Dodgers bullpen nearly blows huge lead before edging Diamondbacks in series sweep
PHOENIX — The Dodgers were bulldozing the Arizona Diamondbacks through five innings in their 9-8 win Sunday, on their way to a clinical three-game series sweep of the worst team in the majors without a sweat.
They had finally mashed a left-handed starting pitcher — Alex Young gave up five runs in three innings — to build a 9-1 lead and put the Diamondbacks on track for their 17th straight loss. They were confident. So confident that manager Dave Roberts took Justin Turner out of the game in the fifth inning to give him some rest.
Then it nearly all fell apart. The Diamondbacks scored one run in the sixth inning and erupted for six more in the eighth, hammering the soft underbelly of the Dodgers’ bullpen.
Edwin Uceta, called up before the game, yielded three hits, two walks and three runs in the eighth inning before he was pulled with two outs. The suddenly tight score forced Roberts to summon Victor González, one of his three most trusted relievers, for his 29th appearance, a small defeat regardless of the game’s outcome.
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 9-8 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
Dodgers hold off rally to sweep Diamondbacks, 9-8
Dodgers: Marte to second. Cabrera to short. Varsho to center. Walker to first. Vogt to catcher. Right-hander Stefan Crichton pitching. Barnes singled to center. Beaty was hit by a pitch. First and second, none out. Taylor grounded to second, forcing Beaty at second. Barnes to third. Marte at second dropped the ball, never catching it, but the ump ruled he caught it, and that he dropped it while transferring for the throw to first. On appeal, the call was upheld. It’s nice that Stevie Wonder has a job between albums. Right-hander Noe Ramirez comes in to pitch. Will Smith, batting for the pitcher, struck out swinging. Taylor stole second during the at-bat. McKinstry flied to left.
Diamondbacks: Right-hander Kenley Jansen now pitching in a suddenly tight game. Peralta grounded to first. Cabrera struck out swinging. Reddick grounded to third. Never in doubt.
Final score: Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 8
Diamondbacks scores six off Uceta and Gonzalez, trail 9-8 after eight
Dodgers: Left-hander Ryan Buchter now pitching for the Diamondbacks. Burns fouled to first. Souza struck out looking. Lux fouled to left.
Diamondbacks: Marte walked. Rojas struck out swinging. Peralta singled to center. First and second, one out. Cabrera walked. You know what we need from these Dodger relievers who weren’t expected to make the team? Quiet innings. We don’t seem to get a lot from them. Reddick singled to right-center, scoring Marte and Peralta, Cabrera to third. Anyone but Reddick. Varsho struck out swinging. Christian Walker, batting for Ahmed, singled to left-center, scoring Cabrera, Reddick to second. Now might be a good time for a reliever. Stephen Vogt hit for the pitcher, Buchter. And here comes a reliever: Left-hander Victor Gonzalez now pitching for the Dodgers. Not exactly the type of game that inspires future confidence in Uceta. Vogt reached on an infield single, loading the bases with two out. VanMeter walked, scoring Reddick. Marte singled to center, scoring Vogt and Walker, VanMeter to third. The wheels are coming off. Rojas grounded to first.
Score after eight: Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 8
Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 2 after seven innings
Dodgers: Matt Beaty, batting for Price, lined to center. Chris Taylor struck out looking. Pollock singled to center. Left-hander Joe Mantiply replaces Martin. McKinstry walked on seven pitches. Pujols flied to right.
Diamondbacks: Beaty to left field. Right-hander Edwin Uceta now pitching. Ahmed struck out swinging. Tim Locastro, batting for Mantiply, flied to center. VanMeter flied to left.
Score after seven: Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 2
It’s 9-2 Dodgers after six innings
Dodgers: Burns singled to center. Souza popped to second. Lux struck out swinging. Barnes flied to center.
Diamondbacks: Left-hander David Price pitching for the Dodgers. Marte doubled to right-center. Rojas grounded to third. Peralta singled to right, Marte to third. Cabrera struck out swinging. Reddick singled to left-center, scoring Marte, Peralta to second. Please, anyone but Reddick. Varsho lined to third.
Score after six: Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 2
Dodgers take 9-1 lead on Pollock’s double
Dodgers: Josh Rojas in the game at second. VanMeter moves to third. Lux walked. Barnes singled to center, Lux to second. Cleavinger bunted to third. The throw was into Cleavinger and skipped past the bag, allowing Lux to score and Barnes to move to second. Cleavinger fell but is OK. Taylor struck out swinging. Pollock doubled to left-center, scoring Barnes, Cleavinger to third. Turner flied to center, runners hold. Cleavinger has been in enough collisions for one day. Pujols flied to deep right.
