After the Dodgers barely avoided a four-game sweep against the Marlins, they returned home only to continue playing shoddy baseball, dropping the series opener to the Diamondbacks by a 3-2 score.
The pen game for the Diamondbacks started with Taylor Widener, who was frustratingly effective for the most part. In the 3rd, the Dodgers got their only run off him, a lead-off homer from AJ Pollock to make it 1-0. They also got a two-out double in the inning, but weren’t able to take advantage, which was a theme.
After a clean 4th, Widener issued back-to-back walks to start the 5th, and after getting a pop out he exited the game.
No worries, apparently, as Brett De Geus entered and got a ground out and line out to end the threat. Joe Mantiply got the 6th, giving up a one-out single and walk but making sure no damage came from it.
The Dodgers were 0-for-6 with RISP at that point.
As the Dodgers look to build David Price back up to be a starter, hopefully his outings go better than today. The results were good, but it was a bumpy road getting there. Price worked out of a bases loaded jam in the 1st, a runner on second in the 2nd, and two singles in the 3rd, helped by three strikeouts to keep the D-backs off the board in his 51-pitch effort.
For the 4th, Darien Nunez made his MLB debut, and he looked sharp in getting a flawless debut inning.
The 5th started off with the defensive failures rearing their head again, as a bouncer to Justin Turner got under his glove for a two-base error. After a steal of third, Nunez got a strikeout, but Eduardo Escobar swung late at a fastball up and hit a homer just over the wall in right to make it 2-1.
Still, in my estimation at least, he looks quite interesting.
Alex Vesia was given the 6th, giving up a double but at least getting through a scoreless frame. Joe Kelly took over in the 7th, issued a one-out walk and then was victimized by a Max Muncy error to put runners at the corners. After a hit by pitch the bases were loaded, and then a grounder back up the middle from David Peralta went for an infield single due to Gavin Lux‘s toss to the bag being rather poor. Kelly bounced back with back-to-back strikeouts to escape disaster, but the unearned run crossed and it was 3-1.
Finally, the Dodgers had an offensive update of note in the 7th. With J.B. Bukauskas on the mound, Pollock ripped a double to left-center, scoring on back-to-back ground outs from Zach McKinstry and Mookie Betts. That cut the deficit to 3-2, even as the Dodgers upped their RISP numbers to 0-for-8.
After Scott Alexander got a scoreless, drama-free 8th, Edwin Uceta entered for the 9th and provided an experience that was anything but. After starting with an out, he quickly got into trouble with a walk, single, and walk to load the bases. Uceta then got a strikeout to put him on the verge, and even went 1-2 to Daulton Varsho before he issued a walk to force a run in and make it 4-2.
Dave Roberts then confusingly went to Jake Reed out of the pen. Just a bit weird, cause if he cared about the game then Uceta should’ve been out of there much earlier, and if he wanted to let Uceta work out of it then using another arm seems pointless. Either way, Reed continued the merry-go-round, issuing a four-pitch walk to make it 5-2 before closing the book on the D-backs.
The Dodgers are now 54-35 on the year, 2 games back of the Giants in the NL West.