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D-backs fend off Dodgers' rally for series win

July 17, 2016

PHOENIX -- The D-backs have had their struggles in Chase Field this season. But in the first games back from the All-Star break, they notched a series victory, taking two of three against the Dodgers with a 6-5 win Sunday afternoon.Arizona starter Robbie Ray (5-8) threw seven scoreless innings, allowing

PHOENIX -- The D-backs have had their struggles in Chase Field this season. But in the first games back from the All-Star break, they notched a series victory, taking two of three against the Dodgers with a 6-5 win Sunday afternoon.
Arizona starter Robbie Ray (5-8) threw seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits and striking out seven. Michael Bourn collected three hits, Jake Lamb homered, and Brandon Drury drove in a pair of runs for the D-backs, who won consecutive games at home for the first time since they won three straight June 11-13. It was just their fourth series win at home this year.
"The guys, we talked going into the second half and Friday didn't go so well," Arizona manager Chip Hale said. "As a manager and coaches, we sort of sit there and go, 'Let's see how we respond.' It's all based on the starting pitching. They give us the outing, I think we have enough offense to beat teams."
Los Angeles starter Kenta Maeda (8-7) lost for the third time in five starts, giving up a season-high five runs in 4 1/3 innings. Justin Turner drove in four runs with a two-run homer in the eighth and a two-run single in the ninth, but the Dodgers began their nine-game road trip with a series loss. Corey Seager hit three doubles, tying a franchise record, and drove in a run.
"They got ahead early, tacked on runs, took advantage of mistakes by Kenta," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "We made it close, had the tying run and winning run on in the ninth with less than two outs, I thought we were in a good spot."
Hot bats carry over: Drury and Lamb were the heroes in Saturday's 12-inning win, and the duo helped get the D-backs ahead early. Drury, who had the walk-off RBI single Friday night, capped a three-run rally in the first with a two-run double to right-center. In the third, Lamb, who tied Saturday's game with an RBI double in the ninth, blasted his team-high 22nd homer of the year to straightaway center for a 4-0 Arizona lead.
"He's swinging the bat really well, very confident," Hale said of Lamb. "When hitters are hitting like he's hitting, they're seeing the ball really well."

Won't you stay just a little bit longer?: Maeda's early exit continued the alarming trend of the Dodgers' starting rotation without Clayton Kershaw. In the last 11 games, the starting pitcher has been unable to go past five innings nine times.
"Clayton doesn't pitch every day," said Roberts. "Even without Clayton, we're good enough to win baseball games. We're 11-6 since he's been gone. With or without Clayton, we have to continue to get better."

Ray's escape act: Ray put himself in some precarious situations, but managed to avoid damage each time. After loading the bases with no outs in the second, Ray struck out A.J. Ellis and Zach Walters and got Maeda to fly out. He stranded another pair of baserunners in the third and seven total in his seven innings. The left-hander twice induced double plays after allowing the leadoff batter to reach, in both the third and sixth.
"Me and [catcher] Tuffy [Gosewisch] were just on the same page the whole day, he called a great game back there," Ray said. "We rolled up some really big double plays up the middle, so that was huge." More >

"I actually thought it was a fastball and I went back and looked at it and it was a changeup. That was a little discouraging, but I still got the double, so that was nice." -- Ray, on his leadoff double in the fifth
Ray has struck out five or more batters in 18 consecutive starts, the longest streak by a pitcher in the Majors this season. Miami's José Fernández has an active 17-start streak..
Hale issued a challenge in the top of the fourth. Walters hit a ground ball to Lamb at third, who threw to second in an attempt to retire the lead runner, Chris Taylor. Taylor was called safe on the fielder's choice. But after a review, the call was overturned and Taylor was the Dodgers' second out of the inning.

The D-backs optioned left-handed reliever Edwin Escobar after the game to make room on the roster for Tuesday's starter Zack Godley. Escobar was recalled Thursday and allowed two runs in one-third of an inning on Friday.
Dodgers:Scott Kazmir, coming off a three-inning start, gets the ball for Tuesday night's series opener in Washington. Center fielder Joc Pederson, out with a slight right shoulder separation, is expected to be activated off the disabled list for the game.
D-backs: After a day off on Monday, the D-backs open a two-game set against the Blue Jays on Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. MST at Chase Field. Godley will be recalled from Triple-A Reno to make his third start in the Majors this season. The right-hander is 2-0 with a 5.28 ERA in six games (two starts) for Arizona.
Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

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

Jake Rill is a reporter for based in Phoenix.