LOS ANGELES (AP) — Chris Heisey hit a grand slam during the Dodgers’ six-run fifth inning, and Los Angeles trimmed its magic number to four for the NL West crown and a postseason berth with a 6-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday.
Los Angeles increased its NL West lead to 7 1-2 games over the Giants, who faced San Diego later.
Clayton Kershaw (15-7) had nine strikeouts while yielding six hits and three runs over five innings. He also had a vehement dugout discussion with Don Mattingly after the manager pulled Kershaw from his shortest start of the season.
Last season’s NL MVP leads the majors with 281 strikeouts. Kershaw left trailing 3-0, but ended up with his fifth victory in six starts when the Dodgers rallied for their second straight win.
Howie Kendrick had a two-run single for the Dodgers (87-65), who wrapped their 10-game homestand in firm command of their postseason destiny.
Heisey is batting. 173 in a strange season that has included several stints in Los Angeles, long stretches in the minors and a month in Toronto’s system before the Dodgers re-acquired him this month.
He connected in a key moment against Andrew Chafin, sneaking his first homer of the season just inside the pole and into Dodger Stadium’s short left field porch.
Rookie Brandon Drury homered off Kershaw, and Paul Goldschmidt got his 19th RBI in his last 19 games against the Dodgers. Arizona (73-80) would have to win its final nine games to avoid its fourth consecutive non-winning season.
Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 34th save.
Kershaw didn’t appear to have his best stuff in a rare midday start at Dodger Stadium, yet he still struck out five of Arizona’s first nine batters.
After giving up a run in three consecutive innings, he fanned Goldschmidt to end a 1-2-3 fifth. Mattingly abruptly pulled him in the bottom half for pinch-hitter Austin Barnes, who flew out before the Dodgers’ decisive rally began.
The Dodgers likely are attempting to be mindful of Kershaw’s past postseason struggles by keeping him fresh for October. That didn’t appear to sit well with the ace, whose vigorous conversation with Mattingly in the dugout was captured by television cameras.
Kershaw threw a season-low 80 pitches. He had pitched into the sixth inning in each of his first 30 starts this year.
Patrick Corbin (6-5) was in control until the fifth inning of his second loss to the Dodgers in 12 days.
Kendrick chased Corbin with a single that trimmed Arizona’s lead to 3-2. A.J. Ellis drew a two-out walk from Chafin before Heisey cleared the bases.
Diamondbacks: Manager Chip Hale now thinks SS Nick Ahmed will Arizona’s weekend series with a lower back injury.
Dodgers: Mattingly is “100 percent” confident Kike Hernandez will return from his hamstring injury before the regular season ends.
Diamondbacks: Rubby De La Rosa (13-8, 4.60 ERA) opens a series in San Diego against Casey Kelly (0-0, 4.50).
Dodgers: Mike Bolsinger (6-4, 3.26 ERA) pitches at Colorado vs. David Hale (4-5, 6.32).
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