Diamondbacks defeat Dodgers in Slugfest
Zack Greinke recovered from a three-run first inning to pitch five innings of scoreless ball, and the Arizona Diamondbacks capitalized on a four-run eighth to defeat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-5. A crowd of 24,765 watched the hometown Diamondbacks snap the Dodgers’ six-game winning streak under an open roof, and they were entertained from the first hitter onward.
Diamondbacks and Dodgers Each Score Early
The Dodgers hit the ball hard out of the gate off Greinke. First baseman Joc Pederson led off with a hot grounder up the middle for a single and advanced to third when third baseman Justin Turner singled to right two hitters later. Then right fielder Cody Bellinger smacked a double to right-center that plated Pederson and advanced Turner to third. Up next came second baseman Max Muncy, who grounded to first with the pitcher covering, bringing in Turner and advancing Bellinger to third. The hit parade continued when shortstop Chris Taylor doubled off the fence in right-center, scoring Bellinger and giving the Dodgers a 3-0 lead. Left fielder Enrique Hernandez could not continue the rally, grounding to third for the third out.
Arizona responded in the bottom of the first against Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw. After a leadoff strikeout by right fielder Adam Jones, second baseman Ketel Marte extended his hitting streak with a single to center. He advanced to second on a wild pitch to third baseman Eduardo Escobar, the subsequent hitter, who eventually walked. After an infield popup to first by left fielder David Peralta, first baseman Christian Walker tied the game with a three-run home run to the picnic area in left-center. Shortstop Nick Ahmed then ended the inning by grounding to third.
Greinke Helps His Own Cause, Settles into Groove
The Diamondbacks then took the lead in the bottom of the second. After two quick outs by catcher Carson Kelly and center fielder Tim Locastro on a liner to left and popup to the shortstop, respectively, Greinke helped his own cause with a homer to left, his third round-tripper of the season. Jones then singled, but Marte’s grounder to third ended the inning.
With Arizona now leading, 4-3, no baserunner passed second base until the top of the sixth. Bellinger led off that inning with a second-pitch single to center. When the next hitter, Muncy, ripped a sharp grounder right at first baseman Christian Walker, it looked like another double play was in order. However, Walker’s throw to second was wide toward the third base side, pulling Ahmed off the bag. The return throw to first was late, so instead of the bases being empty with two out, there were now runners on first and second with nobody out. Greinke, however, picked up Walker by striking out Taylor, Hernandez, and pinch hitter Matt Beaty to quell the threat. In the bottom of the sixth, Arizona also had a runner in scoring position with one out, but Kelly bounced into a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning.
Diamondbacks Bullpen Slips Up
The Dodgers tied the game in the top of the seventh when Greinke ran into trouble and reliever Yoshihisa Hirano had control problems. Pinch hitter Kyle Garlick led off with a single that would have gone directly to the second baseman had there been no overshift. Lefty Andrew Chafin then relieved Greinke and faced Pederson, who struck out looking. Next, center fielder Alex Verdugo hit a grounder toward the shortstop position. With the overshift on, it snuck to the right of a diving Escobar for a single to left.
Hirano then came into the game to face the right-handed Turner with runners on first and second and one out. The second pitch went wild, moving the runners to second and third and taking away the double play setup. Turner ended up popping to the second baseman for the second out. After Bellinger was intentionally passed for the second time of the evening, Muncy walked with the bases loaded, bringing in the tying run amidst a chorus of boos.
Nothing got any worse for the Diamondbacks, however, when Hirano settled down after a visit from pitching coach Mike Butcher. After the visit, Hirano struck out Taylor to keep the game tied as it moved to the bottom of the seventh. Arizona went down in order in the bottom of the seventh off reliever Yimi Garcia, and the Dodgers could only manage a leadoff single off new pitcher Yoan Lopez in the top of the eighth.
Dodgers Bullpen Implodes
A big eighth inning gave the Diamondbacks the lead for good. Dylan Floro took the mound for the Dodgers and was hit hard. Marte led off by looping a single over the head of Turner and into shallow left field. The hit gave him multiple hits for the seventh consecutive game, tying the club record held by Luis Gonzalez. Escobar followed with a single over a leaping Hernandez into left field that advanced Marte to second. Peralta then smacked a single to center that scored Marte and advanced Escobar to third.
With the score now 5-4, Walker, who was already 2-for-3, stepped to the plate. Floro pitched him carefully but may have been too careful, walking him to load the bases for Ahmed, fresh off a leaping, highlight-reel catch in the top of the eighth. On the fourth pitch, he belted a sacrifice fly to right, extending the lead to 6-4 and advancing each of the other two baserunners. After Kelly struck out looking, Locastro lined the first pitch past a diving Pederson and into right for a two-run single that made the score 8-4.
JT Chargeois came into the game in relief. The first hitter was Jarrod Dyson, pinch hitting for the pitcher. On the first pitch, Locastro stole second. Dyson eventually walked, bringing up Jones, the ninth hitter of the inning, who struck out looking, ending the eighth.
Greg Holland Reaches Milestone in Ninth
T.J. McFarland took the hill in a non-save situation in the ninth but turned it into one. After a fly to right by Verdugo, he drilled Turner in the shin. Bellinger then hit a comebacker that McFarland couldn’t come up with cleanly. It did not turn into a double play, but McFarland recovered quickly enough to retire Bellinger at first for the second out. Muncy followed with a single to right to score Turner and make the score 8-5. Closer Greg Holland then came in and struck out pinch hitter Russell Martin to end the game and notch his 200th career save. The winning pitcher was Lopez (1-1), while the loss went to Floro (2-2).
The two teams play again Tuesday night and then Wednesday afternoon. On Thursday, they will each begin a four-game series on the road, with the Diamondbacks heading to San Francisco and the Dodgers heading to Denver to face the Giants and Colorado Rockies, respectively.
Embed from Getty Images
View the original article on Last Word On Baseball: Arizona Diamondbacks Outslug Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-5