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D-backs unable to sweep the Dodgers for fourth consecutive time

(AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

A pristine seven-pitch, seven-strike first inning left the Diamondbacks anticipating another dominant Zack Godley outing.

After all, he held the Dodgers to one run in seven innings on April 3 and led the NL in ERA (0.64) coming into Sunday’s game.

In that first matchup, Godley’s pitch movement caught L.A. off-guard. However, the Dodgers caught up to his steady stream of low-and-away pitches Sunday, managing to avoid swinging at curves and sinkers out of the zone.

In the third inning, Godley walked a pair and then allowed a grounder to bounce off his glove. The Dodgers stayed patient, getting two hits and coaxing two more walks before Arizona could get out of the inning.

By that time, Godley had walked six and the Dodgers led 4-0.

With Clayton Kershaw on the mound, that’s all L.A. needed.

The Dodgers won 7-2, avoiding their fourth consecutive sweep to the D-backs.

This was Arizona’s first loss to a left-handed starter since Sept. 26, 2017. In that span, they were 9-0 and opposing lefties threw a 9.30 ERA in 39.2 innings.

Last time the D-backs faced Kershaw, it was the first time two different lefties homered against him in one game.

None of that happened Sunday. The closest was Paul Goldschmidt, who hit a home run in the seventh inning to break up a 7-0 shutout.

It was one of only two D-backs hits off Kershaw of the day.

After a slow start to the season, Goldschmidt is finally starting to come around. He has hit four home runs in his last five games, a span in which his batting average has increased from .158 to .235.

The only other player with any sort of success against Kershaw on Sunday was David Peralta.

He reached on error in his first at-bat and then laced a two-out double to center before striking out in his final at-bat against Kershaw.

Peralta came into the game hitting only .211 against lefties, but he has been productive against Kershaw. He was 0-5 against the southpaw in his career coming into this season.

This year, he’s 3-6 with a home run and a double.

Nobody else could touch Kershaw, who threw seven innings of two-hit ball and struck out 12.

Though the D-backs’ 11-game regular season win streak over the Dodgers has come to an end, they are yet to lose a series this season. Their 11-4 record was tied for second-best in the National League as of Sunday night.

Arizona will return home to face the Giants on Tuesday.

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