Diamondbacks: Burns moves to third. Zach McKinstry in at second. Turner out of the game. No injury, just to rest. Varsho flied to right. Dodgers announcer Tim Neverett is waxing poetic about keeping score at a game and the joys of explaining the infield fly rule. I didn’t think they allowed alcohol in the booth. Ahmed grounded to short. Martin, the pitcher, singled to center. VanMeter struck out swinging.
Score after five innings: Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 1
It’s 7-1 Dodgers after four
Dodgers: Right-hander Corbin Martin now pitching for the Diamondbacks. And he’s greeted rudely, as Gonsolin doubled to left. Taylor laid down a perfect bunt down the third-base line for a hit, Gonsolin to third. Pollock doubled to left-center, scoring Gonsolin and Taylor. You almost feel sorry for the Diamondbacks. It’s 7-0. Turner walked. Pujols flied to right. Burns walked, loading the bases. Souza grounded into a 5-4-3 double play.
Diamondbacks: Marte doubled to left. Escobar singled to right, scoring Marte. Peralta fouled to the pitcher. With the shift on, there was only one person of the left side of the infield, so Gonsolin had to make the play when the ball was fouled off of third base. Cabrera hit a slow bouncer to first. Pujols bare-handed it and forced Escobar at second. And that’s it for Gonsolin. He comes out after making 46 pitches, 36 for strikes. Yeah, I don’t get it either. Left-hander Garrett Cleavinger is now pitching for the Dodgers. Reddick popped to short.
Score after four: Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 1
Dodgers take 5-0 lead on Albert Pujols’ homer, Souza’s triple
Dodgers: Gonsolin struck out swinging. Taylor singled to left. Pollock walked. Turner singled to center, scoring Taylor, Pollock to second. That ball was almost caught. Pujols homered to left. 4-0 Dodgers. Burns walked. Souza tripled to right. Reddick tried to make a sliding stop, but the ball bounced past him. It’s 5-0 Dodgers. Lux fouled to third. Barnes struck out swinging.
Diamondbacks: Ahmed flied to right. Pavin Smith, batting for the pitcher, struck out swinging. VanMeter grounded to first.
Score after three: Dodgers 5, Diamondbacks 0
It’s scoreless after two innings
Dodgers: Steven Souza Jr. struck out swinging. Gavin Lux singled to center. It was a routine bouncer until the ball hit a seam in the artificial turf and bounced way over the head of the second baseman. Barnes flied to right. With the pitcher batting, Lux was caught stealing. Not a smart move by Lux, because it means the pitcher will now lead off the next inning. Bad baserunning.
Diamondbacks: David Peralta grounded to the pitcher. Asdrubal Cabrera flied to left. Former hated Dodger Josh Reddick singled to center, just over the leaping attempt of a shifted Justin Turner. Daulton Varsho struck out swinging.
Score after two: Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 0
No score after first inning
Dodgers: Left-hander Alex Young pitching for the Diamondbacks. Chris Taylor lined to left. AJ Pollock grounded to short. Justin Turner singled to center. Albert Pujols beat the shift by singling to right-center. The runners moved up on a wild pitch. Andy Burns flied to left.
Diamondbacks: Right-hander Tony Gonsolin pitching for the Dodgers. Josh VanMeter flied to center. Ketel Marte popped to short. Eduardo Escobar flied to center.
Score after one: Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 0
Dodgers recall Edwin Uceta, option Mitch White to triple-A Oklahoma City
PHOENIX — The Dodgers swapped right-handed relievers before Sunday’s series finale against the Diamondbacks, recalling right-hander Edwin Uceta and optioning Mitch White to triple-A Oklahoma City.
White was sent down after throwing 19 pitches in two-thirds of an inning Saturday. Uceta joins the Dodgers for the fourth time this season. The 23-year-old has been charged with five earned runs on 11 hits in 12 2/3 innings across seven games for the Dodgers.
White, 26, has surrendered six earned runs in 14 1/3 innings over 12 games this season.
Mookie Betts not in Dodgers’ lineup for series finale
Walker Buehler flirts with no-hitter, leads Dodgers past dreadful Diamondbacks
PHOENIX — Walker Buehler sauntered off the mound at Chase Field, home of the worst team in major league baseball, on Saturday night to a standing ovation. The raucous cheers came from the masses of Dodger blue that infiltrated the desert for the road team to watch their team hammer the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-3 for the home club’s record-setting 16th straight loss.
Halfway to the Dodgers’ dugout Buehler looked up and raised his right hand to acknowledge the support, prompting the fans to reach another decibel level. They were loud because Buehler gave them a memorable evening, a dominant near no-hitter that served as a reminder of the 26-year-old right-hander’s ace-like talent.
