PHOENIX — As difficult a place to play at as Chase Field has been for the Arizona Diamondbacks this season, it’s been equally as difficult, if not more so, for Clayton Kershaw recently.
The Dodgers left-hander had dropped four straight games in Phoenix entering his start Saturday night.
Make it five straight.
The D-backs unloaded on Kershaw and the Dodgers, winning 18-7.
The win, which evened the series at a game apiece, was the D-backs’ first in seven home games against the Dodgers and only their fifth at home overall.
There was plenty for the 36,688 in attendance to cheer about as the D-backs scored the most runs in franchise history on the second-most hits (21) in franchise history.
“It was nice,” said Paul Goldschmidt, one of six players who had two or more hits. “We hadn’t been scoring much lately; almost the entire year.”
The Diamondbacks jumped on Kershaw in the second with seven runs scored on six hits and two walks.
“It doesn’t happen very often; just a great inning,” manager Kirk Gibson said.
The Diamondbacks sent 12 men to the plate, knocking out Kershaw (2-1) after just an inning-and-two-thirds, the second shortest outing of his career.
“Hitting is contagious,” Chris Owings added. “You hear that all the time and I truly believe that.”
The D-backs, however, were not done.
After the Dodgers plated five runs in the sixth to pull to within 9-5, the D-backs scored nine times in the final three innings, including four runs in both the seventh and eighth.
The beneficiary of all the offense was rookie starter Chase Anderson, who won his second game in as many starts and his first at home.
“Thanks for the offense today, to get that win because it’s definitely on them,” he said.
As impressive as that D-backs’ second inning was, let’s not forget it started with a four-pitch walk to Cody Ross, the first free pass issued by Kershaw since he returned off the disabled list (no walks, 18 strikeouts in 14 innings). Ross actually walked twice in the inning, the second time on four pitches as well.
Cliff Pennington, A.J. Pollock and Chris Owings each hit triples in the second inning, the first time in club history the Diamondbacks recorded three triples in an inning. They became the first team to accomplish the feat since the Houston Astros on April 19, 2012 at the Washington Nationals.
Goldschmidt had himself a night. He set a personal career-high in RBI (six) and a club record in runs scored (five) with two home runs, two doubles and a walk. It was his fifth career multi-homer game as he hit his eighth and ninth of the season, helping him run his RBI total to a team-high 32.
Owings became the second rookie in club history — joining Justin Upton — to double, triple and homer in the same game. His triple in the second snapped a 15 at-bat hitless drought, while the home run in the fourth was the second of his career. He finished 3-for-5 with four runs scored.
Eric Chavez and Pollock hit consecutive home runs in the eighth inning, the second time the D-backs have gone back-to-back this season. For Chavez, it was his second of the year and third career pinch-hit homer. For Pollock, it was home run number five.
Getting his first start at second base of the season, Pennington made a nice diving stop on a ground ball headed towards center field in the second inning. He quickly sprang to his feet and threw out Carl Crawford for out number-one.
Joe Thatcher continued his mastery of Los Angeles. He extended his streak of not allowing an earned run against the Dodgers to 35 games, the longest among relievers all-time. With two-thirds scoreless innings pitched, he lowered his career ERA against the Dodgers to 1.88, seventh-best among relievers all-time.
Anderson got himself in and out of trouble in the first inning. With a runner on second and nobody out — Dee Gordon lead-off single and then moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch — he retired three of the next four batters, working around a 2-out walk to Adrian Gonzalez, to end the threat.
Anderson lost his bid for a shutout when with one out in the third inning Puig crushed a 91 mph fastball for a two-run home run to left center field. It was his ninth home run of the season, extending his hitting streak to a career-best 16 games. It was also his eighth consecutive game of at least one extra-base hit and one RBI, setting a L.A. Dodgers record.
Three innings later, Anderson was knocked out of the game after he allowed a three-run home run to Crawford which pulled the Dodgers to within four, 9-5. The pitch came immediately after a mound visit by pitching coach Mike Harkey. The Diamondbacks have now given up 54 home runs, the most in all of baseball.
Poor Alfredo Marte. He was the lone position player to not record at least one hit and one run scored in the game. He also committed a fielding error that let the Dodgers plate two unearned runs in what was a five-run sixth inning. Marte was pinch-hit for the next half inning by Gerardo Parra.
STAT(S) OF THE GAME
7: The number of runs the Diamondbacks scored in the second inning, making Kershaw only the third reigning Cy Young winner in MLB history to allow seven or more runs while recording five or fewer outs, joining Roger Clemens and Bret Saberhagen
HE SAID IT
“Our approach has been good,” Gibson said after his team set club records in runs (18), hits in a nine-inning game (21) and total extra-base hits (13). “We haven’t—the thing that’s frustrating for us as a staff is they don’t have validation of why we do certain things, but tonight they got it.”
– At 3 hours and 55 minutes, it was the second-longest 9-inning game in Chase Field history
– Brad Ziegler hit for himself in the seventh inning, striking out swinging; he is now 1-for-7 with three strikeouts in his career with a bat in his hand
– The D-backs’ starting lineup did not include Aaron Hill, who was scratched due a sore right shoulder, and Gerardo Parra, who despite solid numbers against Kershaw and it being his bobblehead night was given a breather because he had “been dragging a little bit” according to Gibson
The series and homestand concludes with Josh Collmenter and ex-Diamondback Dan Haren as the scheduled starters on Sunday, May 18. First pitch is scheduled for 1:10 p.m. with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM. Collmenter (1-2, 3.89) has not figured in the decision in any of his past three outings. He’s 1-2 with a 4.28 ERA in six starts since being inserted into the rotation. Haren (5-1, 2.84), meanwhile, has won two of the past three times he’s been on the mound. He’s faced his former team twice this season, winning both match-ups.