D-backs fall short on comeback attempt, get swept by Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers took a 3-0 lead in the third inning Sunday at Chase Field, and that score held until the bottom of the ninth.
Arizona Diamondbacks pinch hitter David Peralta ended the shutout with an RBI triple off closer Craig Kimbrel, a breakthrough for Arizona late in a miserable day at the plate with runners on base.
Left fielder Cooper Hummel came up as the tying run but struck out looking to end the ballgame, 3-1. The Dodgers (33-14) completed a second four-game sweep of the D-backs (23-26) this month.
“They did it to us last time we played them, I wasn’t anticipating going through that again for the rest of this year,” manager Torey Lovullo said postgame.
“We’ve budgeted for these tough times, we talked about these tough times, and it’s when you have to show resiliency. So, we’re gonna get back into what we stand on, preparation and focus and block this one out.”
The first game of this series was a 14-1 blowout, but each of the past three contests were within two runs. The Dodgers picked up timely hits to score, which made the difference even with sloppy base running.
The D-backs had a walk or hit in eight of nine innings Sunday but could not string them together, squandering chances with runners in scoring position during the first, fifth, sixth and ninth innings.
“You get a Peralta triple right there in the last inning and if we could have just tacked on a couple more runs early that could either tie it or even take the lead, so those those little situations that you take for granted early in the game could really, really help us at the end of games,” third baseman Josh Rojas said postgame.
L.A. starter Tyler Anderson had his second strong start against Arizona this season. The lefty has allowed two earned runs in 13 innings against the D-backs this season after a tumultuous history against Arizona.
Six shutout innings. Tyler’s locked in. pic.twitter.com/D3aZR9pkqR
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 29, 2022
The D-backs struck out 11 times on Sunday, and Lovullo saw something specifically he wants improved.
“Chase rate was a little bit too high,” Lovullo said. “We’ve just got to continue to be patient and preach patience to these hitters and let them understand how important it is to eliminate chase and force a pitcher to get on the plate and make mistakes and then we punish mistakes.”
After scoring 17 runs in two games against the Kansas City Royals during the week, the D-backs scored eight in four games against Los Angeles.
The Dodgers first got on the board after an unforgettable at-bat by catcher Will Smith. D-backs starter Zach Davies cruised in the first inning, but Smith worked a 12-pitch at-bat resulting in a solo blast to right to lead off the second.
Will Smith – Los Angeles Dodgers (5) pic.twitter.com/iXpKnfob3W
— MLB HR Videos (@MLBHRVideos) May 29, 2022
Los Angeles scored a pair of runs in the third, but Davies recuperated and got to the sixth.
He tossed three 1-2-3 frames and finished with three earned runs in 5.1 innings pitched on Sunday.
“I felt a lot better about using all my stuff to be able to make them put it in play for soft contact,” Davies said postgame. “I was happy about collecting myself after the second and third.”
Davies exited his last start after taking a line drive to the leg. He said his leg started to get tired on Sunday, but he felt strong enough to push through.
Caleb Smith, J.B. Wendelken and Sean Poppen picked him up with 3.2 shutout frames in relief. Arizona’s bullpen did not allow a run for the third straight game.
The D-backs are now 5-25 against the Dodgers over the past two years and, perhaps fortunately for Arizona, the NL West foes will not match up again until Sept. 12.
The D-backs are 13-6 in May excluding the eight losses against Los Angeles.
“I don’t like moral victories, I like wins,” Lovullo said. “I want this team to to win baseball games. We’ve got to find a way to get that done. I don’t care who we’re playing.”
Second baseman Ketel Marte ripped a double down the third-base line in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 11 games.
D-backs catcher/outfielder Daulton Varsho came up to pinch hit in the ninth after he was held out of the starting lineup on Saturday and Sunday due to a scapula contusion.
Lovullo anticipates Varsho will be back in the lineup on Monday.
Arizona hosts the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves for three games starting Memorial Day Monday.
First pitch is at 5:10 p.m. with Zac Gallen set to pitch for the D-backs. Tune in on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station for the action.