LOS ANGELES -- A D-backs bullpen that has been as good as any in baseball so far this season lost its way Wednesday night in a 6-3 defeat to the Dodgers.The Dodgers scored three runs off the bullpen in the sixth and did not need a hit to bring home
LOS ANGELES -- A D-backs bullpen that has been as good as any in baseball so far this season lost its way Wednesday night in a 6-3 defeat to the Dodgers.
The Dodgers scored three runs off the bullpen in the sixth and did not need a hit to bring home any of the runners. The Dodgers' runs came on a wild pitch, a hit batter with the bases loaded and a sacrifice fly. They added two more insurance runs in the eighth.
The team bus to the airport had barely even backed up to the clubhouse exit before D-backs manager Torey Lovullo was ready to forgive and forget on a rare bullpen clunker.
"That's what I'm probably going to focus on here over the next 20 hours, until we reload and play the Nationals," Lovullo said. "The bullpen did a great job. They have done a great job up until this point in the season and they made some pitches today and they got hit."
Add in the fact that the D-backs' relievers absorbed 6 1/3 innings during Tuesday's 12-inning victory, and it made Lovullo's analysis of it all sound like a verbal shrug.
"We just got out-executed," Lovullo said. "It was a tough day, a little bit of a hangover from yesterday. I feel like the energy wasn't the same and both teams were kind of walking through it today and the Dodgers just beat us."
Noel Salas started the sixth inning in place of starter Patrick Corbin, but loaded the bases before giving up the go-ahead run on a James Farmer sacrifice fly. Andrew Chafin came on to reload the bases when he walked Player Page for Max Muncy and was replaced by Silvino Bracho.
The Dodgers then managed to score twice with Bracho on the mound when Chris Taylor was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and Yasiel Puig came home on a wild pitch.
Corbin faded quickly Wednesday, but in loading the bases in both the fourth and fifth innings, he only gave up one run and that came on a wild pitch. The left-hander gave up just three hits in his five innings of work but walked four.
"I had to battle there in the last two innings and that wasn't my best command today," Corbin said. "I fell behind and kind of got lucky there to get out of those two jams. It was a rough five innings there to have the pitch count up that high."
He finished the night with 96 pitches and has shown an ever-so-slight dip in velocity in recent outings.
"Sometimes you don't have your best stuff every day and you still have to go out there and make pitches," Corbin said. "It wasn't as easy today as it has been being able to locate and get ahead of guys, so we kind of had to work around some other ways there. But everything feels good."
The Dodgers scored their only run off Corbin in the fourth inning when Taylor came home on a wild pitch, while the D-backs put their first run on the board in the first in another unconventional way on Nick Ahmed's inside-the-park home run off Alex Wood.
"I knew I hit it good, and when I saw it wasn't caught, I was thinking three [bases]," Ahmed said. "I didn't realize it had bounced so far back. I just saw [coach Tony Perezchica] waving me at third and I was just trying to go as fast as I could."
Arizona relievers entered Wednesday's game ranked first in the National League in opponents' OPS (.551), WHIP (1.03), ERA (2.15), opponents' batting average (.190) and save percentage (81.3).
Yet the D-backs still made it interesting, cutting the Dodgers' lead to 4-3 in the seventh inning on a Paul Goldschmidt RBI single and a run-scoring groundout from A.J. Pollock.
The Dodgers went to work against the D-backs' bullpen again in the eighth inning when Chase Utley delivered a two-run pinch-hit double off Jorge De La Rosa.
It was just the Dodgers' fourth victory in 12 tries against the D-backs this season. The next meeting between the teams won't take place until Aug. 30 at Dodger Stadium.
"We're playing good against every team this year and these guys are just like every other team, where we show up and want to play well," Ahmed said. "Somebody said we don't play until the end of August. We could be two different teams … and a lot healthier."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Corbin escaped a bases-loaded jam in the fifth inning after nearly doing so in the fourth. The lefty struck out both Cody Bellinger and Austin Barnes with the bases jammed in the fourth inning, but a run did come home on a wild pitch. One inning later, he was in the same situation and Enrique Hernandez hit a popup to shallow center field and Matt Kemp grounded out.
Chafin faced one batter Wednesday, walking pinch-hitter Muncy in the sixth inning. Going back to Saturday, Chafin has not retired any of the five batters he has faced in three games. He walked two Astros batters Friday and gave up a hit and a walk to the two Dodgers batters he faced Tuesday.
HE SAID IT
"It's something that you pay attention to and they are the National League champs. The fact that we have played this good against them is very satisfying." -- Lovullo, on his club's success against the Dodgers
Zack Greinke will start Thursday against the Nationals coming off his best back-to-back outings of the season, giving up a run in 5 2/3 innings against the Astros on Saturday and two runs over six innings to the Dodgers on April 30. Expected to get an extra day of rest with Monday's off-day, Greinke will be pressed into service on regular rest instead. First pitch at Chase Field is set for 6:40 p.m. MST.
Doug Padilla is a contributor to MLB.com based in Los Angeles.