Dodgers' bullpen gets its redemption
Relief corps works 5 scoreless in relief of ailing Frias
PHOENIX -- Those tweeting that the Dodgers should release their bullpen en masse after Monday night's 10-run meltdown can calm down, at least for a night.
Most of the same relievers took over after a five-inning start by Carlos Frias Tuesday night, and they contained the D-backs until a three-run 10th-inning rally gave the Dodgers a 6-4 win in 10 innings at Chase Field.
Juan Nicasio, charged with two runs Monday night, pitched two scoreless innings after Frias' back tightened up. Pedro Baez, Monday night's loser when he allowed four runs, pitched a scoreless inning, as did Joel Peralta, who allowed a two-run homer Monday night but got the win Tuesday night.
"That's who we are," said Peralta, who returned eight days ago from almost two months on the disabled list with a pinched nerve in his neck. "The only thing we can do is come back and show we can pitch and do the job. Last night they got us, tonight we got them."
"It was nice for all of those guys to bounce back," said manager Don Mattingly, whose offense was carried by Yasmani Grandal's home run and four RBIs and Howie Kendrick's four hits, which included a homer leading off a three-run 10th inning.
Kendrick's opposite-field line-drive homer broke the tie, but Grandal's two-run double provided the insurance runs needed as closer Kenley Jansen, despite picking up his 12th save, also issued his first walk of the year, which Paul Goldschmidt followed with an RBI double.
Video: [email protected]: Nicasio picks off Pennington at first base Mattingly called the two innings from Nicasio "huge." The bullpen was already taxed after Mike Bolsinger's food poisoning cut short his Monday night start to four innings. Then Frias had to battle through lingering lower-back stiffness that cropped up last week at Wrigley Field and was believed to be from dehydration brought on by the flu.
"We didn't think it would be an issue," said Mattingly.
Now, Frias and the club are concerned that it is an issue. Frias said he had lower back problems four years ago in the Minor Leagues, and he'll probably be examined when the team returns home at the end of the week.
"I don't know. Something is bothering me," said Frias. "It started when I warmed up before the game and was bad the whole game, worse the last couple of innings."
Neither Bolsinger nor Frias, fill-ins since Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy were lost for the year, have pitched past the sixth inning since June 9. Mattingly said he will use the All-Star break to realign the rotation, which now has Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke back to back, and Bolsinger and Frias back to back. Of course, club president Andrew Friedman has said the club is on the hunt for starting pitching, the implication being to replace either Bolsinger or Frias, the latter a more likely candidate for long relief work.