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Godley saves bullpen with five-inning outing

D-backs call upon righty in Game 1 after Walker lasts just one inning
MLB.com

LOS ANGELES -- The D-backs didn't get the start they wanted from Taijuan Walker, but Zack Godley gave the team five important innings to save the bullpen in Friday night's 9-5 loss to the Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile.

Godley, a starter during the regular season, came out of the bullpen to open the second inning after Walker allowed four runs on four hits in the first to put the D-backs in an early hole.

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LOS ANGELES -- The D-backs didn't get the start they wanted from Taijuan Walker, but Zack Godley gave the team five important innings to save the bullpen in Friday night's 9-5 loss to the Dodgers in Game 1 of the National League Division Series presented by T-Mobile.

Godley, a starter during the regular season, came out of the bullpen to open the second inning after Walker allowed four runs on four hits in the first to put the D-backs in an early hole.

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"It was intense coming into a game like that where they have every bit of the momentum and they're just looking to try and keep it going," said Godley, who pitched in his first postseason game. "To just to be able to come in there and try to keep us in it is all I was trying to do."

Facing the top of the Dodgers' lineup, Godley put up a zero in the second inning, striking out cleanup man Cody Bellinger to strand Justin Turner on third base. After Godley retired the side in order in the third, the Dodgers got to him for three runs in the fourth. But Godley rebounded and gave the D-backs two more scoreless frames to keep them in the game.

By the time Arizona manager Torey Lovullo went to his next reliever in the bottom of the seventh, the D-backs had closed the gap to 7-4 thanks to four solo homers off Clayton Kershaw.

"It was a new role for him, but I thought he did great," Lovullo said of Godley. "He did a solid job of allowing our hitters to get on their feet and keep the game within striking range. Unfortunately, we gave the extra runs late and that was the difference in the game today."

The only thing that didn't go right for Godley was the fourth inning.

Godley allowed four of five batters to reach base to open the frame, leading to two runs and a 6-1 Dodgers advantage. There was a chance for Godley to limit further damage, but he had trouble fielding a bouncing ball in the infield and his error put runners on the corners with one out. Godley then retired Yasiel Puig and Curtis Granderson on ground balls, but Puig's grounder scored another run to make it 7-1.

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"We didn't pick up a ball at first base, I think that was -- that was a key moment for us," Lovullo said. "But he did enough to get us back into the game. Gave us a chance to play catch-up, and that's what we ask our relievers to do."

All in all, catcher Jeff Mathis said the D-backs were happy with what Godley gave them.

"Zack came in and gave us some strong innings and that was big for sure," Mathis said. "Just went at some guys, got ahead of some guys, trying to get quick outs, especially in a situation like that. He did a great job for us going as long as he did."

Austin Laymance is a reporter for MLB.com based in Los Angeles.

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

Arizona Diamondbacks, Zack Godley