Diamondbacks finish three-game sweep of Dodgers
PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks did not place too much importance on the value of sweeping the Los Angeles Dodgers, the first time they had been swept all season. But it did feel good.
Chris Iannetta and A.J. Pollock homered and Zack Greinke recorded his National League-leading 16th victory as the Diamondbacks completed a three-game sweep with an 8-1 victory over the Dodgers on Thursday at Chase Field.
”We’re a very confident team, and we’re playing well right now,“ Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. ”I just want to focus on that.
“Yes, we’re aware the Dodgers are the premier team in the big leagues right now, but I‘m more focused on us and what we do day by day and taking care of our own business, which we have.”
Paul Goldschmidt doubled in two runs off Kenta Maeda in the first inning, Iannetta hit a two-run homer in a three-run second inning and Pollock hit a two-run homer in the third as the Diamondbacks (76-58) won their seventh straight game, tying a season high.
The Diamondbacks had seven homers and scored 21 runs in the series, the first time the Dodgers (91-41) have been swept this season. They have lost a season-high five straight.
“Teams are going out and looking to play their best baseball against us, and the clip that we were on for a few months obviously we were in rare company,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
“Did I foresee us losing five in a row? No. But I know we’ll turn around and we’ve got to find a way to win a game.”
Greinke (16-6) gave up four hits and one run in six innings while improving to 13-1 at home. He struck out six and walked two.
“Played flawlessly with whole series,” said Greinke, who said the sweep might have a little added significance “just because they are as good as they are.”
The Diamondbacks are 3 1/2 games ahead of Colorado in the NL wild-card race entering a three-game series in Colorado that begins Friday. They are 45-23 at home after completing a 6-0 homestead.
Yasmani Grandal had two hits and Adrian Gonzalez had an RBI double for the Dodgers, who had five hits.
Arizona scored 10 runs in the first inning of the three games. Dodgers starters Rich Hill, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Maeda gave up 24 hits -- six homers -- and 19 runs in 10 2/3 innings in the series.
Maeda (12-6) gave up eight hits and seven runs in three innings, the most runs he has given up in an outing this season. He struck out four and walked one.
“It’s just the starting pitching this series wasn’t there,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who will send Clayton Kershaw to the mound Friday for his first start since July 23.
“When you start behind the eight-ball it’s tough to continue to fight back.”
Gregor Blanco had three hits and scored twice and Goldschmidt had two doubles. Goldschmidt was 5-for-11 with two homers and two doubles in the series, and his first inning double made it 2-0.
Grandal singled with one out in the second inning, took second on a wild pitch and scored on Gonzalez’s double to cut the deficit to 2-1.
Iannetta’s two-out homer in the second came after Blanco’s RBI double in the third for a 5-1 lead, and Pollock’s homer in the third upped the cushion to 7-1.
”Everything down the stretch is huge,“ Iannetta said. ”It doesn’t matter who you play. It’s just what happens in the win-loss column. You win a game, it’s huge. You lose, you have to brush it off and get them the next night.
“It doesn’t matter who it is against. We just have to collect as many wins as we can.”
NOTES: Dodgers SS Corey Seager (elbow) was held out of his third straight game, and manager Dave Roberts said Seager could be out of the lineup for another week. Seager took ground balls before the game Thursday but did not throw. INF/OFs Chris Taylor and Enrique Hernandez will handle the position in the interim, Roberts said. ... Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw is expected throw five innings and 75 pitches in his return to the rotation Friday against San Diego, manager Dave Roberts said. He has not pitched since July 23, when he was removed from a game against Atlanta after two innings with a back issue. ... OF Alex Verdugo will join the Dodgers when rosters expand Friday, manager Dave Roberts said. Verdugo was slashing .314/.389/.436 with 27 doubles, six homers and 62 RBIs in 117 games at Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... C John Ryan Murphy will join the Diamondbacks when rosters expand Friday, manager Torey Lovullo said. Arizona had played with three catchers all season until C Jeff Mathis suffered a broken hand Aug. 21.