The Dodgers completed a sweep of the Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers were outhit, but managed to limit the damage enough to take a 3-1 win against the Diamondbacks. The win finishes off a sweep and not only gives the Dodgers five straight wins, but gives them a five game lead in the West.
Brock Stewart pitched a very solid game for the Dodgers. He gave up a tough luck run in the first inning that started by walking A.J. Pollock with two outs. Paul Goldschmidt hit a little blooper towards the right field foul line, and Charlie Culberson covered a lot of ground trying to get there. He dove and had the ball in his glove, but it popped out and rolled towards the foul line. Pollock got to run on contact with two outs, so he scored to put the Diamondbacks up 1-0 in the first.
Stewart did not subscribe to the adage of not allowing the leadoff hitter to get on base. In the second, third, fourth and fifth innings, the Diamondbacks got their leadoff batter on base. Two were by hits, one was an error and one was a walk. However, after that first inning, Stewart didn’t allow a Diamondback to reach third base and kept the Dodgers in the game.
Stewart was pulled after the fifth inning. He allowed five hits and walked two in his five innings, but he held the Diamondbacks to the one run. It wasn’t the prettiest start and he only struck out one batter, but he gave the Dodgers five quality innings.
The Dodgers tied the game up immediately in the first, started by a leadoff walk for Howie Kendrick. Corey Seager hit his 39th double of the season, and Kendrick barely beat a throw home to make it 1-1. A wild pitch moved Seager to third, and he scored on a Yasiel Puig sac fly to make it 2-1.
The offense went quiet against lefty Robbie Ray after the first inning. They had a runner reach in the second on a dropped third strike, and had a walk in the third. Other than that, Ray struck out 12 Dodgers in his six innings.
In the sixth, the Dodgers struck again on a solo shot by Puig. It was a classic Puig swing to left-center, a very nice sight to see. If Puig can play well and show up to things on time, the offense will be that much stronger.
After Stewart was pulled, the Dodgers decided to be very annoying. They turned to Jouisse Holelaez for the sixth inning. J.P. Howell got the first out. Louis Coleman got the second out. Luis Avilan walked the third batter. And Jesse Chavez got the final out. Hey, people who are anti-pace of play. That inning was exhibit A.
Chavez remained in for the seventh and got in a load of trouble. Phil Gosselin and Jean Segura led off the inning with back-to-back singles, and they each moved into scoring position on a groundout. Chavez struck Pollock out on a beautiful changeup before intentionally walking Goldy to load the bases.
Dave Roberts brought in Grant Dayton to face the lefty, Jake Lamb. Arizona countered by pinch hitting Lamb for Rickie Weeks, who struck out on a full count to end the threat. The decision to put the go-ahead run on base was risky, but I’m always in favor of not letting Paul Goldschmidt ruin my night. Dayton came on in a huge moment and got a big out, which could bode well for his role in the bullpen.
Pedro Baez saved pace of play by throwing a 10-minute eighth inning, only surrendering a walk. He got two swinging strikeouts and a groundout, so if he’s fixed that could be good.
Kenley Jansen got the ninth inning with a 3-1 lead. He only struck out one, but threw a perfect ninth to close it out.
The Giants bullpen blew a 5-3 lead in the ninth against Colorado. This puts the Dodgers up five games in the division and shrinks the magic number to 19.
The Dodgers are off tomorrow, which is highly convenient for football reasons. They’re back in action Friday in Miami. Clayton Kershaw will make his return, and be greeted by my favorite non-Kershaw pitcher in baseball, Jose Fernandez. First pitch is scheduled for 4:10 PST.