Buehler held a no-hitter until David Peralta led off the eighth inning with a line-drive single to center field. Two batters later, Nick Ahmed punched a single through the left side to coach Dodgers manager Dave Roberts from the dugout. Buehler gave him the ball, fist-bumped his five teammates on the mound and walked off to the shower of love.
He finished with a season-high 11 strikeouts over 7-1/3 innings. He walked two batters, hit another and threw a season-high 108 pitches. He hasn’t been charged with a loss since September 2019.
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 9-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.
Garrett Cleavinger seals the deal in Dodgers’ 9-3 victory over Diamondbacks
Reliever Garrett Cleavinger struck out Pavin Smith to secure a 9-3 victory at Chase Field on Saturday.
Walker Buehler was the story of the game, taking a no-hitter into the eighth inning. He allowed two hits, two earned runs, two walks and struck out 11 to improve to 7-0 on the season. Will Smith finished with three hits and was a triple short of the cycle.
The Dodgers improved to 43-27 on the season and Arizona suffered a franchise record 16th consecutive loss to fall to 20-52. The teams close out their three-game series Sunday, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:10 p.m. PDT.
Mark Prior unsure how umpires will enforce MLB foreign substances policy
Mark Prior’s job as Dodgers pitching coach is made easier with more information at his disposal. He can help optimize game plans for pitchers. He can offer manager Dave Roberts crucial insight during games. He can help the Dodgers win more games.
But Monday, according to Prior, will be a turn into the unknown. Prior said he doesn’t know how his staff’s performance will be affected when umpires begin more strictly enforcing the rules already on the books prohibiting pitchers from applying foreign substances on baseballs. He said he still hasn’t been told how the umpires will implement the enhanced policing.
“I honestly don’t know,” Prior said Saturday before the Dodgers faced the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. “It’s not going to change how we go about preparing for Monday. And if do things change then we adjust. That’s part of the game anyway. We gotta adapt and you always gotta go through an adjustment period on a lot of things.”
Dodgers star pitcher Clayton Kershaw on racial inequality: Silence won’t cut it. He vows to stand up for Black brothers and sisters, starting by listening.
On Tuesday, Major League Baseball announced its rumored step toward curbing the rampant use of sticky stuff to improve spin rate. MLB estimated that over 80% of pitchers have used foreign substances this season based on balls collected during games, according to people with knowledge of the situation.
MLB sent teams and players a memo in March outlining its plans to retrieve balls during games to test and gather information. The memo said players would not face discipline. That stance changed over the next three months as foreign substances became a prominent topic surrounding the league as six no-hitters were thrown in two months and fewer balls were being put in play than ever before.
As a result, the league shifted its position on punishment. Starting Monday, pitchers cannot use anything besides the rosin bag behind the mound for grip. Violators will be suspended 10 games with pay and clubs cannot replace them on the active roster.
The timing and the limitations have irked executives, agents, managers, pitchers and position players around the game.
The timing has been criticized primarily for two reasons: MLB in March told clubs pitchers wouldn’t face discipline this season and a segment of people believe the chances of pitchers getting hurt increase with such an abrupt change. Tampa Bay Rays ace Tyler Glasnow last week attributed tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow to going “cold turkey” on substances.
People, even if they agree with the timing, think MLB went too far by banning the use of sunscreen. Hitters have long accepted letting pitchers use sunscreen and rosin for better grip. The data suggests the concoction doesn’t improve spin rate and the better the grip, the less of a chance of getting hit by a pitch.
What will happen now that MLB has put out its memo reinforcing rules about foreign substances on baseballs?
“I anticipate it being a pretty big change,” Dodgers outfielder AJ Pollock said Saturday. “I wish there was a better way to do it. You have something that’s been going on for so many years and then, all of a sudden, middle of the season, you just shut it down. I think it was the wrong move to do it that way, personally.”
The sticky stuff effect is most prominent on four-seam fastballs. A higher spin rate gives the pitch a rising effect. As a result, pitchers who apply sticky stuff throw them high in the zone.
Dodgers right-hander Trevor Bauer’s four-seam fastball was averaging the highest revolutions per minute (rpm) in the majors by over 200 when the average dropped by 223 rpm three starts ago against the Atlanta Braves on June 6. It was his first outing after word leaked that MLB planned on enforcing its rules on sticky substances. After the game, Bauer didn’t deny that he had previously used sticky stuff.
His rpm remained in that same vicinity over his next two starts. He added a wrinkle to his pitch mix Friday against the Diamondbacks, throwing 11 changeups over his seven scoreless innings after throwing 21 changeups in his first 14 starts.
