D-backs tied for best record in MLB after rallying past Dodgers again
PHOENIX — Nothing seems to be fazing the Arizona Diamondbacks much right now. They lose hitters, but they keep winning games. They lose 40 percent of their starting rotation, but they keep winning games. They face Clayton Kershaw, and they win the game anyway.
For the second time in three meetings with Kershaw already this season, Arizona picked up the victory on Tuesday night. A.J. Pollock and Christian Walker each homered off the Dodgers’ ace to keep the game close through six before Daniel Descalso came up with a two-run triple to complete the rally in the seventh.
That gave the D-backs a 4-3 win in front of 18,940 fans at Chase Field, running their record to 7-1 against their rivals from LA this season.
Matt Koch gave Torey Lovullo five innings to work with, allowing three runs (two earned) and exiting with his team in striking distance. That might not be the ultimate goal most nights, but when a guy is making just his fifth career start and it’s coming against Kershaw, well, you’ll take it. From there, the bullpen held the Dodgers hitless for the final four frames. And that was that.
With the win, Arizona is now 21-8 and tied with the Red Sox for the best record in baseball, six games up on the Rockies for first place in the NL West and nine ahead of LA.
– Pollock hits home runs every night now. He has four in the last two games, five in his last five and ten through 29 this season. To put that in perspective, his career high is 20 homers.
– Walker’s home run was among the furthest ever hit in Chase, traveling 479 feet into Friday’s Front Row Sports Grill in left field.
– The bottom of the order came together to manufacture the tying and winning runs in the seventh. Trailing 3-2, Deven Marrero led off with a single, John Ryan Murphy followed with another single and Descalso drove them both in by ripping a triple to right.
– Jarrod Dyson stole second and third base in the eighth inning.
– The bullpen came up huge with Andrew Chafin, Silvino Bracho, Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger combining for four hitless innings.
– Bracho picked up his first career win, fanning Cody Bellinger with two runners on to end the seventh inning.
– Boxberger picked up his tenth save. Only Wade Davis of the Rockies has more in the National League.
– Bellinger hit a homer in the third inning to right field that hasn’t landed yet.
– Arizona stranded a runner on third with no outs in both the seventh and eighth innings.
STAT OF THE GAME
479: Number of feet Christian Walker’s home run traveled. According to ESPN Stats and Info, it’s the longest homer Kershaw has ever served up.
HE SAID IT
“I say with this a lot of respect. To go to where we’re wanting to go, you’ve got to beat pitchers like this. And the fact that we’re stacking up against him and doing okay means we’re on the right track.” – Torey Lovullo
– Jake Lamb went through a normal pregame routine prior to tonight’s contest, throwing across the diamond for the first time.
– Arizona sent RHP Sam McWilliams and LHP Colin Poche to Tampa Bay Tuesday, completing the trade that brought Steven Souza to the Valley back on Feb. 20.
The D-backs will be going for their tenth consecutive series win when they take the field Wednesday night. Zack Godley will be on the mound for Arizona, while LA counters with Hyun-Jin Ryu. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m., with pregame coverage beginning at 6 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Godley (4-1) has been solid this season, notching four wins in five tries while striking out 28 batters over 28.1 innings. His one loss did come against the Dodgers back on April 15, though, when he was touched up for six runs (five earned) in four innings of a 7-2 defeat.
The 28-year old righty has also beaten LA already this season, allowing just one run over seven innings in a 6-1 victory on April 3. He’s 2-2 in six career starts against the Dodgers.
Ryu (3-0) has actually been LA’s most effective pitcher so far in 2018, sporting an undefeated record to go with a 2.22 ERA and 0.85 WHIP. His worst outing came against the D-backs in April 2, however, when he surrendered three runs in just 3.2 innings of work, earning a no-decision.