If nothing else, the Arizona Diamondbacks are giving the Los Angeles Dodgers reason to worry should the teams meet in the postseason. The surging Diamondbacks have won six in a row heading into Thursday’s finale of a three-game series against the visiting Dodgers, who have lost four straight for the first time since May 18-21, 2016.
Paul Goldschmidt bolstered his case for National League MVP honors and homered for the third straight game in Wednesday’s 6-4 victory as Arizona moved three games ahead of Colorado for the National League’s top wild-card spot. Adam Rosales and Chris Herrmann also homered for the Diamondbacks, who can even the season series against the Dodgers at eight wins apiece with a victory Thursday. Los Angeles, which leads the NL West by a remarkable 17 games, activated rookie sensation Cody Bellinger from the disabled list Wednesday after he missed the previous nine games due to a sprained ankle. Bellinger, who leads the Dodgers with 34 home runs and 79 RBIs, started at first place over Adrian Gonzalez and went 1-for-4 from the cleanup spot.
TV: 3:40 p.m. ET, SportsNet LA (Los Angeles), FSN Arizona
PITCHING MATCHUP: Dodgers RH Kenta Maeda (12-5, 3.76 ERA) vs. Diamondbacks RH Zack Greinke (15-6, 3.14)
Maeda moved to 3-1 over his last five starts by holding Milwaukee to one run on one hit over six innings last Friday. The 29-year-old native of Japan has gone 8-2 with a 2.70 ERA and a 58-to-12 strikeout-to-walk ratio over his last 11 starts since June 18. Goldschmidt is 4-for-23 against Maeda, who tossed five strong innings against Arizona on Aug. 8 and owns a 3-2 record and 4.18 ERA in nine career starts against the Diamondbacks.
Greinke threw a season-high 111 pitches and allowed three runs (two earned) over 6 2/3 innings in a 4-3 victory last Friday against San Francisco. The 33-year-old has been nearly unbeatable at home this season, going 12-1 with a 2.36 ERA in 15 starts at Chase Field. Greinke is 3-4 with a 4.31 ERA in nine career starts against the Dodgers but has struggled to contain Corey Seager (6-for-12, two home runs).
1. Seager has been held out of the starting lineup for the past two games due to a sore right elbow but appeared as a pinch hitter in both contests.
2. Arizona SS Nick Ahmed suffered a fractured right wrist during a rehab game with Triple-A Reno on Sunday and will miss the next six-to-eight weeks.
3. The Dodgers optioned C/INF Kyle Farmer to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room for Bellinger.
PREDICTION: Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 4