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Sedona Red Recap: D-backs become first to sweep Dodgers in 2017

Los Angeles Dodgers' Kenta Maeda watches a two-run home run hit by Arizona Diamondbacks' A.J. Pollock during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — Coming into this six-game homestand, the Arizona Diamondbacks (76-58) needed to go 5-1 against the Giants and Dodgers to end August with a .500-plus record for the month.

They went 6-0 instead.

Indeed, the first part of August didn’t go the D-backs’ way. Through Aug. 20, Arizona lost 12 of 19 games, including a series in which they were swept by the Minnesota Twins. But in the past week, the D-backs have swept San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The perfect homestand was capped Thursday by an 8-1 win over the Dodgers in front of 19,882 at Chase Field. The D-backs have now won seven in a row and became the first team in 2017 to sweep the 91-41 NL West rivals.

As has been the case all series long, the D-backs took an early lead on Thursday, scoring two runs in the first inning.

“I thought we came out ready to play on a day game where things tend to get a little slippery because guys are fatigued,” manager Torey Lovullo said. “But we did exactly the things that we’ve done all year long.”

But Arizona’s offense wasn’t finished. It scored three in the second, two in the third and one in the fifth. Los Angeles starter Kenta Maeda (12-6) lasted just three innings and was charged for seven runs (all earned) on eight hits and a walk.

Seven different Diamondbacks would come around to score a run in the game. Gregor Blanco, Chris Iannetta and Paul Goldschmidt respectively hit first, second and fourth in the lineup and combined for four runs, four doubles, a home run, two walks, a stolen base and five RBI.

Though the offense was electric, D-backs starter Zack Greinke dealt six innings with just one run allowed — that was in the second inning, when a double by Adrian Gonzalez eventually allowed Yasmani Grandal to score.

“It was just a great game,” Greinke said. “Got a lot of runs, made amazing plays defensively. It couldn’t have gone much better in that regard. They hit some balls hard but ran it down or put it in a good spot to catch a lot of them.”

The final line for Greinke: Six innings, four hits, one run (earned), two walks and six strikeouts. He earned his MLB-leading 16th win of the season. He’s now 13-1 at Chase Field in 2017.

“I thought it was a really, really positive game for us,” Lovullo said. “But it’s time to feel this, enjoy it, embrace it and once we get on the plane it’s time to lock it down and get ready for a really tough Colorado series.”

THE GOOD

–The D-backs scored two runs in the first inning, bringing their total number of first-inning runs in this series to 10.

— Goldschmidt had two RBI in the game, bringing his season total to 109.

–Iannetta (13) and A.J. Pollock (9) each hit home runs, both off of Maeda.

–In the top of the third inning, Pollock robbed Cody Bellinger of a base hit by making a leaping catch at the wall in center field to end the inning.

–In the ninth, Pollock flashed the leather again, robbing Yasiel Puig of a hit with a diving catch to his left in center field.

“That’s A.J.,” Lovullo said. “He’s going to do that no matter what the score is, what the inning is, or what the situation is. He’s a premiere center fielder.”

–In relief, Lovullo used lefty T.J. McFarland and Jake Barrett to finish the game. McFarland pitched two full innings, and Barrett pitched the ninth. They combined for no runs, a hit, a walk and two strikeouts.

THE BAD

–Greinke had two wild pitches.

HE SAID IT

“I think Zack kind of blocks everything out and just goes ahead and pitches no matter where he’s at, based on the game plan he wants to follow. … I just know I’ve enjoyed every one of his starts this year and I’m thankful for what he’s given us in 2017.” –Lovullo on Greinke’s success at home

BASE HITS

–The calendar turning over to September means MLB’s roster limit expands from 25 to 40 players. Catcher John Ryan Murphy had a locker in the D-backs’ clubhouse before Thursday’s game, but was on the “taxi squad,” meaning he wouldn’t officially be activated until Sept. 1. The D-backs hadn’t yet announced who else would be recalled, but Lovullo said other players would join the team in Colorado.

–Randall Delgado (elbow) has been out since July, but threw a bullpen session this week. He’s expected to throw a simulated game on Saturday, and a rehab start before returning to the big league club is a possibility.

UP NEXT

The D-backs head to Colorado for a three-game set against the Rockies, who are (3.5) games behind Arizona for the top Wild Card spot in the NL.

On Friday, Arizona sends righty Taijuan Walker (7-7, 3.55 ERA) to the mound at Coors Field. In his last two starts, Walker is 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA. In two starts in Denver this year, Walker is 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA.

He’ll face Rockies rookie Kyle Freeland (11-8, 3.81 ERA).

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