PHOENIX -- D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray certainly hasn't shown any ill effects from the concussion that caused him to miss almost a full month.Ray (11-5) struck out 10 over 6 2/3 innings as the D-backs grabbed an early lead and then had to hang on to beat the Dodgers for
PHOENIX -- D-backs left-hander Robbie Ray certainly hasn't shown any ill effects from the concussion that caused him to miss almost a full month.
Ray (11-5) struck out 10 over 6 2/3 innings as the D-backs grabbed an early lead and then had to hang on to beat the Dodgers for the second night in a row, this time by a 6-4 margin Wednesday at Chase Field.
"It felt good," Ray said of his outing. "It felt like everything was working really well for me. Fastball, offspeed, just keeping them off balance all night. We kinda had a set game plan going into it and, honestly, we didn't really come off that game plan too much, except for a couple times."
With their sixth straight win, the D-backs extended their lead in the National League Wild Card race to three games over the Rockies. The Dodgers have now dropped four in a row for the first time this season, but still maintain a commanding 17-game lead in the NL West.
• Win streak has D-backs in WC driver's seat
The Dodgers have lost back-to-back series for the first time since April 7-9 at the Rockies and April 10-13 at Cubs, their second and third series of the season. The D-backs can become the first team to sweep them with a win on Thursday.
• Struggling Dodgers in unfamiliar territory
Ray, who was struck in the head by a line drive on June 28, has allowed two runs and struck out 19 in 11 2/3 innings in two starts since returning from the disabled list. Wednesday marked the 11th time in his career -- and seventh this season -- that Ray has fanned at least 10 batters. Three of those seven games this year have come against the Dodgers.
"He's good when he's throwing his breaking balls for strikes," Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes said of Ray.
The D-backs roughed up Dodgers starter Hyun-Jin Ryu (5-7). The left-hander allowed six runs on eight hits, including three homers, over four innings.
"Both of the home runs [in the first inning] came off first pitches, and they weren't located that well," said Ryu. "Them hitting aggressively from the get-go made things more difficult, and I fell into a really bad rhythm."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Another big start: For the second straight night, the D-backs took control of the game with a big first inning. Adam Rosales hit a solo homer with one out, and Paul Goldschmidt followed a walk to A.J. Pollock with a two-run shot that traveled a Statcast™-projected 432 feet. Over the first two games of this series, the D-backs have scored eight first-inning runs.
"We were ready to play in the first inning," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "Rosales really set the tone for us with the solo home run, and Goldy with the two-run homer to make it 3-0."
Quite a jam:Yasiel Puig made the D-backs pay for walking two and hitting a batter in front of him in the eighth, as he drove home two runs with a single to center that chased Andrew Chafin. The D-backs turned to Archie Bradley, who gave up a single to Barnes to load the bases before walking Curtis Granderson to force in a run. Bradley, though, struck out Chase Utley and got Corey Seager to ground out to end the threat with Arizona clinging to a 6-4 lead.
"Once we got Ray out of the game, we got into the bullpen and really had a nice opportunity in the eighth, but couldn't push the last couple runs across," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
"I'm going to enjoy tonight, and I'll sleep good knowing that Zack's going to pitch tomorrow, as I do with all of our guys, and we'll see where that lands us tomorrow. The Dodgers are going to come after us with everything they have. -- Lovullo, on going for the series sweep Thursday with Zack Greinke on the mound
Road:Kenta Maeda tries to keep his roll going when he starts Thursday's series finale at 12:40 p.m. PT. Maeda is 8-2 with a 2.70 ERA since June 18. He's 3-2 with a 4.18 ERA against Arizona.
D-backs: Greinke gets the start against the Dodgers in Thursday afternoon's series finale at Chase Field. Last time out, Greinke beat the Giants, 4-3. He is 12-1 with a 2.36 ERA at home this year.
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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.
Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.