After Ian Kennedy hit Yasiel Puig and Zack Greinke with pitches above the shoulder, sparking a brawl in the Dodgers 5-3 win over the Diamondbacks on June 11, catcher Tim Federowicz said the team hoped they would face Kennedy again this season.
Tuesday they did.
And after Kennedy plunked Hanley Ramirez in the top of the first inning, the Dodgers retaliated with their bats -- striking double-digit hits for the second straight game in a 6-1 victory while Ricky Nolasco threw seven innings in his team debut, giving up one run and four hits.
Adrian Gonzalez drove in three runs, Puig went one for three, with two walks, and Nolasco helped his cause with a run batted in and the Dodgers’ only extra-base hit as they posted their MLB-best 14th win in their last 17 games. With it, they clinched their fifth straight series, and pulled within 2 1/2 games of the NL West-leading Diamondbacks and climbed to half a game under .500 for the first time since May 1.
The Dodgers put a runner on second base in five of the first six innings, opening a 6-0 cushion. Through the first two games of the series, they've knocked 27 hits, 25 of them singles.
"A BYOB party," broadcaster Vin Scully called it. "Bring your own bat."
While the Dodgers' lineup beat up on Kennedy, the Diamondbacks struggled to crack Nolasco.
The 30-year-old right-hander, who was acquired from the Miami Marlins for three minor league pitchers on Saturday, struck out five and walked none. The only run he gave up came on a soft line drive from Martin Prado with the game all but decided in the seventh.
After Andre Ethier struck out with runners on first and second to end the first inning, it appeared the Dodgers could squander another quality chance in the second when No. 8 hitter Jerry Hairston Jr. grounded into a bases-loaded double play with no outs.
But Nolasco belted a 1-2 fastball into right field for an RBI single to help his cause and give the Dodgers an early lead.
Nolasco logged his second 1-2-3 frame in the fourth inning when he struck out Paul Goldschmidt. Skip Schumaker pushed the Dodgers' advantage to 2-0 on an RBI groundout in the fourth. Schumaker cashed in on a throwing error by Diamondbacks catcher Miguel Montero that allowed Ethier to take third base after stealing second on an A.J. Ellis strikeout.
The Dodgers broke the game open in the fifth when Gonzalez lifted a bases-loaded fly ball to the center-field wall with no outs. Diamondbacks outfielder Adam Eaton stumbled on the warning track and the ball grazed the side of his glove as he fell backward.
Nolasco and Carl Crawford scored easily as Gonzalez jogged into second, but Puig recklessly headed for home and was thrown out by roughly 15 feet. He lowered his shoulder, bucking into Montero, but the ball didn’t pop out.
Gonzalez lined a two-out, two-run single to left in the sixth to make it 6-0 and chase Kennedy, who gave up six runs (five earned) on nine hits in 5 2/3 innings.
The only sour spot for the Dodgers’ lineup was Ramirez ending a career-best 19-game hitting streak. He went 0 for 4, his batting average slipping to .404 on the season.
At 44-45, the Dodgers are now 11-2 in their last 13 divisional games, and have picked up seven games on the Diamondbacks since June 22.