ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Diamondbacks mauled by Dodgers again, swept in L.A.

Aug 30, 2023, 9:54 PM | Updated: 9:55 pm

Freddie Freeman #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers salutes the bullpen as he runs the bases after hittin...

Freddie Freeman #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers salutes the bullpen as he runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run to score teammate Mookie Betts #50 against pitcher Brandon Pfaadt #32 of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the third inning at Dodger Stadium on August 30, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

(Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks will quickly have to get over a three-game thrashing via the Los Angeles Dodgers to keep their playoff hopes alive, with Wednesday’s 7-0 series finale capping off an emphatic sweep by L.A.

The D-backs entered the series completely revitalized, winning 12 of their last 15 games after an awful slide down the National League standings the prior two months. But the big brother of the N.L. West outscored the D-backs 23-5 in the series to improve to 82-43, a record so great it’s unthinkable that Arizona once held a decent grasp on the top of the division at one point in the season.

Arizona (69-65) is now a half-game out from the San Francisco Giants (69-64) for the last wild card spot, and perhaps more importantly, two-and-a-half games behind the surging Chicago Cubs in second. The reeling Cincinnati Reds (69-66) and Miami Marlins (66-67) are also in the hunt but certainly lack momentum.

There is no shame in the series’s result given the severe talent and payroll disparity. But the way in which Arizona lost was unique, going away from past defeats mostly on the bullpen and/or offense, with starting pitching instead being the problem area.

After ace starter Zac Gallen gave up a season-high six earned runs and career-high four home runs on Monday, No. 2 Merrill Kelly followed with a season-high seven earned runs and career-high 12 hits allowed. That put the pressure on rookie Brandon Pfaadt to steer the ship back in the right direction, and although the right-hander was in good form coming in (like both Gallen and Kelly), there is no stopping this Dodgers lineup at the moment, helping them improve to 24-4 in August.

MVP candidate Freddie Freeman and outfielder Jason Hayward each hit two-run homers in the third inning, and Max Muncy added a two-RBI double in the fourth to put Arizona down 6-0. Five of the six runs were earned for Pfaadt, who exited after four innings with eight hits and two walks allowed.

Arizona’s offense only managed two hits and a walk off Dodgers starter Ryan Pepiot in his six scoreless innings.

The D-backs get Thursday off before beginning the final month of the regular season at home on Friday against the Baltimore Orioles, the start of a three-game series.

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