D-backs stand in way of Dodgers' bid to clinch
SEP 16, 2013 10:18a ET
The good news for D-backs fans is that the team showed some offensive life to win the final two games of the Rockies series this weekend, scoring nine runs on Saturday and following that with eight on Sunday. They had not scored more in a two-game stretch since the middle of August, when they pasted the Pirates.
The usual suspects did much of the work. MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt tied career highs with four hits and five RBIs in Sunday's 8-2 victory, and Gerardo Parra and Aaron Hill had three RBIs apiece on Saturday.
Miguel Montero also is on a nice run, hitting as well as he has all season after shortening his stroke, and rookies Matt Davidson and Chris Owings had firsts on Sunday -- Davidson his first major league home run and Owings his first major league RBI. That is a good sign since manager Kirk Gibson has said he would like to get them more playing time down the stretch.
It is also a reversal from the last series in Los Angeles, when the D-backs scored eight runs while losing two of the three games.
The D-backs will have to keep that going against the best the Dodgers have to offer. Zack Greinke is to start Tuesday, and NL Cy Young favorite and possible unanimous choice Clayton Kershaw is scheduled to start Wednesday.
The Dodgers have lost eight of their last 11 games while coping with injuries to a handful of starters. They gave up 19 runs to the Giants on Saturday while running out a team that resembled the depleted group that started the season 30-42.
They (86-63) have slipped a game behind the Pirates and Cardinals and would not start a playoff series at home if it stays that way, but first things first.
"We're definitely looking for the clincher," Adrian Gonzalez said. "We wish we would have been able to do it here at home, but getting it is the most important thing -- and getting our guys healthy."
Pitching machups: Monday -- LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-6, 3.07 ERA) vs. RHP Trevor Cahill (6-10, 4.22). Tuesday -- RHP Zack Greinke (14-3, 2.74) vs. LHP Patrick Corbin (14-6, 2.92). Wednesday -- LHP Clayton Kershaw (14-9, 1.94) vs. RHP Brandon McCarthy (4-9, 4.58). Thursday -- RHP Ricky Nolasco (13-10, 2.36) vs. LHP Wade Miley (10-10, 3.70).
Who's hot for the Diamondbacks: Paul Goldschmidt has 12 hits in his last 21 at-bats (.571) and has two four-hit games in his last four. He was 6 for 14 against the Dodgers in Los Angeles and is hitting .379 with four homers and 16 RBIs against them this season. … Didi Gregorius has hit safely in five of his last six games with a pair of homers. … Aaron hill has seven hits in his last 17 at-bats. … Miguel Montero has seven hits in his last 15 at-bats. … David Hernandez has given up two hits in six scoreless innings since his return Sept. 3.
Who's not hot for the Diamondbacks: Martin Prado has five hits in his last 29 at-bats after getting two Sunday.
Who's hot for the Dodgers: Adrian Gonzalez has 13 hits in his last 32 at-bats (.406), with a homer and eight RBIs. He was 5 for 11 when the Dodgers took out of three games from the D-backs last week. … Yasiel Puig has five hits in his last 15 at-bats, although he has been bothered by a sore hip. … Bearded Brian Wilson has given up one run in 8 1/3 innings in his 12 appearances. He has two victories, once against his former team, the Giants.
Who's not hot for the Dodgers: Juan Uribe is 4 for 19 since his three-homer game against the D-backs last Monday, although one of the hits was a homer and another was a triple originally ruled a homer before being reversed Sunday. … Lefty specialist Paco Rodriguez has given up three runs and six hits to the last 21 batters he has faced.
Notes, quotes, odd and ends: The Dodgers are a little banged up. They played without shortstop Hanley Ramirez (back) and outfielders Andre Ethier (back) and Carl Crawford (back) against the Giants most of last weekend. Ramirez has missed the last three games with a bad back but before that had 12 hits in his previous 31 at-bats. Ethier missed the last two games of the series and could miss a few more. At the same tie, Matt Kemp (ankle) could return from the disabled list early in this series. … Trevor Cahill is 5-0 with a 2.04 ERA in nine career starts against the Dodgers and 1-0 with a 1.33 ERA against them in three starts this season. He gave up three runs, one earned, in a no-decision in his start at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday. … The D-backs enter the series one inning short of the major league record for extra innings played in a season, 76, set by the Twins in 1969 (the research dates to 1920). Their 13 walkoff wins, 31 one-run wins and 31 comeback wins lead the majors. ... Adrian Gonzalez is hitting .529 against Cahill and has reached base in eight of his last nine plate appearances, with seven hits ( six singles and a double) and a walk. … Mark Ellis is 10 for 20 with four solo homers against Wade Miley. … Miguel Montero is 4 for 11 with a homer off Zack Greinke. … Willie Bloomquist is 5 for 13 against Clayton Kershaw, who is 1-4 against the D-backs in seven starts over the last two years.