LOS ANGELES (AP) — It didn’t take long for Howie Kendrick to get back in the swing of things.
In his second start since last Wednesday, he homered and snapped a seventh-inning tie with a two-run single to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers past Arizona 3-1 Tuesday night for their sixth consecutive win against the Diamondbacks.
The first-place Dodgers have won eight straight and 12 of their last 13 at home against Arizona since April 2014.
Kendrick went 3 for 4 with an RBI single and scored two runs in the series opener Monday night, his first game back after being out a few days with a sprained knee, sustained when he slid into third base.
“You want to get the job done in that situation,” said Kendrick, currently batting fourth after moving up and down the lineup during a career that began with the rival Angels.
“It doesn’t matter where I hit,” he said. “I don’t change my approach for where I’m hitting. To be able to come through and give us a victory is awesome. Our biggest thing is just to try to win the series.”
Adam Liberatore (2-1) struck out the only hitter he faced to earn the win. Kenley Jansen retired the side in the ninth for his seventh save.
Robbie Ray (1-1) took the loss, giving up two runs and four hits in 6 2-3 innings. He struck out four and walked four for the Diamondbacks, who have lost three in a row and six of their last eight road games.
Kendrick singled to center in the seventh, scoring Chris Heisey and Yasiel Puig for a 3-1 lead. Heisey drew a two-out walk from Ray and went to third on Puig’s double off Addison Reed before Adrian Gonzalez was intentionally walked to load the bases.
Kendrick tied the game 1-all with his sixth home run in the sixth.
“It was a fastball. I was just trying to sneak one by him and it ran back over the plate,” Ray said. “He got the barrel to it and just barely got it out.”
The Diamondbacks took a 1-0 lead in the second when Jarrod Saltalamacchia scored on the second of two wild pitches by Dodgers starter Carlos Frias.
Light rain fell on and off during the game as the remnants of Hurricane Blanca moved north from Mexico, creating unusual humidity and windy conditions.
Jansen has yet to allow a run in eight innings over eight appearances this season. He is 12 for 12 in save opportunities and has thrown 17 scoreless innings in 17 outings dating to Sept. 5, 2014.
Reed gave up key hits to Puig and Kendrick after relieving Ray in the seventh.
“We trust him in that spot and he threw what he thought were his best pitches, and he got beat,” Diamondbacks manager Chip Hale said. “That’s the way the game goes sometimes. Unfortunately, it’s been going that way for us too much. If you rely on a 1-0 lead, it’s going to be tough.”
Puig went 2 for 4 with a double and a run while hitting safely for the third straight game since coming off the disabled list last Saturday.
“He seems to get a little winded out there,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Trying to get back into game shape is a lot different.”
Puig made a difficult catch in the sixth when he crashed into the right-field wall to rob Yasmany Tomas.
Dodgers: 3B Justin Turner, who pulled himself out of Monday’s series opener after fouling a pitch off his left kneecap and then aggravating it by diving for a ground single in the hole by Ender Inciarte, didn’t play. … OF Scott Van Slyke, who hasn’t played since May 30 because of a back injury, will start a minor league rehab assignment soon. … RHP Joel Peralta, on the DL since April 26 with a pinched nerve in his neck, is set for his first rehab outing at Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday. … RHP Brandon League’s second rehab appearance is Wednesday with Rancho Cucamonga. He is working his way back from shoulder inflammation.
Diamondbacks: RHP Jeremy Hellickson (4-3, 4.88 ERA) starts the series finale. He is 2-1 in five road starts with a 3.82 ERA, including four straight outings of three runs or fewer.
Dodgers: LHP Brett Anderson (2-4, 3.29) has lost two straight. He has yet to get a decision in two starts against the Diamondbacks this season and has a 2.25 ERA while limiting the opposition to a .233 batting average.