After the game, Bauer said it was a natural progression. He said he’s using his changeup and two-seam fastball more now than earlier to keep hitters off balance.
Prior said he thinks it’s “fair” to assume that pitchers around the majors will change their pitch mixes, going back to more two-seamers, sinkers and changeups down in the zone over four-seam fastballs, as the sticky stuff is pushed out of the game. Ultimately, he said, it’s just another adjustment pitchers, including his own, will have to make.
“Do I think that might come back?” Prior said. “I think it’s definitely plausible.”
Diamondbacks score three runs in the eighth
Tim Locastro and Ketel Marte each drove in runs off Dodgers reliever Mitch White to make it 9-3 Dodgers in the eighth inning.
Locastro drove in David Peralta, who singled to break up starting pitcher Walker Buehler’s no-hitter. Two batters later, Marte doubled to center field, plating Nick Ahmed and Locastro.
Eduardo Escobar grounded out to end the inning.
End of eighth: Dodgers 9, Diamondbacks 3
David Peralta breaks up Walker Buehler’s no-hitter bid in the eighth
Arizona’s David Peralta led off the eighth inning with a line drive to center field, breaking up Dodgers starter Walker Buehler’s bid for a no-hitter.
Buehler had retired 12 consecutive batters before allowing the hit with the Dodgers leading 9-0.
The sizeable Dodger fan contingent in Phoenix gave Buehler a standing ovation after Peralta’s hit and followed with an even more enthusiastic encore ovation when he left the game after Nick Ahmed singled to left. Buehler exited the game after allowing two hits, two walks and striking out 11 over 7 1/3 innings.
Mitch White took over in relief for Buehler.
Chris Taylor hits a two-run home run to give Dodgers 9-0 lead
Chris Taylor hit a two-run home run off Diamondbacks reliever Jake Faria to make it 9-0 Dodgers in the eighth inning.
Taylor’s 10th home run of the season landed just inside the left-field foul pole. Taylor’s homer scored Justin Turner, who singled to right to open the inning.
Walker Buehler takes no-hitter into the eighth inning
Walker Buehler hasn’t allowed a hit through seven innings, hitting the Jumbo Jack strikeout line en route to retiring the Diamondbacks 1-2-3.
Buehler has retired 12 consecutive batters and has looked very strong since walking a batter and hitting another one with a pitch in the second inning. He has struck out 10 and is up to 99 pitches.
End of seventh: Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 0
Dodgers take 7-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Mookie Betts
Mookie Betts drove in a run on a sacrifice fly off Diamondbacks reliever Jake Faria to give the Dodgers a 7-0 lead in the seventh inning.
AJ Pollock scored from third after reaching base on a single. He advanced to second when Faria walked Zach McKinstry and reached third when first baseman Christian Walker made a bad throw to third on a bunt by Walker Buehler. Faria struck out Gavin Lux to limit the damage.
Walker Buehler hasn’t allowed a hit through six innings for Dodgers
Dodgers starter Walker Buehler hasn’t allowed a hit through six innings, sending down the Diamondbacks in order to maintain a 6-0 lead going into the seventh inning.
Through 87 pitches, Buehler has struck out eight, walked two and hit one batter with a pitch.
End of sixth: Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 0
Justin Turner hits a three-run double to give Dodgers a 6-0 lead
Justin Turner hit a three-run double off Diamondbacks reliever Kevin Ginkel to give the Dodgers a 6-0 lead in the sixth inning.
Turner’s bases-loaded hit into the right-center field gap scored Zach McKinstry, Mookie Betts and Gavin Lux, all of whom reached base on walks. After Turner’s hit, Ginkel walked Will Smith before striking out Matt Beaty to cap the top half of the frame.
Ginkel relieved Diamondbacks starter Matt Peacock at the top of inning after Peacock allowed seven hits, three earned runs, walked two and struck out three over five innings.
Walker Buehler holding the Diamondbacks hitless through five innings
Walker Buehler hasn’t allowed a hit through five innings. He retired the Diamondbacks in order and is up to 74 pitches with seven strikeouts and two walks.
Will Smith hit a rare, hot-tub double, bouncing a 91-mph sinker by Matt Peacock over the wall in right-center field and into the 2013 NL West title celebration zone (also known as the Chase Field Pool). In addition to proving that baseballs indeed float, it was Smith’s third hit of the game — his first being a two-run home run in the first inning.
Smith, who’s a triple shy of hitting for the cycle, was left stranded at second when Matt Beaty flied out and Chris Taylor grounded out.
