Pollock's 3-HR power show too much for LA

Greinke K's 10, Ahmed flirts with cycle to take down division rivals

May 1st, 2018

PHOENIX -- A.J. Pollock wasn't going to try to explain his three-homer night Monday as his bat helped carry the D-backs to an 8-5 win over the Dodgers at Chase Field.

He was just going to be thankful and look ahead to tomorrow's matchup with Clayton Kershaw.

"There are stretches you go through, you see the ball well, and there are stretches that you don't," Pollock said. "I'm seeing the ball pretty well right now. I don't know. Some days it just works."

It's similar to how the D-backs view their 20-8 start to the season, which now has them a full eight games ahead of Dodgers in the National League West.

That's great, they said after the victory, but Kershaw is pitching tomorrow and we'll have our hands full.

They heard what Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Sunday when he was quoted as saying, "When it's all said and done, the Dodgers will be at the top of the division." Roberts also added that he wasn't even looking at the standings anymore.

Not only did the D-backs refuse to take the bait when asked about Roberts' comments, Pollock even found a way to agree with him.

"I heard what Roberts said and I think we're kind of in the same position," Pollock said. "We're not really looking at the standings, it's about playing every game. So, in that regard, I really appreciate what he said. You don't look at the standings, you concentrate on what you're doing as a ballclub and we're winning games right now, so I think that's our focus right now."

Pollock could not remember the last time he had hit three homers in a game. It wasn't in pro ball, he was sure. Maybe high school or Little League.

The three homers gave him nine for the year to tie him for the NL lead and he credited hitting coach Dave Magadan, assistant hitting coach Tim Laker and hitting strategist Robert Van Scoyoc for his success.

"Mags has been great with the scouting report," Pollock said. "Tim Laker and Robert, just a great team I feel like has got me in a good position and if they need to clean something up or say, 'Hey this is what I'm seeing,' they're not afraid to tell me right away."

The loss was really the second one the Dodgers suffered on the day as they found out earlier that All-Star shortstop Corey Seager would be lost for the rest of the year due to Tommy John surgery.

But if they expected any sympathy from the D-backs, who have dealt with their own injury problems in outfielder Steven Souza Jr., third baseman Jake Lamb and pitchers Taijuan Walker and Robbie Ray, they were mistaken.

"It continues to be a huge test and that's what a baseball season is to me," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said of the injuries. "It's a series of tests that when you stick together, group up as one, support your family, you get through these tests. Those are the teams that wind up on the right side of things at the end of the year."


The D-backs finished March/April with a 20-8 record and have yet to lose back-to-back games. It was the first time in franchise history they've gone a full calendar month without losing back-to-back games.


He'll be overshadowed by Pollock's three home runs, but shortstop Nick Ahmed continued to do damage of his own at the plate. Ahmed hit his fifth homer of the year in the fourth inning and he finished a triple shy of the cycle.


"You just want to play good baseball. If you can maintain close games and keep it tight and don't let games get out of hand, then you've got a good chance to steal some wins, and I think we've kind of done that this year. That's not luck, that's [staying] in games and getting some clutch hits." -- Pollock, on how the D-backs have been successful this year


Matt Koch makes his third start in place of the injured Walker on Tuesday night in the second of a four-game series with the Dodgers, who counter with Kershaw. Koch earlier this season made one relief appearance before being optioned back to Triple-A Reno. However, when Walker had to undergo Tommy John surgery, Koch was recalled and he has allowed three runs over 12 innings. First pitch is set for 6:40 p.m. MST.