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Taylor caps 4-run 9th as LA stuns D-backs

MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- Chris Taylor's fourth hit of the game, a bases-loaded liner over left fielder Rey Fuentes, capped a four-run bottom of the ninth as the Dodgers rallied for a 5-4 walk-off win over the D-backs and closer Fernando Rodney on Thursday night to sweep the three-game series.

In the last two homestands, the Dodgers have series sweeps over their closest pursuers, Arizona and Colorado, and now lead the National League West by a season-high 5 1/2 games.

Full Game Coverage

LOS ANGELES -- Chris Taylor's fourth hit of the game, a bases-loaded liner over left fielder Rey Fuentes, capped a four-run bottom of the ninth as the Dodgers rallied for a 5-4 walk-off win over the D-backs and closer Fernando Rodney on Thursday night to sweep the three-game series.

In the last two homestands, the Dodgers have series sweeps over their closest pursuers, Arizona and Colorado, and now lead the National League West by a season-high 5 1/2 games.

Full Game Coverage

"From Day 1, we knew we were the best club; it's just a matter of going out and playing," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "The Rockies and Diamondbacks were playing good when they came in here, and we wanted to play well and we took care of business. Now we have to continue to do it. But we've shown after big series, we don't let down; we keep going. That's a credit to the guys in the clubhouse."

Taylor adds walk-off knock to storybook rise

Video: ARI@LAD: Taylor knocks four hits vs. D-backs

The Dodgers' winning rally, which saw all seven batters against Rodney reach base, overshadowed Arizona All-Star Jake Lamb's pair of solo homers, which shared the spotlight with a 22-strikeout duel between starting pitchers Robbie Ray and Rich Hill. Ray tied his career high with 13 strikeouts in six innings and allowed five hits. Hill struck out nine in seven innings and allowed two hits. It was Hill's third consecutive start of seven innings and in his last four starts he has a 1.73 ERA.

Statcast™ of the Day: Lamb isn't sheepish in LA

Video: ARI@LAD: Statcast™ measures Lamb's two home runs

Lamb and the Dodgers' Logan Forsythe traded fifth-inning homers, and the game remained tied 1-1 in the eighth after Ray and Hill were done for the night having settled for no-decisions. Lamb broke that tie with a leadoff blast off Luis Avilan, who also allowed Ketel Marte's first home run of the season later in the eighth, estimated by Statcast™ at 440 feet.

The D-backs added an insurance run in the ninth when a balk was called on eventual winning pitcher Josh Fields, and Rodney took the mound in the bottom of the inning with a 4-1 lead.

"That balk made things a little dicey, made it a little tougher for us," said Roberts. "But we've done this for the last year and a half. The odds were against us. But even if we didn't win, we didn't quit, and that's the sign of a good club."

Video: ARI@LAD: Seager knocks game-tying two-run single

To beat Rodney, the Dodgers loaded the bases on a Yasiel Puig single, then walks to Joc Pederson, Cody Bellinger and Forsythe scored one run. After Corey Seager's two-run single up the middle tied the game at 4 and Forsythe aggressively advanced to third, Justin Turner was walked intentionally to load the bases again for Taylor, whose career-high fourth hit was the first walk-off of his career.

"I missed a lot with fastball command tonight and they're a very good team," Rodney said. "My command was not there tonight."

Said Roberts: "Rodney has a proven track record, but he just couldn't find it tonight. For us to essentially make his own grave right there, not get ourselves out but make him make pitches, we put ourselves in a good spot."

D-backs head home looking to regroup

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Ray's K's: Ray's biggest strikeouts came in the bottom of the sixth inning. Turner led off with a walk and was doubled to third by Taylor. Austin Barnes struck out, Kiké Hernandez was walked intentionally to load the bases, then Ray struck out Puig and Trayce Thompson (for the third time).

"I came at them with my best stuff and came out on top," Ray said. "Any chance you can get to shut up that many fans is great."

Video: ARI@LAD: Watch Ray's 13 strikeouts in 13 seconds

Shot down: Scott Van Slyke, recalled before the game, pinch-hit for Hill leading off the bottom of the seventh inning and walked. But on a pitch in the dirt, he slipped on his secondary lead and Arizona catcher Chris Iannetta picked him off as he scrambled back to first base.

Video: ARI@LAD: Iannetta picks off Van Slyke at first

QUOTABLE
"It was a perfect game." -- Roberts, whose daughter sang the national anthem and son threw out the ceremonial first pitch (which Roberts caught) on his Bobblehead Night

Video: ARI@LAD: Roberts talks his kids' pregame festivities

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Dodgers are 15-1 in their last 16 games at Dodger Stadium.

WHAT'S NEXT
D-backs: Zack Greinke gets the start for the D-backs on Friday night as they return home to take on the Reds at 6:40 p.m. MST in the opener of a three-game series before the All-Star break. Greinke is 4-1 with a 2.68 ERA in his last six starts.

Dodgers: Kenta Maeda gets the 7:10 p.m. PT start in the Interleague series opener against Kansas City, but it's as much out of necessity as anything with Hyun-Jin Ryu on the DL. Maeda was ineffective in his last start in San Diego, allowing five runs in 3 2/3 innings. He's really struggled in the first inning, when opponents have a 1.051 OPS.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989, and for MLB.com since 2001.

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Chris Taylor