Reverse the trend against the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks just may be able to reverse their season.
More than a quarter of the Diamondbacks’ losses have come against the Dodgers.
None, however, came in the past two days.
The D-backs won their second straight game to earn their first home series win of the season. The final, 5-3, in front of an announced crowd of 35,406 at Chase Field on Sunday afternoon.
Eric Chavez and Cody Ross both homered, Chris Owings and A.J. Pollock both had three hits, and Josh Collmenter pitched 5.1 effective innings to earn his first win in four starts.
“It’s big, especially against them,” said Collmenter, who evened his record at 2-2. “They’ve had our number all year.”
With the game tied at three, Chavez hit a two-strike, two-out, two-run home run in the fifth off starter Dan Haren (5-2) that proved to be the difference. Chavez, who hit a pinch-hit homer the night before, had entered the game two innings earlier to replace Martin Prado after Prado was removed for precautionary reasons due to blurred vision in his left eye.
“Earlier in the season those things didn’t work out for us,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “(Chavez) was forced into action quickly. Two home runs in his last two at-bats. That’s good to see his bat coming around, it’s something we need.”
Once Collmenter exited, the bullpen pitched 3.2 scoreless innings, including Addison Reed who struck out two in the ninth to earn his 12th save of the season.
“We played well all through the weekend and hopefully (we can) carry that in to St. Louis,” Ross said.
Collmenter retired eight straight batters before Adrian Gonzalez singled with one out in the sixth, bringing Gibson out of the dugout. Oliver Perez relieved Collmenter and after issuing a walk to Andre Ethier, Perez induced Matt Kemp to hit into an inning-ending double play for his fourth straight scoreless appearance.
Ross snapped a 1-for-12 (.083) slump with a one-out double in the second. He later added a solo home run, high off the batter’s eye in straightaway center to tie the game at three. It was his first home run since August 8, 2013 against the Tampa Bay Rays, a span of 74 at-bats.
Owings singled in his first three at-bats, making it five straight plate appearances reaching base safely after he walked and doubled in his final two at-bats the night before. Owings finished 3-for-4, improving his lifetime numbers to 9-for-11 (.818) against Haren.
Owings also stole two bases to tie Pollock for the team lead with six. Speaking of Pollock, he went 3-for-4, giving him eight hits in the series and 11 hits on the homestand. He has hit safely in 10 of his last 11 games (18-for-40).
Gerardo Parra with his single in the third has now hit safely in 14 of his last 15 games (.306, 19-for-62).
The two home runs Collmenter surrendered were the seventh and eighth he’s allowed this season; not to mention the 55th and 56th allowed by the Diamondbacks, the most of any team in the majors. Adrian Gonzalez hit one of the two long balls, giving him four home runs and 15 RBIs against the Diamondbacks this season.
Prado after the game said he woke up this morning with the vision in his left eye blurry. He has an eye appointment first thing Monday with the expectation that he’ll be able to fly to St. Louis and rejoin his teammates later in the day.
The Diamondbacks No. 3 and 4 hitters (Paul Goldschmidt and Miguel Montero) went a combined 1-for-8.
STAT OF THE GAME
3: The number of Diamondbacks wins in 11 meetings against the Dodgers this season; also the number of hits for both Owings and Pollock who went a combined 6-for-8
HE SAID IT
“Just all the hard work and the effort that I’ve put in to get back,” Ross said when asked what he was thinking as he rounded the bases. “There was talk of me never even playing again or possibly coming back midway through the season and here we are in May, able to produce and get a big win today. It’s pretty special.”
The Diamondbacks last series win at home was Sept. 13-15, 2013 against the Colorado Rockies
The Diamondbacks’ No. 1-3 hitters went a 15-for-28 (.536) with three doubles, two triples, four home runs, 11 RBIs and 14 runs scored in the last two games
Chavez, who collected his 900th RBI as part of his two-run home run, homered in back-to-back games for the first time since July 30 and 31 at the Tampa Bay Rays
Aaron Hill missed his second straight game because of a sore right shoulder, but it’s “not anything serious” according to Gibson, who added the team is just being cautious
The Diamondbacks left immediately after the game for St. Louis, where after an off day on Monday they’ll begin a three-game series against the Cardinals. First pitch is scheduled for 5:15 with pregame coverage beginning 30 minutes earlier on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
Bronson Arroyo (4-2, 4.15) will get the ball to start the six-game road trip. He’s been the team’s unquestioned ace recently with only a single earned run allowed in his last three starts. And going back over his past four outings, the veteran right-hander is 3-0 with a 0.91 ERA (3 ER in 29.2 IP).
Arroyo has faced the Cardinals 38 times with 36 starts, including 19 quality starts.