Kendrick delivers as Dodgers drop D-backs again
LOS ANGELES -- Howie Kendrick hit his sixth home run of the season and drove in three runs as the Dodgers defeated the D-backs, 3-1, on Tuesday night. It was Los Angeles' eighth straight win against Arizona and its 12th win over the last 13 meetings between the clubs at Dodger Stadium.
Kendrick launched a solo homer to tie the game in the sixth inning and followed with a two-run single in the seventh off Addison Reed to put the Dodgers up for good.
Robbie Ray (1-1) lasted a career-high 6 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on four hits, but he took his first loss with the D-backs.
Dodgers starter Carlos Frias also went 6 2/3, allowing eight hits but limiting the D-backs to one run, on a wild pitch in the second inning. It was the third time in his last five starts that Frias lasted at least six innings and allowed one run or fewer.
"He gave up the hits, but got the big outs," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said of Frias. "He was able to change speeds and keep them off balance because they seemed to be on the hard stuff pretty good."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Liberating relief: Dodgers left-hander Adam Liberatore relieved Frias in the seventh to face Ender Inciarte with two men on base. Liberatore threw three pitches -- all fastballs -- to strike out Inciarte and end the inning. The one hitter is all Liberatore would see as he was pinch-hit for in the bottom of the frame, but the southpaw picked up his second win of the season.
It helps to be left-handed: D-backs manager Chip Hale wanted to have as many left-handed hitters as possible to go against Frias. It helped on defense, too, in the fourth inning. The Dodgers had two on with two out when left fielder David Peralta raced hard toward the foul line -- his glove side -- and took a hit and an RBI away from Alberto Callaspo. Peralta added another spectacular catch, robbing Alex Guerrero to end the Dodgers' two-run seventh.
"Since last year, I've been trying to learn as much as I can in the outfield, working every day with Dave McKay," Peralta said. "Those two catches helped the team, but we didn't win."
Limiting damage: Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal helped Frias limit the damage by throwing out a pair of runners at second base. Arizona entered the game second in the Majors with 52 stolen bases this season.
"I think that sort of changed the momentum," Grandal said. "Those were two key throws."
Ray of hope: Ray delivered his third fine start in a row. The rookie lefty exited with two outs in the seventh and a 1-1 tie, but he was responsible for the lead runner when Reed gave up Kendrick's two-run single.
"He did a good job," Hale said of Ray. "He had some struggles early, but he battled. He had a nice pitch count , and did a nice job. We'll build on that."
"Every time he takes three steps back, it seems like he takes 10 steps forward. Every time he has a bad outing, he comes right back with a good one." -- Grandal, on Frias
"To Kendrick, it was a fastball. Just trying to sneak one by him inside, and it ran back over the plate." -- Ray, on Kendrick's game-tying home run to right field in the sixth inning
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Kendrick has settled into the cleanup spot in the batting order, and the Dodgers count on his production. Los Angeles is 16-2 this season when Kendrick drives in a run.
D-backs: Right-hander Jeremy Hellickson will start Wednesday night's final game of the three-game series at Dodger Stadium. Hellickson has won his past three starts, posting a 3.28 ERA in them.
Dodgers: The Dodgers will close out the three-game series with Brett Anderson. The left-hander earned a no-decision in both of his starts against Arizona this season. He'll be looking for more run support as the Dodgers have scored two runs or less in six of his 11 starts this season.
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