The depth of the Dodgers is starting to make contributions, with a late homer by Steven Souza Jr. keying a rally in a 3-0 victory over the struggling Diamondbacks to make it eight wins in their last 10 games.
For Diamondbacks starter Caleb Smith, double plays were the name of the game from the start, as he issued two walks in the 1st but escaped it thanks to a GIDP from Albert Pujols. He got out of an even bigger jam in the 4th thanks to a GIDP, as the bases were loaded after a walk, error, and single, but Will Smith was the victim for the Dodgers. For good measure, he got another one to face the minimum in the 6th to complete his outing.
Smith’s start was a full inning longer than any other he’s made this year and was the only start he made without allowing a run. Joy.
He came into the at-bat pumped up after making a stellar defensive play and gave himself even more reason to be pumped up, working a 3-2 count and bouncing back after being knocked down by an up-and-in fastball to line a ball down into the corner in left to make it 1-0 late.
After a walk to Gavin Lux and an Andy Burns double, Mantiply’s night was over. Stefan Crichton entered and gave up a deep fly to Mookie Betts for a sacrifice fly, then after getting the second out of the inning, he ended up balking in a run after losing his footing to make it 3-0. Joakim Soria got the 9th and closed the book on the Dodgers, but the damage was done.
Thankfully, Trevor Bauer seems to have made an adjustment, as his spin rate was still comically down but he seemed to work in more changeups.
Still, he constantly had to work out of trouble. He allowed a lead-off double in the 1st, a walk and a stolen base in the 3rd, a walk and a single in the 4th, and a walk and a single in the 5th.
That included a ball to end the 4th that I absolutely had no worries about.
So the D-backs had chances, but Bauer held them to 0-for-6 with RISP and ended up with a solid rebound performance. He also saved the pen by going deep into the game: 7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K, 115 Pitches.
Jimmy Nelson took over in the 8th, cruising through a perfect frame on just nine pitches. That obviously led to Kenley Jansen entering for the save, getting three routine outs for a clean inning to end it.
Ketel Marte paddles a canoe.
The Dodgers improve to 42-27 with the victory but remain 2.5 games back of the Giants in the NL West because they never lose.