Howie Kendrick cleans up on Diamondbacks in Dodgers' 3-1 win

Howie Kendrick drives in all three Dodger runs in 3-1 win over Arizona

Howie Kendrick is not exactly the prototype for a clean-up hitter. In his nine major league seasons, he’s never hit 20 home runs in a season. Never driven in more than 75 runs.

He’s never really found a home in the batting order. He’s started at least 20 games in all nine spots. He’s mostly batting in the second, fifth, sixth and seventh spots in his career.

Only at the end of last season the Angels needed someone to hit fourth and tried Kendrick. He batted .320 and when Kendrick came to the Dodgers, clean-up again became a frequent spot for him in the order.

He was there again on a drizzly Tuesday night against the Diamondbacks, again delivering, leading the Dodgers to a 3-1 victory before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 37,738.

Kendrick drove in all three of the Dodgers’ runs, the first coming on a solo home run in the sixth inning to tie the score, 1-1, and then a two-run single in the seventh inning to win it.

Kenley Jansen threw a perfect ninth inning to earn his seventh save and preserve the win for Adam Libertore (2-1), who pitched to one batter in the seventh. Carlos Frias did the heavy lifting.

Frias went 6 2/3 innings, holding Arizona to one run on eight hits. He walked one, struck out three, and most importantly, kept the Dodgers in the game.

Frias got off to something of a rocky start. He gave up two singles in the first, but aided by catcher Yasmani Grandal throwing out leadoff hitter Ender Inciarte trying to steal, he pitched out of trouble.

The Diamondbacks did score a run in the second, though the damage could have been worse. David Peralta led off by lining a single to right, but he too was thrown out attempting to steal by Yasmani.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Nick Ahmed followed by lining singles to center. Left-hander Robbie Ray, batting eighth, advanced the runners with a sacrifice bunt. Which proved important when Frias unleashed one of his two wild pitches to allow Saltalamacchia to score from third base. Frias got Cliff Pennington to bounce out to the shortstop to end the inning.

But Arizona clung to its 1-0 lead through the fifth, the Dodgers managing only three hits. Their fourth hit, though, was big.

Kendrick got all of a Ray 94-mph fastball. It could not have hurt that there was a decent wind blowing out to right. Aided or not, it went out for Kendrick’s sixth home run.

Apparently, the Diamondbacks were not that impressed. The Dodgers put together a two-out rally in the seventh. After Ray walked Chris Heisey, Arizona went to reliever Addison Reed, who promptly gave up a double to Yasiel Puig to advance Heisey to third. With first base open, Arizona elected to intentionally walk Adrian Gonzalez to bring up Kendrick.

Kendrick, who had never faced Reed, lined a hit up the middle to score both Heisey and Puig and the Dodgers had their 3-1 lead.

That still left the eighth inning to be dealt with, which has been no slam dunk for the bullpen these days, but Yimi Garcia held Arizona to one hit, before turning over the ninth to Jansen.


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