End of fifth: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0
Dodgers lead 3-0 heading into the fifth inning
Walker Buehler hasn’t allowed a hit through four innings and 64 pitches. He walked Ketel Marte for his second walk of the game before striking out Eduardo Escobar and Christian Walker. Stephen Vogt lined out to first to strand Marte on second.
The Dodgers went down in order in the top of the inning.
End of fourth: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0
Walker Buehler in command with Dodgers leading 3-0
Walker Buehler hasn’t allowed a hit through three innings, retiring the Diamondbacks in order. He’s up to 45 pitches. In the second inning, he hit a batter with a pitch and walked another. Other than that, Buehler has been peerless so far.
Will Smith led off the third with a single, but was forced out at second when Matt Beaty grounded to short. Chris Taylor drew a walk from Matt Peacock, but went nowhere after AJ Pollock flied out and Zach McKinstry struck out.
End of third: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0
Gavin Lux drives in a run to make it 3-0 Dodgers in the second inning
Gavin Lux hit a run-scoring single off Diamondbacks starter Matt Peacock to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead in the second inning.
Lux drove in Zach McKinstry, who beat left fielder David Peralta’s throw to home. McKinstry singled to center to reach base and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Walker Buehler. Justin Turner hit into a double play after Lux’s hit for the final outs.
Walker Buehler didn’t look quite as good as he did in the first. He hit Carson Kelly with a 96-mph pitch that ricocheted off the Diamondbacks catcher’s wrist. Kelly, remarkably, managed to stay in the game and even caught a half inning before leaving. An X-ray later confirmed he sustained a broken wrist.
Buehler then walked David Peralta, but got Pavin Smith to hit into a double play to end the inning.
End of second: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0
Will Smith hits two-run home run to give Dodgers an early lead
Will Smith hit a two-run home run off Diamondbacks starter Matt Peacock to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead in the first inning.
Smith lifted a pitch high in the zone just over the right field wall to get his eighth home of the season. The homer drove in Mookie Betts, who led off the game with a standup double.
Matt Beaty nearly made it back-to-back home runs for the Dodgers when he pounded a 94-mph sinker to deep center field, where the ball struck just below the top of the wall. Beaty managed to stretch out a triple on the hit but was left stranded when Chris Taylor grounded out to end the inning.
Walker Buehler retired the Diamondbacks on 10 pitches, striking out Eduardo Escobar to end the 1-2-3 inning.
Chase Field in Phoenix is loaded with Dodgers fans tonight — Arizona’s 15-game losing streak (and major-league worst 20-51 record) can’t be a big selling point with the Diamondbacks’ faithful.
End of the first: Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0
How Fernandomania brought change to the Dodgers’ fanbase
“Fernandomania @40” is a multi-episode documentary series that examines star pitcher Fernando Valenzuela’s impact on the Dodgers, Major League Baseball and the Latino community in Los Angeles 40 years ago.
The latest episode of the series looks at how Valenzuela’s arrival to the Dodgers change their fanbase.
When the Dodgers were in Brooklyn, owner Walter O’ Malley prided himself on team rosters that reflected the community. When he moved west in 1958, that proved a tougher task — until Fernando Valenzuela’s arrival. With the frenzy surrounding of Fernandomania in 1981, the complexion of a predominantly white fanbase transformed into something that looked a lot more like Los Angeles itself.
Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy play in simulated game, remain on track to come off injured list early in week
PHOENIX — The Dodgers have taken advantage of their time in Arizona by having two key players take reps at their spring training facility in Glendale over the last two days.
On Saturday, both Cody Bellinger (hamstring) and Max Muncy (oblique) played in a simulated game at Camelback Ranch, according to Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. Each player took six at-bats. Muncy clubbed a home run. Bellinger played defense, Muncy didn’t.
The two sluggers remain on track to come off the injured list when the team is in San Diego. They’re both eligible for activation Tuesday. The Dodgers play three games against the Padres starting Monday.
Corey Seager, the other big bat on the injured list, is scheduled to take batting practice on the field again Saturday. The shortstop took part in batting practice with teammates for the first time Friday since fracturing his right hand May 15.
He is expected to go on rehab assignment early in the week. Roberts said the destination for the rehab assignment — either triple-A Oklahoma City or single-A Rancho Cucamonga — hasn’t been decided.
The Dodgers could use the reinforcements; they were shut out for the first time since 2019 on Wednesday and were held scoreless Friday against the Diamondbacks until scoring three runs in the eighth inning.
