The Dodgers lowered their magic number to 11 after defeating the Arizona Diamondbacks 6-2 on Saturday evening at Chase Field. The offense finally woke up (six runs on 11 hits) and scored four runs off Shelby Miller, and they even scored a rare run off a left-hander. They also took advantage of some poor defense by the Snakes on route to their 84th victory of the season.
The Dodgers quickly took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first after Corey Seager tripled down the right field line and scored on Justin Turner‘s sacrifice fly. With the triple, Seager tied Steve Sax for the LA Dodger rookie record of 180 hits. In the ninth inning, Seager took sole possession of the all-time LA Dodger rookie record of 181 hits with a one-out single.
The lead didn’t last long. In the home half of the first, Brock Stewart served up a solo home run to leadoff hitter Jean Segura. When he wasn’t throwing high fastballs right down the middle, Stewart was very effective in what could be his final start this year.
Seager nearly drew back-to-back errors on consecutive pitches, bobbling a ground ball and throwing wide of second on a force play. Fortunately, the second play was overturned on a challenge to end the inning without any further damage. Chase Utley barely got his foot to the bag before Jake Lamb‘s slide despite the bad throw by Seager.
The last place team was doing last place things in the fourth, and the Dodgers took advantage. A leadoff Adrian Gonzalez walk and a Josh Reddick blooper later, the Dodgers were in business with nobody out. A passed ball by Welington Castillo segued into a throwing error by the Arizona backstop who threw the ball past third base and into left field, which allowed Gonzalez to score to give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.
The Dodgers jumped ahead 4-1 when Joc Pederson, sans faceguard, crushed a gigantic three-run home run to right center field, his 23rd on the season. The 463-foot majestic dong was the longest home run by a Dodger this year.
Things unraveled a bit for Stewart in the fourth after he struck out Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb. Luckily, Andrew Toles saved his bacon. The Dodgers lead was trimmed to 4-2 after Castillo took Stewart deep, then Yasmany Tomas singled and Brandon Drury drew a walk to begin the post-homer rally. Tolesy continued to make his case for a postseason roster spot and made a fantastic throw from left field to gun down Tomas at the plate on a Mitch Haniger single, his first Major League outfield assist.
OUT ‼️ pic.twitter.com/LqTBpuQjCr
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 18, 2016
Miller was chased from the game with one out in the fifth and runners at the corners. Left-hander Steve Hathaway then came in and retired pinch-hitter Enrique Hernandez and Carlos Ruiz to squash the rally.
Miller’s final line through 5 1/3 innings: 4R, 7H, 2BB, 2 SO on 83 pitches (50 strikes). Stewart, meanwhile, was out of the game after five innings, and his final line was: 2R, 5H, 1BB, 6K on 83 pitches (53 strikes).
The Dodgers scored their fifth run of the night in the seventh … off a lefty (Hathaway)! Utley, who already had six hits in the series, doubled in Rob Segedin from first. Seager scored on a wild pitch in the ninth inning to give the Dodgers an additional run off another Arizona miscue.
After Stewart’s solid start, Adam Liberatore, Louis Coleman, Pedro Baez, Joe Blanton and Kenley Jansen combined to throw four scoreless frames. Jansen, whose wrist has been sore, struck out the side in the bottom of the ninth.
This also happened tonight.
My mom just met Vin Scully at a restaurant. I’m so happy for her. pic.twitter.com/waFLehHxMu
— Stacie Wheeler (@StacieMWheeler) September 18, 2016
With the win the Dodgers improve to 84-64 on the year and 37-37 on the road, finally reaching .500 away from Dodger Stadium and making Chad very happy. The Giants and Cards are still playing as of right now, so the lead in the NL West is presently at 4 1/2 games.
The Dodgers finally wrap up their lengthy road trip on Sunday. Start time for the series finale is 1:10 PM PST/4:10 PM EST on SportsNet LA. Jose De Leon (2-0, 4.09 ERA/5.60 FIP) will take on Robbie Ray, a dreaded lefty (8-13, 4.55 ERA/3.50 FIP).