Deja vu: D-backs blow early lead in another 1-run loss to Dodgers
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Although the Los Angeles Dodgers keep falling behind early, they’ve had enough power lately to make sure they don’t stay there.
Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Justin Turner homered in a five-run sixth inning, and the Dodgers outlasted the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-6 Tuesday to begin the first doubleheader ever played between the NL West rivals.
Will Smith also connected early for the Dodgers, whose four homers matched their season high. Betts also doubled and singled, and Freddie Freeman added a key RBI single in the seventh inning of Los Angeles’ third straight win after a four-game skid.
The Dodgers fell behind by multiple runs for the seventh consecutive game, but rallied to win again. Los Angeles’ lineup looked like the best in baseball when Freeman joined it in spring training, and the hitters have managed to cover for their beleaguered pitching staff lately.
Christian Walker hit an early two-run homer and Alek Thomas added a solo shot in the seventh for the Diamondbacks, who lost their fourth straight in the opener of Dodger Stadium’s first doubleheader since 1999. Ketel Marte drove in two runs, but Arizona lost at Dodger Stadium for the 21st time in 24 games.
Arizona nursed its lead until Los Angeles’ sluggers finally got to Tyler Gilbert (0-2), who pitched five innings of one-run ball in an impressive spot start before the sixth.
“I’ve probably got to recognize when he’s running out of gas,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. “I was watching the game and thought he could get through a certain portion of their lineup. … If we got through that sixth inning, I thought we were going to be in good shape.”
Third base umpire Larry Vanover ejected Dodgers manager Dave Roberts in the ninth inning after Vanover ruled that leadoff hitter Geraldo Perdomo checked his swing on Craig Kimbrel’s two-strike pitch. Replays appeared to show a clear swing by Perdomo, who subsequently drew a walk and eventually scored on Marte’s two-out infield single.
Kimbrel calmly struck out three batters to finish his seventh save — his second against Arizona in 17 hours.
Ryan Pepiot gave up three runs and two hits over four innings for Los Angeles in his second big league start, providing a valuable bridge for the club’s injury-plagued rotation. Five relievers then combined for five innings of four-hit ball, with Justin Bruihl (1-1) getting the win.
Betts tied it in the sixth when he connected for his third homer in four days. The star right fielder is heating up with the weather, getting eight homers and 17 RBIs in the last four weeks after a slow start to the season.
Betts doubled and scored on Freeman’s single in the seventh.
ONE THAT GOT AWAY
Gilbert came up from Triple-A Reno on Monday and got through five innings of one-run ball before LA’s outburst in the sixth. The spot start was the USC product’s first appearance since April 25 and his first career start against the Dodgers, who traded for Gilbert in 2020 before losing him to Arizona several months later in the Rule 5 draft.
Arizona’s Merrill Kelly (3-1, 1.71 ERA) faces LA’s Tyler Anderson (3-0, 4.40) in the nightcap at 7:10 p.m. on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.