DODGERS (42-27, +96)
Mookie Betts CF
Gavin Lux SS
Justin Turner 3B
Will Smith C
Matt Beaty 1B
Chris Taylor 2B
AJ Pollock LF
Zach McKinstry RF
Walker Buehler RHP
DIAMONDBACKS (20-51, -100)
Josh Rojas 2B
Ketel Marte CF
Eduardo Escobar 3B
Christian Walker 1B
Carson Kelly C
David Peralta LF
Pavin Smith RF
Nick Ahmed SS
Matt Peacock RHP
Betting lines and odds for Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks
The Dodgers look to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks for the 13th time in 14 games when the two teams continue their three-game series at Chase Field on Saturday.
The Dodgers give Walker Buehler the start as he continues his career unbeaten streak against the Diamondbacks. He has a 2.70 ERA with two walks in 16.1 innings across three starts in Chase Field. For the season, has a 1.96 road ERA across five starts.
Matt Peacock will get the start for the Diamondbacks. He has allowed at least three runs in four of six starts this season, with the team losing nine of the last 10 games he has played in.
Four of the five games between these the teams have gone under, with the Diamondbacks scoring a combined six runs. The Dodgers have exceeded four runs just once.
Between the regular season and postseason, the Dodgers are 12-2 in Buehler’s last 14 road starts. Arizona’s team ERA of 5.34 is last in the league, but the Diamondbacks have covered the run line in four of their last six home games.
Steven Souza Jr.’s home run helps Dodgers defeat skidding Diamondbacks
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 3-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday night in Phoenix.
PHOENIX — Steven Souza Jr.’s first visit to Chase Field since March 2019, since he tore his left knee to shreds stepping on home plate, since he doubted whether he would ever play in the major leagues again, couldn’t have ended more differently.
The bad memories inevitably enter his mind when he entered the building Friday. The struggles in his short time as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The injuries, culminating with that freak play in a meaningless exhibition game. He returned as a member of the Dodgers in search of closure.
He found it during the Dodgers’ 3-0 win in right field and in the batter’s box in his second game with the club.
Moments after crashing into the wall feet-first down the right-field line for a catch in the seventh inning, the 30-year-old veteran smashed a line drive over the left-field wall to snap a scoreless tie in the eighth as the Dodgers (42-27) handed the Diamondbacks (20-51) their franchise-record 15th straight loss.
“My tenure here wasn’t great just because of all those things,” Souza said. “So to be able to put that behind me tonight and play baseball, feel healthy and feel great with this amazing group of guys behind me was great.”
Kenley Jansen retires the Diamondbacks in order to seal Dodgers’ win
Kenley Jansen retired the Diamondbacks in order to pick up his 17th save, sending Arizona to a franchise-record 15th consecutive loss in the Dodgers’ 3-0 win Friday.
The Dodgers improved to 42-27 and the Diamondbacks fell to 20-51. Trevor Bauer allowed three hits, walked three and struck out eight to go to 7-5 on the season.
Steven Souza Jr. hits solo home run to jump start Dodgers
Steven Souza Jr. led off the eighth inning with a home run, Mookie Betts drove in another run and Andy Burns scored on a balk by Arizona reliever Stefan Crichton to give the Dodgers a 3-0 lead.
Joe Mantiply relieved starter Caleb Smith at the top of the inning and promptly gave up a home run to Souza, who slapped the ball into the Diamondbacks’ bullpen for his first home run since joining the Dodgers earlier this week.
Mantiply failed to record an out, walking Gavin Lux and giving up a double to Dodgers pinch-hitter Andy Burns before being relieved by Crichton. Betts sent Crichton’s second pitch into deep center field to plate Lux before a balk called on Crichton sent home Burns from third.
Smith allowed one hit over seven innings before the Dodgers’ eighth-inning surge.
Taking over for Trevor Bauer, Jimmy Nelson retired the Diamondbacks in order. Arizona’s 15th consecutive loss looms large.
End of eighth: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0
Steven Souza Jr. makes spectacular catch for Dodgers in the seventh
New guy Steve Souza Jr. showcased his veteran glove when he made an amazing sliding catch into the right-field wall on a popup hit by Nick Ahmed.
The foul-ball catch was part of another 1-2-3 inning for Trevor Bauer, who has allowed three hits, three walks and struck out eight through 115 pitches.
The Dodgers continue to struggle at the plate against Diamondbacks starter Caleb Smith, who’s done a good job of keeping contact on the ground.
Will Smith, AJ Pollock and Albert Pujols went down in order to keep the Dodgers limited to just one hit.
End of seventh: Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 0
Trevor Bauer and Caleb Smith locked in pitching duel through six innings
Dodgers starter Trevor Bauer kept the shutout going, striking out Christian Walker and David Peralta as part of a 1-2-3 inning. Bauer is at 101 pitches entering the seventh.
Justin Turner grounded out into a double play — the Dodgers’ third of the night — to keep the Dodgers limited to just one hit. The three double-plays tied a season high for the Dodgers.
