Diamondbacks defeat Dodgers for 12th straight win
LOS ANGELES — In the first two games of a series against the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers, the two sides of the resurgent Arizona Diamondbacks made themselves known.
A day after crushing six home runs, four of which were off the bat of J.D. Martinez, the Diamondbacks showed they can grind out victories, too, toppling the Dodgers 3-1 in 10 innings Tuesday at Dodger Stadium.
The victory was the franchise-record-tying 12th in a row for the Diamondbacks, who have gone 98 innings without trailing. They tied the 1946 Brooklyn Dodgers for the third-longest such streak all time. Only the 2002 Oakland Athletics (102 innings) and the 1942 New York Yankees (101 innings) have gone longer without trailing.
“That’s a lot more amazing to me than the winning streak,” starting pitcher Zack Greinke said of the 98-inning run of either being tied or in the lead. “I didn’t even know that was possible. That thing is pretty amazing.”
The Diamondbacks’ offense has dominated during their winning streak, scoring 6.7 runs per game before getting held to three on Tuesday. However, solid starting pitching has helped keep games in check until the runs start to mount. Greinke did not give up his first hit Tuesday until the fifth inning, while Robbie Ray took a no-hitter into the sixth inning Monday in his victory at Los Angeles.
Diamondbacks pitchers have combined for a 1.98 ERA during the winning streak, and Tuesday was the first time in the run when the starting pitcher did not come away with the victory.
If the offense gets the credit for the win streak, manager Torey Lovullo will give the credit for the 98-inning streak of not trailing to the full squad.
“I guess it sends the message that we’re ready to play early in the game, we’re executing our game plan and the pitchers are doing their job,” Lovullo said. “It validates that it’s a team effort. And we’re proud of that. We talk about being ready to play in the first inning, and we are.”
The Dodgers, meanwhile, are on an epic slide after dominating for much of the first four months of the season. Los Angeles has dropped 10 of its past 11 games, and its five-game losing streak tied the club’s season-worst slide. Their other five-game losing streak ended Friday at San Diego.
“The scoring opportunities are really just not presenting themselves,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, “but we just have to continue to grind and make our own breaks.”
It was the Diamondbacks who created their own breaks during their go-ahead 10th inning. Brandon Drury’s slow roller to third base brought home two runs when the throw home from Justin Turner glanced off the shoulder of pinch runner Chris Herrmann, who was spring off third base. The ball got away from catcher Yasmani Grandal, allowing A.J. Pollock to also score.
The Diamondbacks showed their patient side while starting the rally against Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez (3-4). Consecutive walks to Chris Iannetta and Pollock were cashed in. Herrmann replaced Iannetta as a pinch runner.
Arizona reliever David Hernandez (3-0) got the win, and Fernando Rodney picked up his 35th save, each throwing a scoreless inning.
The victory means the Diamondbacks secured the season series against the Dodgers, the first time they have done so since going 10-9 against their rivals in 2013. Arizona is also 14-1 in their last 15 games.
It was a game of dueling no-hitters through three innings before the Diamondbacks took a lead in the fourth inning on an RBI double from Daniel Descalso. The drive was nearly a three-run homer over the short wall in left, but it bounced off the top of the padding and back onto the field.
The Dodgers ended Greinke’s potential no-hitter and shutout in the fifth inning when Yasmani Grandal crushed his 19th home run of the season.
Andre Ethier and Adrian Gonzalez followed Grandal with a pair of singles, but Logan Forsythe hit into a double play and Hyun-Jin Ryu struck out to end the threat.
Grandal’s home run was the only run Greinke allowed in seven innings. The Dodgers had four hits and one walk off the right-hander while striking out six times.
Yet the Dodgers remain confident they will have what it takes to get past Arizona in October, if they have to.
“We know we’re the better team; we know we have the better plan,” Grandal said. “There is no doubt they play hard, but so do we. It’s time to turn the page and come back tomorrow to do it all over again.”
Ryu gave up one run on three hits over six innings, but he walked five while striking out seven. It was still a far better outing than Wednesday at Arizona, when he gave up six runs on eight hits in four innings, ending a run in which he allowed just two earned runs or fewer in eight of nine outings.
A day after becoming the 18th player in major league history to hit four homers in a game, Martinez flied out to left in the first inning, doubled to right field in the fourth inning, flied out to left in the fifth inning, struck out looking in the eighth and grounded out in the 10th.
NOTES: Dodgers C Yasmani Grandal has now hit 17 of his 19 home runs from the left side of the plate after the switch hitter went deep in the fifth inning. ... Dodgers LF Andre Ethier delivered a fifth-inning single to center field, his first hit in a regular-season game since Oct. 2, 2016. ... Diamondbacks 1B Paul Goldschmidt returned to Arizona to have an MRI on his sore right elbow. The test showed no structural damage, and he will rejoin the club in Los Angeles. ... Diamondbacks RHP Zack Greinke is 1-2 this season against the Dodgers, his former team, in four starts. He has a 3.65 ERA with 24 strikeouts and 10 walks against Los Angeles.