Grit Index: Dodgers’ magic number down to 2 after battering D-backs
With his team needing a pair of wins to officially clinch the National League West before leaving Phoenix, the newly re-activated Matt Kemp led the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 9-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday at Chase Field.
Kemp, who went 4-for-4 with a pair of doubles and three RBI on the night, led a rejuvenated Dodgers offense, which also welcomed back shortstop Hanley Ramirez, who was out for nearly a week with a back injury, the night after the team managed just one run against its division foe.
The Dodgers wasted no time in jumping all over Diamondbacks starter Patrick Corbin, scoring four runs in the first inning, coming on a Kemp double and a Juan Uribe home run. Corbin would ultimately last just two frames, plus three batters, getting knocked out by Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez and Kemp while trying to finish his 200th inning of the season.
The all-star left-hander saw his earned run average jump above 3.00 all season — to 3.17 — following the misadventure of an outing, which was the shortest of his career. He gave up seven hits — including two doubles and two home runs — and six earned runs in the one-strikeout, 49-pitch performance.
Meanwhile, Dodgers starter Zack Greinke rode his offense’s tidal wave of run support to his 15th win of the season, giving his team six innings while allowing six hits and two runs. Greinke struck out five with 107 pitches in total, walking just one.
Despite seeing leadoff hitter Yasiel Puig go 0-for-5 on the night, the division-leading Dodgers plated their eight runs on 12 hits and five walks, thanks to the aforementioned performances of Kemp, Ramirez, Gonzalez and Uribe, along with two-hole hitter Mark Ellis, who scored after both of his singles.
Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson used seven pitchers to cope with the Dodgers’ groundswell at the dish.
Newcomer Matt Langwell allowed a pair of runs in his fourth appearance for the Diamondbacks, which came in relief of Corbin in the third and fourth innings of the game.
Chaz Roe came in for the fifth inning, striking out the Dodgers’ side.
Tony Sipp and Heath Bell worked scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh while Eury de La Rosa gave the Dodgers their ninth run of the game in his first appearance since September 9 for the Diamondbacks.
J.J. Putz tossed the final inning of the game for the Diamondbacks in his first outing since being activated from the disabled list Monday. He last pitched on August 23, when he suffered an injury to his right little finger while fielding a ball at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The right-hander allowed just a walk in the scoreless frame.
The Diamondbacks scored their three runs on a pair fielder’s choice force outs from Martin Prado and Willie Bloomquist and a solo home run from Aaron Hill.
Following the win, the Dodgers can clinch the division by winning either of the final two games of the series.
Paul Goldschmidt is hitting .389 (28-for-72) with four doubles, five home runs and 18 RBI against the Dodgers this season.
Patrick Corbin’s breakout, all-star year seems to be winding down. The 24-year-old left-hander has a 7.76 ERA over his last five starts, lasting just 26.2 innings while allowing six home runs and 49 hits.
He Said It:
“I feel fine; I just want to finish the season on a good note and, heading into next season, I just want to try to go out there and do the best I can.” -Patrick Corbin on whether or not he expects to be shut down for the remainder of the season
-The Dodgers snapped a four-game losing streak and a five-game road losing streak with the dominant win, improving to 6-2 in their last eight games at Chase Field.
-Zack Greinke is 7-0 with a 1.61 ERA in his last 10 starts, improving to 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA three starts against the Diamondbacks this season.
-The Diamondbacks used 23 players in the defeat, which was the second-most in club history.
-Chaz Roe has held opponents scoreless in his last seven games, spanning 8.2 innings pitched.
On Wednesday, Kirk GIbson and the Diamondbacks will send right-hander Brandon McCarthy (4-9, 4.58 ERA) to the mound to face the Dodgers’ Stephen Fife (4-3, 3.38 ERA), who will try to lead his team to their first division title since 2009. It’s worth noting that NL-ERA leader and Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw was originally scheduled to make the start Wednesday, but was pushed back as he nears a career high in innings pitched. The game will be broadcast on ESPN, so first pitch is at 7:10 p.m. MDT and can be heard on Arizona Sports 620 AM.