Diamondbacks starter Caleb Smith has walked four and struck out five over 91 pitches.
End of sixth: Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 0
Dodgers and Diamondbacks remain scoreless heading into the sixth
Another 1-2-3 inning for the Dodgers. Steven Souza Jr. flied out, Gavin Lux struck out and Trevor Bauer grounded out.
Diamondbacks starter Caleb Smith has held the Dodgers to one hit so far.
Ketel Marte hit a two-out single and celebrated with a Bauer-esque sword-sheathing celebration, but he was left stranded at first when Eduardo Escobar popped out to Justin Turner in foul territory to cap the inning.
End of fifth: Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 0
Dodgers load bases, but fail to score in the fourth
Will Smith grounded out into a bases-loaded 6-4-3 double play in the fourth inning to stymie the Dodgers’ best chance of scoring so far.
AJ Pollock singled to load the bases — the first hit allowed by Caleb Smith — after the Diamondbacks pitcher walked Chris Taylor and allowed Justin Turner to reach base on a fielder’s choice.
In the bottom half, Trevor Bauer walked Christian Walker and allowed a single to David Peralta, but left them stranded on bases when Carson Kelly flied out to left field.
End of fourth: Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 0
Clayton Kershaw reiterates he wants to help fight racial injustice
PHOENIX — Friday marked the seventh anniversary of the no-hitter in Clayton Kershaw’s Hall of Fame career, a 15-strikeout, no-walk masterpiece against the Colorado Rockies that fell an error short of a perfect game. That performance will be remembered long after his career is over. So will what he did on a more recent June 18.
On June 18, 2020, while Major League Baseball remained shut down because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Kershaw, normally averse to the spotlight, did something unusual. He spoke up, unsolicited, with a message on Twitter.
“Silence won’t cut it,” he tweeted. “We have to start by saying something and STANDING up for our Black brothers and sisters. I want to listen, I want to learn, I want to do better and be different. I want my kids to be different.”
The timing was not a coincidence. Kershaw expressed his thoughts the day before Juneteenth, which commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. On Thursday, President Biden signed legislation to make Juneteenth a federal holiday.
On Friday, Kershaw reiterated his desire to remain an ally in the movement against racial injustice through Kershaw’s Challenge, his foundation centered on serving vulnerable and at-risk children.
It’s been five years since the Dodgers traded Zach Lee for Chris Taylor. One is on track to be an All-Star. The other is trying to get on an MLB roster.
“I think when you have a white kid and a Black kid grow up, regardless of socioeconomic status, or whatever it may be, they should at least have an opportunity in their life and a future and an ability to go to high school and an ability to graduate, an ability to go to college,” Kershaw said. “If they want to put the same amount of work in, it shouldn’t be that because of where you grow up or who your parents are that you can’t go to high school or you can’t go to college. Or the color of your skin.”
Dodgers pitcher David Price, who is Black, praised Kershaw’s initiative last year. Price hopes it still resonates coming from someone of Kershaw’s stature and background.
“I know a lot of people appreciated it,” Price said Friday.
“It’s bigger than baseball. He can affect a lot of lives in a positive way. That’s the way to go about life, in general, just to be able to impact others.”
Kershaw has said Price and Mookie Betts were among the current and former teammates who helped educate him on systemic racism. They compelled him to go public, to become an ally. A year later, the effort — and Kershaw’s support — continues.
“Nothing that we’ve done is going to fix anything, but I think we’ve made progress as far as programs that we’ve built and some different things that we’ve supported I think we’ve helped grow an understanding of what we’ve been able to do,” Kershaw said.
“And just for myself, personally, continue to learn and continue to understand what social justice really means and what that looks like.”
Both teams off to slow starts at the plate heading into the fourth inning
Other than walking Josh Rojas, it was a textbook third inning for Trevor Bauer. He got Nick Ahmed to line out, struck out Caleb Smith and got Ketel Marte to line out to second.
Smith sent down the Dodgers in order in the third, getting Gavin Lux and Bauer to ground out before striking out Mookie Betts. Smith hasn’t allowed a hit, but he did issue two walks in the first.
End of third: Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 0
Dodgers and Diamondbacks still scoreless after two innings
Trevor Bauer retired the Arizona Diamondbacks in order and Arizona Diamondbacks starter Caleb Smith did the same in the top of the inning.
End of second: Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 0
Trevor Bauer gets out of first-inning jam to keep game scoreless
Dodgers starter Trevor Bauer got out of a first-inning jam after Diamondbacks leadoff batter Josh Rojas doubled off the towering wall in straightaway center at Chase Field.
