Howie Kendrick said he cherished those moments at the plate with the game on the line. Might be best to take him at his word.
Kendrick, who drove in all three of the Dodgers’ runs in their win Tuesday, was at it again Wednesday.
On a night when Yasiel Puig had four hits and drove in three, he added a huge walk in the bottom of the ninth inning. After Adrian Gonzalez also walked to move Puig to second base, Kendrick delivered a game-winning single to make the Dodgers 7-6 winners over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers swept the three-game series and have now beaten the Diamondbacks seven consecutive times.
Puig homered, doubled and added two singles on the night. He is nine for 15 since coming off the disabled list last week and has provided a needed spark.
And it turns out, nobody is perfect. Kenley Jansen, after a delayed 2015 debut, had come pretty close. In his first eight appearances he had not permitted a run and had allowed only one hit.
But when the Dodgers called on him to protect a one-run lead in the ninth inning Wednesday, his first batter, A.J. Pollock, took him deep for a solo home run to even the score, 6-6. It was Jansen’s first blown save this season, and dating to last season, the first run he had allowed in 18 innings.
Brett Anderson had been pitching consistently well in his last seven starts (2.28 earned-run average), but this was not going to rate as one of his better efforts. Anderson lasted only five innings, surrendering four runs on eight hits and a walk.
He got into immediate trouble when Ender Inciarte opened the game with a bloop single, and one out later, was singled to second by Dodger-killer Paul Goldschmidt. It would be the first of four hits for Goldschmidt. Yasmany Tomas’ base hit scored Inciarte.
The Dodgers thought they had taken control of the game when they broke out with four runs in the second off Jeremy Hellickson. Andre Ethier opened with a single and rushed to third on a base hit by Alberto Callaspo. All before he essentially stole a run.
Anderson set down a sacrifice bunt on the left of the mound. Third baseman Aaron Hill crashed toward home on the bunt, and with no one to cover third, Ethier crept halfway down the line. As Hill threw to first, Ethier alertly rushed home to score the tying run.
After Joc Pederson walked, Puig drilled his third home run of the season. The three-run blast to center gave the Dodgers a 4-1 lead.
Anderson continued to struggle in the third, allowing two more hits to lead off the inning. Tomas then crushed a pitch to deep center, but Pederson made a leaping catch at the wall to rob Tomas of a homer.
The highlight catch saved three runs. Hill then bounced into a double play to end the inning.
Yasmani Grandal added to the Dodgers’ lead in the bottom of the third with a solo home run. It was his sixth homer of the season.
The Diamondbacks pulled to within a run in the fifth inning when Goldschmidt hit a two-run homer and Tomas, this time hitting the ball where it could not be caught, added a solo homer.
The Dodgers added a run in the sixth inning. Alberto Callaspo led off with a double, was sacrificed to second on a Rollins’ bunt and scored on a sacrifice fly when Enrique Hernandez flied out to deep right field.
Arizona again made it a one-run game in the seventh after -- who else? -- Goldschmidt led off with a double. He took third when Tomas flied out to right and scored on a Chris Owings sacrifice fly.