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Sedona Red Recap: Ray shines, D-backs hold off another Dodgers rally

Arizona Diamondbacks' Robbie Ray throws a pitch to a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks’ midseason struggles seem like a distant memory right now.

After slogging their way through July and most of August, Torey Lovullo’s group appears to have woken up over the last week and a half. It started with the series in New York against the Mets and is still carrying on, although against much stronger competition.

Adam Rosales, Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Herrmann all homered Wednesday as Arizona outlasted the Los Angeles Dodgers, 6-4, in front of 23,321 fans at Chase Field. On the mound, Robbie Ray was impressive again, fanning 10 while allowing just one run over 6.2 innings.

It marks Ray’s second start since coming off the disabled list after taking a line drive off the head in late July. And he hasn’t missed a beat. If anything, he’s been even better since his return, striking out 19 batters and allowing just two runs over 11.2 combined innings.

With the victory, the D-backs now have a six-game lead over Milwaukee for the final playoff berth, and a three-game cushion over Colorado for the NL’s top Wild Card spot. They’re also 7-8 against baseball’s best team this season, and have now won six straight — and eight of nine overall.

Arizona will go for the sweep of the Dodgers on Thursday hoping to accomplish something no other team has in 2017.

THE GOOD

-Rosales got the Diamondbacks off to a fast start, crushing a home run just over the line in deep center in the bottom of the first inning.

-Goldschmidt followed that up just two batters later, driving a Hyun-Jin Ryu fastball into the left field seats for his 33rd longball of the season.

-Herrmann put one over the fence in the fourth, making it 5-0 D-backs and giving Arizona three homers before Los Angeles scored.

-Ray only surrendered two hits through the first five innings and just four on the night. The only real jam he got into was when the Dodgers put two runners on in the fourth, but he worked his way out of it pretty quickly.

-Archie Bradley came through in the eighth, striking out Chase Utley and getting Corey Seager to ground out with the bases loaded after allowing a hit and walking one.

-Fernando Rodney worked a perfect ninth and closed with a strikeout of Cody Bellinger.

THE BAD

-The bullpen looked like it might be getting ready to implode again for awhile there, as Jake Barrett and Andrew Chafin combined to give up three runs in just two-thirds of an inning, before Bradley entered the game.

STAT OF THE GAME

3: Number of consecutive contests in which Goldschmidt has homered. This is the fourth time he’s pulled that off in his career, with the most recent run occuring from Sept. 21-23, 2015.

HE SAID IT

“Another emotional win, and a big win. Anytime you’ve got the best team in the league in your facility and you’ve got them on the ropes a little bit and you beat them the way we have. I’m really, really proud of these guys because the Dodgers never shut down, and that’s why they’re a quality team.” – Torey Lovullo

NOTED

-D-back starters have now delivered five quality starts in the last nine outings.

-Wednesday’s contest marked the 61st time this season that Arizona pitchers have struck out 10 or more opposing batters in a game — the most in the NL.

UP NEXT

These teams will meet again Thursday at Chase Field for the final game of the series. First pitch is set for 12:40 p.m., with pregame coverage beginning at noon on ESPN 620 AM.

The Diamondbacks will go for the sweep with Zack Greinke (15-6, 3.14) on the mound. He picked up a 4-3 win over the Giants in his most recent outing on Aug. 25, scattering two earned runs over 6.2 innings.

Greinke is a remarkable 12-1 with a 2.36 ERA at home this season. His 15 overall wins are tied for the NL lead.

The Dodgers will counter with Kenta Maeda (12-5, 3.76). The righty allowed just one run over six innings to pick up a win against the Brewers on Aug. 25, and has now earned victories in six of his last seven decisions. He’s 3-2 with a 4.18 ERA in nine career starts against Arizona.

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