LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers will take a win over Arizona any way they can get it, and the way they got one on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium was a little weird, scoring with two wild pitches, a sacrifice fly and a hit batter.Yasiel Puig also returned from the
LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers will take a win over Arizona any way they can get it, and the way they got one on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium was a little weird, scoring with two wild pitches, a sacrifice fly and a hit batter.
Yasiel Puig also returned from the disabled list with three hits and pinch-hitter Chase Utley doubled home a pair of insurance runs in the eighth as the Dodgers overcame an inside-the-park homer in the first inning for a 6-3 win, only their fourth victory over the first-place D-backs in 12 games this season. Pedro Baez got the win in relief, Scott Alexander returned from a Minor League stint with four large outs and Kenley Jansen earned his sixth save.
"We were gifted some runs," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "It wasn't ideal, but we'll take it. There was really no rhythm and it was kind of funky. But I thought the energy was really consistent. We're fighting. We realize the situation we've put ourselves in, that an urgency has got to be there."
Even with the win, and having split the last six games against Arizona, the Dodgers still trail the National League West leaders by eight games. In the first 36 games of the season, the clubs have met 12 times with Arizona leading, 8-4. This year's quirky schedule now keeps the clubs apart until Labor Day weekend.
"I'm OK with that," Roberts said about not seeing the D-backs for a while. "I'm ready to turn the page on those guys and play someone else. That team has played the best of any team in our division, but we're still not playing complete baseball right now."
That means the Dodgers made their job more difficult, whether it's Enrique Hernandez (making his second start of the year in center field) losing sight of a ball in the twilight that turned into a first-inning, inside-the-park homer by Nick Ahmed, or going 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position. It was the first inside-the-park homer against the Dodgers since Eric Young off Chad Billingsley on Aug. 8, 2012.
But as Roberts referred to, there were unexpected gifts. The first four Dodgers runs scored on a wild pitch, sacrifice fly, hit batter and another wild pitch.
"Sometimes," said Jansen, "you've just got to be lucky."
Alex Wood kept the D-backs in check, but lasted only five innings, and with the no-decision he remained winless after eight starts (he was 6-0 at this point last season).
"It wasn't very good, but we managed it," said Wood. "It'll be nice not to throw against them until August. We'll take 'em any way we get them. Nobody cares how or when or why or who."
Arizona scored two in the seventh off JT Chargois, but a very different Alexander returned from Triple-A to bail Chargois out of true disaster and retired all four batters he faced.
"He cleaned up the mechanics, his confidence is there," said Roberts. "When we put this roster together, he was a big part of our 'pen. To get him back, it was good to see."
MOMENT THAT MATTERED
The key play for the Dodgers came in the top of the seventh, with Arizona having scored twice to close the gap to 4-3, with two out and runners on first and second. Alexander entered the game and got Ketel Marte to bounce slowly to a charging shortstop Taylor, who flipped back to Austin Barnes at second base, where a hard-charging Steven Souza Jr. took out a Dodgers infielder on a hard slide for the second consecutive game. But the inning was over, and Souza motioned his apologies to the Dodgers' dugout to head off a confrontation.
Alexander returned in the eighth to retire the bottom of the order.
"Once I went down there, it was the final little piece of it," said Alexander, who walked nine batters in 11 1/3 innings before being sent down 10 days earlier to refine his mechanics. "It just felt good tonight to help out."
Utley is 7-for-12 with four RBIs as a pinch-hitter this year.
HE SAID IT
"I'm just trying to find a rhythm, don't put too much pressure on myself, just go have fun and do what I used to do out there." -- Jansen, on earning his sixth save
Walker Buehler is coming off six innings of a combined no-hitter in Mexico. In Thursday night's 7:10 p.m. PT start at Dodger Stadium against the Reds and Tyler Mahle, Buehler has another soft spot, as the Reds will be the third last-place team he's faced in four starts.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.