Late offense, bullpen power D-backs past Dodgers in ‘game I’ve been waiting to see’
Apr 7, 2023, 11:19 PM
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
PHOENIX — The Arizona Diamondbacks’ Evan Longoria and Corbin Carroll hit back-to-back home runs, and the bullpen did not give up a hit to cap off a 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers Friday at Chase Field.
The D-backs (4-4) have yet to lose two games in a row this season and stayed even in six contests with the defending NL West champions, two more meetings remain.
A four-pitch sequence in the sixth inning proved to be the difference, as the D-backs turned a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead against Dodgers (5-3) star and perennial thorn in Arizona’s side, Clayton Kershaw.
Longoria, who finished the day 3-for-3, shot a low slider over the left-field wall to tie the game, overcoming a pitcher he has historically struggled against.
The vet and the rookie go D-back to D-back! pic.twitter.com/Lt3PrglCDS
— MLB (@MLB) April 8, 2023
“The last probably five times I’ve faced him, I’m really just trying to pick a pitch and pick a spot to swing to, and hopefully it’s there,” Longoria said. “With the home run, kind of sold out to that pitch down there and that one, thankfully, I was able to get the barrel to it.”
Longoria recalled swinging and missing at the same pitch multiple times in his last matchup with Kershaw, whom he’d never homered off of in 35 at-bats entering the night.
Carroll walked up next and ran into a high fastball on the second pitch of the at-bat, shooting it 432 feet and over the wall in right.
It was his second home run of the season and the second of his career at Chase Field. He went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBI.
Arizona tacked on two insurance runs in the eighth inning, capped by an RBI double to right from catcher Gabriel Moreno.
“You could see, we had a great approach, all-field approach, timely hitting, we built innings, we capitalized, it was a lot of fun,” manager Torey Lovullo said postgame. “Our bullpen was lights out, was able to match up in the right ways … really good team effort.”
The bullpen went 4.1 frames without allowing a single base runner in scoring position, as Drey Jameson, Miguel Castro and Andrew Chafin quieted a Dodgers lineup that made some loud contact early.
Jameson picked up the win with 2.1 frames in which he only allowed one base runner on a walk, doing so in the best cleats on the field.
Drey Jameson’s cleats are elite 🐶🔍 @Dbacks pic.twitter.com/JtTnIkqIbD
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 8, 2023
Castro and Chafin have yet to allow a run this season in seven combined innings.
Madison Bumgarner started the game after left arm fatigue bothered him during his season debut on Saturday. He said his arm felt better Friday, but the game was a grind, as he walked six batters and allowed five hits in 4.2 frames.
He exited with the bases loaded and two outs in the fifth, and Jameson came on to escape the jam.
Bumgarner allowed only two earned runs despite the traffic on base, and the D-backs were in striking distance down a run when he walked off the field. He finished with 103 pitches, 52 of which were balls, and struck out five batters. The southpaw closed his first three innings by stranding runners with a punch out.
“It was a tough one today,” Bumgarner said. “Keep us in the game and let the guys do what they did … Just happy to come away with a win.”
Bumgarner’s average fastball velocity was 89.8 mph, still lower than last year but up from 89.1 mph in his first start.
“I think it was a gut check type of outing for him today,” Lovullo added. “He made pitches … with everything he’s been through this week, I thought it was a gutsy effort.”
Lovullo called Friday the game he’s been waiting to see in all phases. The offense picked up 10 hits for the first time this season, five of which came in the sixth inning or later.
Longoria, Carroll and Moreno each had multi-hit games, with the veteran third baseman reaching base four times.
Go to Gabriel Moreno for all your insurance needs. pic.twitter.com/vEGPqEpjaU
— Bally Sports Arizona (@BALLYSPORTSAZ) April 8, 2023
“Tonight wasn’t necessarily the culmination of a lot of hits in a row or making (Kershaw) do work overly hard, he was pretty efficient, but we were able to get some big hits later in the game and eventually knock him out,” Longoria said.
Kershaw entered the game 21-11 against Arizona with a 2.67 ERA in his career.
The offense has been up and down to start the year, having scored more than two runs in consecutive games once in eight tries. Lovullo said pregame he was looking for better pitch selection and situational baseball, and Friday’s performance was a vast improvement over Thursday’s 5-2 loss in the home opener.
The next step is stringing performances like it together.
On the mend
D-backs 2022 All-Star reliever Joe Mantiply is getting closer to his season debut after throwing in a simulated game on Friday.
The lefty on the 15-day injured list (shoulder) threw 20 pitches to live batters at Salt River Fields after previously tossing two bullpens. The D-backs are deciding what comes next, as a rehab assignment is possible.
Mantiply threw in 69 games last year with a 2.85 ERA.
Meanwhile, reliever Cole Sulser was placed on the 15-day IL on Friday with a teres major strain. Lovullo did not give a specific timetable but said Sulser would miss multiple weeks.
On the farm
The Hillsborough Hops picked up their first win of the season, 7-3, giving Ronnie Gajownik her first victory as manager.
Gajownik was hired this past offseason as the first female manager in High-A.
Hang this in the Hall of Fame. #AllHoppedUp pic.twitter.com/NOEFtIvREJ
— Hillsboro Hops (@HillsboroHops) April 8, 2023
Elsewhere in the organization, 2022 No. 2 overall pick Druw Jones poked his first professional hit into right field for the Visalia Rawhide. He made highlights during his first game on Thursday for an, let’s say, Andruw Jones-esque catch in center field.
The first of many ⭐
Second-ranked @Dbacks prospect Druw Jones collects his first pro hit for the @VisaliaRawhide: pic.twitter.com/jtSnnarOTs
— MLB Pipeline (@MLBPipeline) April 8, 2023
Zach Davies will pitch for Arizona against L.A.’s Noah Syndergaard Saturday in a rematch of Sunday at Chavez Ravine.
Davies allowed one run in five innings in his first start of the year.
First pitch at Chase Field is at 5:10 p.m. on 98.7, the Arizona Sports app and ArizonaSports.com.