Dodger Stadium has certainly brought the best out of the Arizona Diamondbacks this year and a trip to Los Angeles couldn't have come at a better time. Ian Kennedy shut down the Los Angeles Dodgers Thursday night to help end the Diamondbacks' six-game losing streak with a 2-0 win.
The Diamondbacks won their seventh consecutive game against the Dodgers this season and their fourth in a row at Dodger Stadium with Thursday's win. Chris Young's two-run homer off of Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was the difference maker in this game. Both Ian Kennedy (12-11) and Kershaw (12-8) were in good form but it was Kennedy who delivered his season's best performance when his team needed him the most.
"The difference is when you execute it makes it look like your game plan is a lot better," Kennedy told the Associated Press. "On good games, Miggy (catcher Miguel Montero) and I are on the right game plan."
Kennedy pitched into the seventh inning and only allowed two hits in the game. With one out in the seventh after he issued a walk to Andre Ethier and then hit Luis Cruz manager Kirk Gibson made the call to the bullpen and Brad Ziegler was able to get the D-backs out of the jam.
Ziegler forced Juan Rivera to hit a groundball to second base and Aaron Hill made a nice play to flip it to Jacob Elmore who turned the double play. Rivera was the only hitter that Ziegler was called on to face and he got the job done forcing a key double play.
Even with the win the Diamondbacks remain nine and a half games out of first place in the NL West behind division leader San Francisco Giants who beat the Houston Astros on Thursday. After this four game series in Los Angeles the D-backs travel to San Francisco then San Diego for three games a piece.
"We need to put a good stretch together here on this road trip," Kennedy told MLB.com. "We have a tough schedule ahead of us, but I think we're up for the task."
It was in the fourth inning when the Diamondbacks were able to get to Kershaw. Catcher Miguel Montero led off the inning with a double and then it was Chris Young who hit his 14th home run of the season on a drive to left field that gave the D-backs a 2-0 lead. Young got a breaking ball over the plate on a 2-2 pitch and was able to get a solid swing on it.
"First couple of strikes I was trying get the runner over from second," Young told Steve Gilbert at MLB.com. "I was looking for something out over, but he was pounding me in pretty good. I was able to get back into a good count. After you get a couple of strikes on you, you just go into battle mode and try to put the barrel on the ball. You don't really worry about trying to push the ball to second base anymore, and he just happened to leave a cutter-slider over the plate."
Chris Young had two hits in the game, he singled in the top of the sixth inning but was thrown out at second base attempting a steal. Young has eight stolen bases this year in 11 attempts.
The Dodgers threatened again in the bottom of the ninth inning against D-backs closer J.J. Putz. Adrian Gonzalez and Hanley Ramirez led off the inning with back-to-back singles. Putz then retired three batters in a row on a fielders choice, flyout and a popout to close out the game. Putz got his 27th save of the year and has converted in his last 18 save opportunities in a row.
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