It is, as they like to say, a new season. And in the teams' first meeting of 2015 on Friday, the Diamondbacks engineered a very different result.
The Diamondbacks beat the Dodgers 4-3 in the 10th inning, when Ender Inciarte singled off J.P. Howell through a drawn-in infield to drive in Cliff Pennington with the winning run at Chase Field in Phoenix.
That much-scrutinized Dodgers bullpen had given them three shutout innings from Yimi Garcia and Joel Peralta, until Howell faltered in the 10th. Howell gave up two walks and a wild pitch, fell asleep on a steal of third and then surrendered the game-winning hit.
The Diamondbacks left the Dodgers 0-1 on the road and in extra-inning games, and managed to keep Adrian Gonzalez in the ballpark.
Friday also marked the Dodgers debut of right-hander Brett Anderson, and one pitch aside, it was pretty solid.
Anderson gave up three runs in his six innings, but all three came via one swing from the only guy in the Diamondbacks lineup you really have to worry about. After one-out singles by A.J. Pollock and Inciarte in the third inning, Paul Goldschmidt crushed a three-run homer to right-center.
Otherwise, it was the Brett Anderson advertised. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out four. He threw 94 pitches, 66 for strikes. He wasn’t dominating, but seemed in control.
The Dodgers got one run back in the fourth when Yasmani Grandal collected his first hit as a Dodger, a solo home run off Arizona’s Chase Anderson. He got all of it, too, the drive sailing some 20 feet over the 412-foot sign in right-center.
The Dodgers tied it with two more runs in the fifth, which Juan Uribe and Joc Pederson opened with basehits. Brett Anderson’s sacrifice bunt moved them up a base. Jimmy Rollins followed with a double to score both.
And that’s the way it remained, tied at 3-3, until the bottom of the 10th.
The Diamondbacks were able to do something the Padres couldn’t pull off in the first three games – make Gonzalez look human. He had homered a record five times in his first three games.
In his first three at-bats Friday, Gonzalez singled, walked and was intentionally walked. Then he bounced out to third in the eighth. That snapped a streak of reaching base safely 10 consecutive times (eight hits). He bounced into a double play in the 10th, leaving his on-base percentage at .722 for the season
Right-handed reliever Garcia continues to look like an intriguing bullpen option. He followed Brett Anderson with two scoreless innings. He allowed one hit, did not walk a batter and struck out four. Peralta pitched a perfect ninth, striking out two.
It was looking like a fine night for the Dodgers’ bullpen, until the 10th. Howell walked the weak-hitting Pennington with one out. Then came a wild pitch that Grandal might have blocked. Then came a walk to A.J. Pollock, Pennington breaking from second and stealing third on ball four.
The Dodgers brought Yasiel Puig in to join the infield, but Inciarte bounced the game-winning hit past Gonzalez at first.