PHOENIX - Just when it seems the Arizona Diamondbacks are on the cusp of falling out of the NL West championship race, they find ways to stay in the picture.
Trevor Cahill pitched seven solid innings to help the Diamondbacks beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 5-3 on Saturday night, and if Arizona (41-43) can win the finale of the four-game series with L.A. on Sunday at home, the Diamondbacks could find themselves four games out of first place heading into the All-Star break.
"I felt pretty good. I'm always trying to go at least seven innings," Cahill said. "Everybody in here knows where we want to be and how important these games are."
Cahill (7-7) gave up three runs and six hits and improved to 17-1 in his past 22 starts when Arizona scores three or more runs.
"It was big for him to get through seven innings for us," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said of Cahill. "Just bullpen-wise, we don't want to use everybody. Seven innings just makes (Sunday's) game much better as well."
Trailing 2-0, Arizona scored three runs in the fifth inning. Gerardo Parra had a two-run double and then scored on Stephen Drew's sacrifice fly. The Diamondbacks added another run in the sixth on Paul Goldschmidt's sacrifice fly.
Parra, the Diamondbacks' fourth outfielder, got some appreciation for his big hit from Gibson.
"He wants to play. When he doesn't play, he's got great enthusiasm on the bench," Gibson said. "He's very consistent in his demeanor."
Chad Billingsley (4-9) lost his fifth straight start and hasn't won since June 10 at Seattle. He allowed four runs on six hits and struck out five in six innings.
"I try to go out there and win a game every day. Left the game and had a chance. Can't do anything about the outcome of the game," Billingsley said. "Just go out there and improve my strikeouts to walks and try not to give any free passes."
J.J. Putz pitched the ninth for his 16th save in 19 chances.
The Dodgers cut the lead to 4-3 in the seventh on A.J. Ellis' seventh home run of the season, but Jason Kubel's solo home run in the bottom of the eighth restored the two-run advantage.
"It would be big to win the series, a big momentum boost for the break," Kubel said.
• What: Diamondbacks at Dodgers
• When: 1:10 p.m.
• TV; radio: FSAZ; 1490-AM, 104.9-FM