PHOENIX — As far as pitching matchups go, it would be hard to find a better one, at least on paper, than this: A pair of 13-game winners who just happen to play for two of the top teams in all of baseball.
And the fact that one, Arizona Diamondbacks ace Zack Greinke, was facing his former team only added to the pregame storyline.
Neither Greinke nor Alex Wood disappointed. Wood was just a bit better as the Los Angeles Dodgers found their way into the win column once again, the 80th time this season.
A two-out, two-run seventh inning pushed the Dodgers past the D-backs, 3-2, in front of an announced crowd of 22,670 at Chase Field on Wednesday.
The three-game series is now even at a game apiece.
Yasiel Puig hit a tie-breaking RBI single one batter after Joc Pederson had knotted the game at 2 with a run-scoring double.
Greinke (13-5) was charged with three runs on four hits, including a solo home run to Cody Bellinger, in 6.2 innings. He walked a season-high four and struck out eight.
Wood, meanwhile, allowed two runs on six hits with one walk and four strikeouts. He, too, surrendered a home run, a ball to Paul Goldschmidt that at the time squared the game at 1.
J.D. Martinez untied it in the sixth inning with a single. That put Greinke in line for the win, something he had done 10 times previously in 12 home starts.
Instead, Wood (14-1) won for the third straight start, beating the D-backs for the third time this season. The loss dropped the D-backs a half-game back of the Rockies for the No. 1 Wild Card spot.
Greinke had been unbeaten over his last seven outings.
With one out in the third inning, Greinke kept a close eye on Puig who had drawn a leadoff walk. Six times Greinke threw over to first base, including three straight pickoff attempts with a 2-0 count on Chris Taylor. Three pitches later, Greinke and Jeff Mathis combined on a strike ’em out, throw ’em out, inning-ending double play as Puig was tagged out trying to steal second base.
So Goldschmidt can hit the ball a long way. His one-out, solo home run in the fourth inning that tied the game at 1 hit about three-quarters high on the batter’s eye in straightaway center field. It was estimated to have traveled 443feet. Twenty-six times Goldschmidt has homered this season, and now five in the 15 games since Martinez made his return to the lineup on July 24.
Brought here, in part, because he hits lefties well, Martinez recorded a pair of hits off the left-hander Wood. He doubled in the second and followed that up four innings later with an RBI single to plate A.J. Pollock from third base with the go-ahead run with two outs in the sixth. Martinez reached down to club Wood’s 1-0 changeup on into center field to make it 2-1 in favor of the D-backs.
That’s now 33 home runs in 93 games this season for Bellinger, who this series is back in his hometown playing in front of family and friends for the first time since his call-up to the majors. The former Chandler Hamilton High School product turned on a 91-mph fastball, depositing Greinke’s 1-0 offering into the seats in right field to give the Dodgers a 1-0 advantage leading off the second inning.
Three times in the first four innings a Dodgers batter reached base via a walk. Greinke issued free passes in each of the first, third and fourth innings, walking Corey Seager on four pitches just two batters into the game. The three walks tied a season-high, or worst, which he’s done now four times, most recently July 19 at Cincinnati. Greinke had only walked one batter in the three starts since.
Through six innings, Greinke had allowed but one hit to 21 batters faced. Then came the seventh, when three of the five batters faced recorded hits. It began with a leadoff double by Bellinger. Pederson followed two batters later with a double of his own to tie the game at 2, and then Puig singled home Pederson to put the Dodgers back in front, 3-2. Both runs scored with two outs.
STAT OF THE GAME
1: Greinke was one out away in the seventh inning from exiting the game with a 2-1 lead, which would’ve put him in line to become the first pitcher in 16 years to start a season 11-0 at home; it was Greinke who last accomplished such a feat, doing so in 2001 with the Brewers.
HE SAID IT
“Did a bad job that last inning,” Greinke said. “Felt pretty good, but too aggressive with the middle of the plate on Bellinger and he hit it really good; and then threw a terrible pitch to Joc and he hit it good; and threw a pitch kind of where I wanted to to Puig but he just kind of hit it alright and found a good spot. The pitch to Joc was the worst one. He did what he was supposed to do with it. It was a bad pitch and he hit it hard. Made a big mistake there.”
– Greinke threw a first-pitch strike to 11-of-26 batters faced and reached a three-ball count five times.
– Goldschmidt finished 1-for-4. He is now batting .415 (22-for-53) with 17 RBI over his last 15 games.
– Ketel Marte went 1-for-3 with a double plus was hit by a pitch. He now owns a nine-game hitting streak.
– Jake Barrett struck out Austin Barnes to end the seventh inning and owns a 13-game scoreless streak.
– With a first-pitch temperature of 107 degrees, the game was played with both the roof and panels closed.
– Former MLB outfielder and newly inducted Hall of Famer Tim Raines threw out the ceremonial first pitch.
With Robbie Ray still recovering from concussion symptoms, Anthony Banda will start the series finale on Thursday, which just happens to be his birthday. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM, Arizona’s Sports Station.
The soon-to-be 24-year-old Banda (1-1) picked up his first career win filling in for Ray five days ago in San Francisco. He held the Giants to one run on three hits in six innings, while striking out seven.
The Dodgers are expected to counter with Yu Darvish, who will be making his second start with L.A.
Acquired from the Rangers, Darvish won his Dodgers debut, beating the Mets in New York with seven scoreless innings that included 10 strikeouts versus one walk. It was his first victory since June 12, a span of nine starts during which time he went 0-5 with a 5.81 ERA.
Darvish (1-0, 6-9 overall) last pitched against the D-backs on Aug. 1, 2013, earning a 7-1 win in Texas with 14 strikeouts over seven shutout innings. All-time, he’s 1-0 in two career starts.
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