D-backs don't wilt vs. Kershaw, show mettle

July 5th, 2017

LOS ANGELES -- Yes, the D-backs lost to the Dodgers, 4-3, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.
And sure, they fell 3 1/2 games behind them in the National League West standings.
But on a night when Dodgers ace had no-hit stuff, the D-backs still made the Dodgers sweat, all the way down to the final out when pinch-hitter Chris Herrmann, who represented the go-ahead run, struck out.
"Right up until the final moment of the game, we thought we had a chance," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "That's what we've done all year long."
Kershaw (13-2) was dominant in allowing just two walks through the 6 1/3 innings before Chris Owings broke up the no-hit bid with an infield single to second.
"Just trying to battle up there was the biggest thing," Owings said. "Got lucky and was able to beat one out right there."
Even while not getting a hit off Kershaw, the D-backs made him work, running up his pitch count. Owings' single came on Kershaw's 102nd pitch of the night.
"We faced one of the best tonight and he pitched masterfully throughout the entire game," said D-backs catcher Chris Iannetta, who managed a pair of walks and a single off Kershaw. "But we still had our chances. When you face a guy like that, sometimes you're going to get to him and sometimes you're not. Statistics would say the majority of the time you won't."
Down to their final out in the ninth and facing baseball's best closer statistically this year in , launched a three-run homer into the seats in right.

"Scals came up huge there like he has all season," Owings said. "And I look at it like just getting us some momentum heading into tomorrow, not making it easy on them, having a tough ninth inning and carrying that into tomorrow."
Pinch-hitter drew a walk after Descalso's homer -- only the second one issued all year by Jansen -- before Herrmann struck out to end the game.
"We battled," Iannetta said. "We made it close at the end and we were right back in there and one swing of the bat away from going ahead. That's all you can really ask for on a day like this."
The fact that they played well and came oh so close in the end was likely why the clubhouse did not have the typical feel of a losing one.
"The best part of it was, we grinded through some moments and [Kershaw] threw seven quality innings and wasn't able to throw a complete game," Lovullo said. "He had good stuff but we fought all night and were able to get to their bullpen by some of the quality at-bats we had. We came up a little short. The score will show we lost the game and we're frustrated by that. But I think we have something to build on for tomorrow."