After giving up the double, Bauer struck out Ketel Marte, got Eduardo Escobar to fly out and then struck out Christian Walker to end the inning.
Albert Pujols grounded out into a 6-4-3 double play to end the top half of the first after Mookie Betts and Justin Turner drew walks off Caleb Smith.
End of first: Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 0
Corey Seager expected to go on rehab assignment early next week
PHOENIX — Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said shortstop Corey Seager, out since fracturing his hand May 15, is expected to go out on rehab assignment early next week.
Roberts said Seager will take batting practice with teammates at Chase Field on Friday for the first time since getting hit by the pitch last month.
Max Muncy will also take batting practice on the field, according to Roberts. Muncy is on the injured list with a right oblique strain. Roberts said Muncy could come off the injured list Tuesday or Wednesday when the club is in San Diego. Muncy was put on the injured list last Saturday.
Cody Bellinger, Roberts said, could also be reinstated in San Diego. The center fielder is on the injured list with a left hamstring injury.
Mookie Betts CF
Chris Taylor 2B
Justin Turner 3B
Albert Pujols 1B
AJ Pollock LF
Will Smith C
Steven Souza Jr. RF
Gavin Lux SS
Trevor Bauer P
Dodgers activate Garrett Cleavinger, trade Dennis Santana
PHOENIX — The Dodgers completed three roster moves Thursday, their off-day before beginning a three-game series against the last-place Diamondbacks on Friday.
The club activated Garrett Cleavinger from the injured list and optioned outfielder Luke Raley to triple-A Oklahoma City. The Dodgers then traded right-hander Dennis Santana to the Rangers for minor league left-hander Kelvin Bautista.
Cleavinger had been on the injured list since May 18 with elbow inflammation. He’s given up six runs — three earned — in six innings across eight starts. Raley is 9 for 50 (.180) with a .528 on-base-plus slugging percentage in 27 games in the majors this season.
Santana was moved after being designated for assignment last week, ending an eight-year tenure with the organization that began when he was signed out of the Dominican Republic as an infielder in 2013. Santana, 25, spent most of the season in the majors and struggled. He left Los Angeles with a 6.00 ERA in 15 innings across 16 appearances.
Bautista, 21, hasn’t pitched in an official game since appearing in three games — all against Dodgers affiliates — in the Arizona rookie league in 2019.
How to watch and stream the Dodgers vs. Arizona Diamondbacks series
How to stream
Spectrum SportsNet LA is available with a subscription to AT&T TV “Choice Plan” ($84.99 / mo.). You can stream the game on your Apple TV, Roku, Fire TV, Chromecast, and your browser.
Fans outside of the Los Angeles market can stream the games using MLB.TV.
How to watch on TV
Spectrum SportsNet LA and SportsNet LA Desportes are carrying the games on cable and satellite providers.
How to listen
In Los Angeles, the games can be heard on 570 AM or 1020 AM (Español).
He’s the guy the Dodgers traded for Chris Taylor. He hasn’t given up
Las Vegas Ballpark is not in Las Vegas. The ballpark is in a suburb 10 miles west of the big city. In the distance, you can see the bright lights.
So close, yet so far.
The desert temperature has dipped into the mid-90s as afternoon turns into evening, and a journeyman minor league pitcher offers a handshake. This is his seventh consecutive triple-A season, for six different organizations.
Zach Lee has flecks of gray in his beard. He turns 30 in September. The Dodgers drafted him when he was 18.
Betting lines and odds for Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks on Friday
The Dodgers have won the opener of each of their last 11 series heading into Friday’s road game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The Dodgers will give Trevor Bauer the start. He lost his previous two starts, giving up nine runs, seven of which were earned. Bauer has allowed at least earned three runs in each of his past three starts after allowing two earned runs of fewer in 10 straight starts.
The Diamondbacks will look to Caleb Smith to snap their 14 game losing streak. Smith has been coming out of the bullpen for much of the season and has done his best work in relief. In four starts, Smith has a 5.19 ERA with 2.1 home runs and 4.7 walks per nine innings compared to a 2.70 ERA with 0.6 home runs and 3.9 walks issued per nine innings in 18 appearances out of the bullpen.
The Diamondbacks lead the National League in home runs allowed per nine innings with 1.5. They’re also the only team with a team ERA above 5.00 in the MLB; a big reason why just nine of their 30 home games have gone under the total, which is the lowest gone-under rate for any team in MLB.
The Dodgers lead the National League in runs per game overall and runs per game on the road. They also have allowed three runs or fewer in eight of their last nine games. The Diamondbacks are the only National League team that has won fewer than 40% of their home games with an 11-19 record in Arizona. They’ve played six of their last seven games over the total, allowing at least five runs in each of those games.