Dose of Venom: Dodgers complete two-game sweep of D-backs behind strong performances from Kershaw, Kemp
PHOENIX — Backed by another dominant pitching performance from their ace and a productive third inning offensively, the Los Angeles Dodgers downed the Arizona Diamondbacks Wednesday night, 3-1, completing the two-game sweep at Chase Field.
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw (16-3, 1.73 ERA) was in top-form at Chase Field, where he had his second shortest outing of his career back in May.
This time around, Kershaw was dominant for eight innings while working out of legitimate trouble twice. The reigning NL Cy Young winner allowed six hits and one unearned run while striking out 10.
The D-backs had their opportunities at the plate, but lacked that decisive hit to even the contest.
In the bottom of the third inning, they loaded the bases with one out but could not capitalize. Aaron Hill popped out in the infield while Mark Trumbo flied out to left. That same duo would also squander Ender Inciarte at third base in the fifth inning, after the rookie led off the inning with a triple. Collectively, Arizona left seven men on base and batted 2-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
D-backs starter Wade Miley (7-10, 4.30 ERA) kept his team within reach despite having troubles of his own.
Miley struggled to find the strike zone — walking four batters and only throwing 58 of his 100 pitches for strikes over six innings. Despite not having his best stuff, the lefty battled through his outing and recorded a quality start. The only damage done against him occurred early in the third inning.
For the second consecutive night, Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp broke the scoreless tie in the top of the third. After Dee Gordon’s infield single and a walk by Yasiel Puig, Kemp connected for a double over Inciarte’s head — driving in both runners.
Two batters later, Scott Van Slyke hit a towering home run — his 10th of the season — into the first row of the left-center field bleachers.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen recorded his 38th save of the year, retiring pinch hitter David Peralta, then Tuffy Gosewisch and Didi Gregorius in order.
Inciarte was the D-backs player of the game for the second straight night. He reached base three times against Kershaw, including a triple to right field and successfully stole another base. The rookie also recorded another assist when he threw out Kemp at third base.
Miley has posted four straight quality starts, and owns a 2.45 ERA during that span.
The bullpen pitched 8.2 innings in this two-game series, allowing only one run to the Dodgers.
Hill and Trumbo each left five runners on base and failed to hurt Kershaw in his few moments of adversity.
The D-backs loaded the bases in the bottom of the third inning, but failed to score. This was the first time all season that Kershaw had been in a bases-loaded situation.
He Said It:
“You just try to go out and not look at that, just go out there and make pitches. Every time out, the mentality is to put up zeroes.” -Miley on pitching against Kershaw, and realizing there is little room for error
The D-backs will enjoy a day off before finalizing their eight-game home stand this weekend versus the Colorado Rockies.
Friday’s pitching matchup features Josh Collmenter (9-7, 4.05) for Arizona and Colorado rookie right-hander Christian Bergman (1-2, 6.75).
The D-backs have won 6 out of their last 7 games against the Rockies.
First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 p.m., with the D-backs pre-game show beginning thirty minutes prior. Listen to all the action on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.