D-backs drop second straight, fail to win series vs. Dodgers
PHOENIX– So the Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t win the series. They didn’t lose the series either.
Call it a push, keeping intact an unbeaten series streak but missing a chance at history.
The problem for the D-backs on Thursday was a lack of offense and a leaky bullpen; the latter of which was the exception rather than the rule 31 games into the season.
The D-backs led 2-1 entering the eighth inning but with Archie Bradley and Brad Boxberger both unavailable, having each pitched four times in five days, manager Torey Lovullo turned to Fernando Salas and then Jorge De La Rosa.
Neither move worked.
Why no Yoshihisa Hirano? Lovullo explained after the game he was saving the right-hander for a possible save situation in the ninth.
Combined Salas and De La Rosa allowed four runs on three hits with one walk, one balk and two wild pitches in the eighth as the Los Angeles Dodgers pulled out a 5-2 win, their second straight over the D-backs, to earn a split in the four-game series.
The D-backs had not lost two in a row all season.
Starter Patrick Corbin was good — six innings of one-run ball with two walks and five strikeouts — but not great, and the offense managed just two runs on six hits.
“It’s just one of those days where we couldn’t get a big hit to maybe push across more than one run at a time,” Lovullo said.
A crowd of 21,407 showed up to Chase Field hoping to see something that had not happened since 1907, a big-league team winning a 10th consecutive series to start the year.
As good as Corbin has been throwing the ball, he’s been just about as good hitting the ball. He recorded his fourth hit and drove in his second run of the season with a two-out single in the second inning. Corbin worked the count to 2-2, fouling off a pair of 2-strike pitches in the process, before dumping a ball into center field to plate Ketel Marte with the game-tying run, 1-1. Last season, Corbin had seven hits and no RBI in 56 at-bats.
Entering Thursday, Marte had gone hitless in six at-bats in the series. That changed in a hurry. Marte singled in the second and then again in the sixth inning; the latter an opposite poke between the third baseman and shortstop that scored Paul Goldschmidt from second base to put the D-backs in front, 2-1. Goldschmidt slid under the tag which was confirmed via replay in a review that lasted 1:14. Marte, by the way, finished 2-for-3 with a walk.
For the third straight start, Corbin was tagged for a home run. With one out in the second inning, Austin Barnes drilled a first-pitch fastball — clocked at 89.4 mph — over the left-field fence to hand the Dodgers a 1-0 lead. It was Barnes’ second homer in five career at-bats against Corbin, who has now surrendered six long balls this season.
It’s now five straight games in which Goldschmidt has struck out at least twice. He went down swinging in each of his at-bats in the first and third innings. He finished 0-for-4, reaching base on an error. In the series, Goldschmidt went 1-for-15 with eight strikeouts; a stretch that saw his batting average drop nearly 30 points, from .274 to .245.
In his D-backs debut, Steven Souza Jr. went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, taking a called third strike in his first at-bat and then swinging and missing in his second. He had better luck in the field, specifically right field. He caught the one fly ball hit in his direction and fielded three hits, throwing the ball back to the infield with no issues.
Walk, base hit, base hit, sacrifice fly, balk, intentional walk, wild pitch, wild pitch, base hit. That’s the sequence of events in the Dodgers half of the eighth inning when they scored four runs to reclaim in the lead, 5-2. Salas failed to retire any of the three batters he faced and then De La Rosa balked and uncorked two wild pitches.
STAT OF THE GAME
1: The D-backs lost back-to-back games for the first time this season, totalling three runs in the 18 innings played
HE SAID IT
“Just an unfortunate eighth inning ended up costing us today. We just didn’t execute in key situations,” Lovullo said.
Corbin threw a first-pitch strike to 12 of the 23 batters that he faced; in addition, he reached a 3-ball count a total of six times.
A.J. Pollock went 2-for-4, and he has now reached base safely in 35 consecutive games against the Dodgers at Chase Field.
With a first-pitch temperature of 74 degrees (and 3 mph winds), the game was played with both the roof and the panels open.
As part of Throwback Thursday, the D-backs wore 1999 purple alternate uniforms, celebrating the club’s first postseason team.
Players from the 1999 team: Omar Daal, Luis Gonzalez, Randy Johnson and Ernie Young, threw out ceremonial first pitches.
World Series week continues.
The champion Houston Astros are in town for a three-game weekend series beginning Friday, May 4. It will be Kris Medlen and Gerrit Cole on the mound in the opener. First pitch is scheduled for 6:40 with pregame coverage beginning 40 minutes earlier on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.
Medlen will be making his D-backs debut.
Signed to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training in the offseason, Medlen has not pitched in the Majors since 2016, when his year was cut short by a shoulder injury.
Meanwhile, Cole (2-1) has been one of the more consistent throwers this season. He’s pitched into the seventh inning in each of his six starts, all of which have been quality starts, plus Cole has struck out 11 or more batters four times. He did not factor in the decision in his last outing, however.
Houston is 5-1 when Cole starts.
The D-backs and Astros split a four-game series last season.