LOS ANGELES -- A flurry of hard contact off Shelby Miller drove the Dodgers to a 5-2 win over the D-backs on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium, with Corey Seager, Justin Turner, Josh Reddick and Andrew Toles all registering multiple hits. Los Angeles has won four straight.
A day after hitting five homers off Zack Greinke, the Dodgers didn't go deep. Instead, singles and doubles came in steady supply against Miller over the first three innings. The three-run third alone saw five balls hit into play with exit velocities of at least 100 mph, according to Statcast™.
"We put some at-bats together and got a lot of hits out there, got a lot of baserunners," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "I thought it was really good. Jumped on Miller early, stressed him early. It was just a well-played baseball game."
Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling was solid over five innings, allowing two runs while striking out five. A.J. Pollock hit a solo home run in first and Jake Lamb's sac fly brought home Chris Owings in the fourth to supply Arizona's scoring for the night.
Stripling was pulled after the fifth despite sitting at just 66 pitches, but he was due up to bat and Roberts said after the game that he noticed the right-hander's velocity start to slip in the fourth inning.
"He made really good pitches," D-backs catcher Welington Castillo said. "He was pitching backwards a little bit. He had a really good fastball down and away. He'd show you the fastball down and away and the cutter after that."
The Dodgers' and D-backs' bullpens combined to allow just one hit over 8 2/3 scoreless innings while striking out nine, all the way up to Kenley Jansen closing the door for his 42nd save of the season.
With the Giants winning in Colorado on Tuesday, the Dodgers' lead in the National League West held at four games. Their magic number to clinch the division title is 21.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Solid timing: The Dodgers got a run in the second inning from an unexpected source. Reddick was thrown out at the plate trying to score from first on Toles' double for the second out, leaving the team needing a hit from Stripling. Stripling entered the game 1-for-21 in his career, but a grounder down the first-base line scored Toles and gave Stripling an RBI on hit No. 2.
Stripling didn't bat at Texas A&M or in high school, so hitting in the NL has been a crash course during his rookie year.
"[Miller] throws hard," Stripling said. "I felt like I saw it and I was on it, and then the first one I fouled off into the stands. Tried to speed up and still just squeaked it right by that bag. I was like, 'Yeah!' Really just trying to put the ball in play. I'm certainly not an expert with the bat."
Not fooling them: The Dodgers were on Miller's pitches throughout the game. Eight of their balls put in play had exit velocities of 100-plus mph, according to Statcast™. Only four times was Miller able to get Dodgers hitters to swing and miss. It was a departure from his last outing, when he held the Giants to two runs over six innings.
"They were on him and they got a lot of hits," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "Obviously we'll have to look at the film. We'll see what it looks like, where those pitchers are located. I can't really comment until I see if they were middle or if they were just doing a really good job of hitting good pitches." More >
Turning it around: Reddick had a rough start to his Dodgers career, hitting .139 in his first 23 games with L.A. Since then, he's carrying a six-game hitting streak that he extended with a single in the second inning. He also got his third multihit game of the streak with his RBI single in the third.
"I always said that I was going to come out of it and you just got to keep working through it; that's how this game works," Reddick said. "It's not about overworking or underworking; it's just about sticking with your routine and getting good pitches to hit, like I've been doing the whole time. They're just finding holes now." More >
Quick lead: A.J. Pollock's two-out homer in the first inning was one of the few bright spots for the D-backs. Pollock hit a hanging breaking ball from Stripling over the wall in left. It was the second home run of the season for Pollock, who recently returned from the disabled list after fracturing his right elbow just prior to Opening Day.
"I think our hitters just … we probably have to do a little better than that," Hale said. "Tomorrow we have another rookie that we're going to have to look at on film and figure out a way to beat him."
"Shelby Miller was supposed to be an Aggie; he signed out of high school. So it's funny that my first hit is off [former Texas A&M pitcher Michael] Wacha, then my first RBI is off Shelby, who I've known for a while, too. Maybe I can only hit off Aggies. I don't know what the deal is." -- Stripling
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Stripling's 66 pitches were the fewest thrown by a winning Dodgers starting pitcher since Greg Maddux needed only 47 pitches over six innings in a 2-1 win over the Giants on Sept. 27, 2008.
D-backs:Robbie Ray gets the start Wednesday night when the D-backs finish up a three-game series at Dodger Stadium and put the finishing touches on an eight-game road trip. Ray cruised through the first four innings against the Rockies in his last start before being chased during a six-run fifth.
Dodgers:Brock Stewart will be recalled from Double-A Tulsa on Wednesday and take the mound for the Dodgers for the first time since throwing five scoreless innings against the Cubs on Aug. 28. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 p.m. PT at Chavez Ravine.
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