeching halt in their 12-4 loss at Chavez Ravine, with the team’s muted play mirroring the slow, meandering rhythm of their second-longest nine-inning game of the season.

The night couldn’t have started better for the Dodgers.

With originally scheduled Diamondbacks starter Jordan Montgomery out with a knee injury, Arizona turned to Mena, a rookie right-hander, for his MLB debut.

His big-league welcome: A first-inning blitz from the top of the Dodgers order.

Shohei Ohtani singled. Will Smith walked. Then, Freddie Freeman and Teoscar Hernández blasted back-to-back home runs, answering Arizona’s opening run in the top half of the inning to jump out to a sudden 4-1 lead.

With breakout rookie pitcher Gavin Stone on the bump, and the Diamondbacks seemingly staring down a long night on the mound, all the pieces appeared to be in place for the Dodgers to cruise to a rout.

Instead, they squandered the early advantage without much of their typical fight.

Over the final eight innings, they managed just two hits, hit into three double plays, and rarely came close to scoring another run.

In the bottom of the third, the Dodgers failed to capitalize on a two-on, one-out opportunity, when Freeman was doubled off trying to score on a fly out.

In the fifth, another double play — this time a routine grounder from Hernández — negated Freeman’s one-out walk.

The Dodgers finally put another runner in scoring position in the sixth inning, after Miguel Rojas doubled off the wall. But as suddenly as the opportunity arose, it was dashed nearly as fast. Pinch-hitter Kiké Hernández struck out. Chris Taylor grounded out to end the inning.

And, with Arizona ahead 8-4, the Dodgers never threatened to come back again.

Stone didn’t help the cause much.

After giving up just one run from a bases-loaded jam in the first inning, he struggled to find a rhythm in his first start since last week’s shutout against the Chicago White Sox.

He put two batters aboard in the second inning, laboring to retire that frame without any damage.

In the third, he finally came unglued, giving up one run on a Eugenio Suárez double before serving up a game-tying two-run home run to Gabriel Moreno.

While Stone’s night ended after the third, the Dodgers’ pitching problems persisted throughout.

Christian Walker continued his career-long dominance of the club by whacking his 16th and 17th career home runs at Dodger Stadium. The first one broke a 4-4 tie in the fifth, a solo drive off Ryan Yarbrough in the fifth. The latter served as insurance in the ninth, a three-run shot that made Walker the ballpark’s all-time slugging leader (minimum 100 career plate appearances) with a .741 mark.

In between Walker’s blasts, Arizona added another run in the fifth, then two more in the sixth on Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s two-run homer.

Along the way, the Dodgers were also victims of several self-induced miscues.

Freeman was easily thrown out on the third-inning sacrifice fly attempt, trying to score on a relatively shallow fly ball to right fielder Jake McCarthy. An at-bat before Gurriel’s back-breaking sixth-inning homer, Teoscar Hernández seemed to mistakenly think Walker had hit another home run to left field, pulling up at the warning track on a double that clanked off the top of the wall and might have been catchable.

Roberts didn’t help the game’s flow, either, making a seventh-inning pitching change in a 2-and-2 count after reliever Yohan Ramírez’s pitch count climbed to 37.

By then, though, the result was already well in hand.

The Dodgers had blown their early lead. They’d slipped into a midgame malaise. And they quietly succumbed to one of their flatter losses of the season.

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