Dodgers proud to reach 100 wins but overtaking Giants remains priority
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 3-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday.
Over the final week, they’ll need at least several more to catch the San Francisco Giants.
The Dodgers (100-56) remained two games behind the Giants, who beat the Colorado Rockies on Sunday, in the National League West standings with six games to play. It could take nearperfection down the stretch for them to win a ninth straight division title.
But after a disappointing loss Saturday night, the Dodgers did exactly what they needed to Sunday afternoon, dispatching the Diamondbacks (50-106) with ease to clinch the franchise’s ninth 100-win season and become just the sixth defending World Series champion in the divisional era (since 1969) to amass a triple-digit win total.
Dodgers defeat Diamondbacks, 3-0
Dodgers: Right-hander J.B. Wendelken now pitching for the Diamondbacks. J.Turner grounded to short. Betts flied to center. Seager walked on six pitches. T.Turner walked on five pitches. Muncy flied to left.
Diamondbacks: Right-hander Kenley Jansen now pitching for the Dodgers. Josh Rojas, batting for Vargas, singled to center. Pavin Smith, batting for Perdomo, struck out swinging. Josh VanMeter, batting for Wendelken, struck out looking. Marte grounded to first.
Final score: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0
We go to the ninth, 3-0 Dodgers
Dodgers: Right-hander Taylor Widener now pitching for the Diamondbacks. Muncy walked on four pitches. Pollock was hit by a pitch. Lux popped to short. Taylor flied to right. Barnes flied to center.
Diamondbacks: Right-hander Corey Knebel now pitching for the Dodgers. Taylor to left. Justin Turner in at third. Walker struck out swinging. Kelly struck out swinging. Peralta lined to right.
Score after eight: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0
Dodgers lead 3-0 after seven innings
Dodgers: Right-hander Tyler Clippard now pitching for the Diamondbacks. Betts flied to center. Seager struck out swinging. T.Turner grounded to third.
Diamondbacks: Right-hander Joe Kelly now pitching for the Dodgers. Marte grounded to short. Ramos grounded to the pitcher. Varsho grounded to second.
Score after seven: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0
Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0 after six innings
Dodgers: Right-hander Sean Poppen now pitching for the Diamondbacks. Pollock singled to right. Lux singled to center, Pollock to second. Taylor struck out swinging. Barnes struck out swinging. Matt Beaty was announced to hit for Urías. Left-hander Joe Mantiply now pitching for the Diamondbacks. Albert Pujols hit for Beaty. Pujols struck out swinging.
Diamondbacks: Left-hander Justin Bruihl now pitching for the Dodgers. Kelly singled to left. Peralta grounded to first, Kelly to second. Vargas grounded to short. Kelly took third on a wild pitch. Perdomo walked on six pitches. Kole Calhoun, batting for Mantiply, grounded to second.
Score after six: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0
It’s 3-0 Dodgers after five innings
Dodgers: Seager popped to short. T.Turner flied to right. Muncy grounded to third.
Diamondbacks: Ramos lined to left. Varsho flied to center. Walker struck out swinging.
Score after five: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0
Dodgers lead 3-0 after four innings
Dodgers: Taylor struck out swinging. Barnes grounded to second. Urías singled to center. Betts grounded to third, forcing Urías.
Diamondbacks: Vargas grounded to short. Perdomo singled to right. Smith bunted, forcing Perdomo. Marte grounded to third, forcing Smith.
Score after four: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0
Corey Seager becomes 23rd member of L.A. Dodgers’ 100-homer club
Corey Seager’s second home run of the game Sunday was also the 100th home run of his career, putting him in some select L.A. Dodger company. A look at L.A. Dodgers who hit 100 home runs with the team:
1. Eric Karros, 270
2. Ron Cey, 228
3. Steve Garvey, 211
4. Matt Kemp, 203
5. Mike Piazza, 177
6. Pedro Guerrero, 171
7. Raul Mondesi, 163
8. Andre Ethier, 162
8. Shawn Green, 162
10. Willie Davis, 154
11. Adrian Beltre, 147
12. Dusty Baker, 144
13. Justin Turner, 141
14. Mike Marshall, 137
15. Cody Bellinger, 132
16. Joc Pederson, 130
17. Gary Sheffield, 129
18. Frank Howard, 123
19. Max Muncy, 117
20. Yasiel Puig, 108
21. Adrian Gonzalez, 101
22. Corey Seager, 100
22. Steve Yeager, 100
Chris Taylor, with 79, is the next active Dodger closes to 100 homers.
Dodgers take 3-0 lead on Corey Seager’s second homer of game
Dodgers: Betts grounded to short. Seager homered to DEEP right, estimated at 464 feet. T.Turner doubled to center. Muncy struck out swinging. Pollock walked on four pitches. Left-hander Caleb Smith replaces Mejia. Lux grounded to first.
Diamondbacks: Marte flied to left. Ramos singled to left. Varsho singled to right and took second on Betts’ error, Ramos to third. Walker grounded into a fielder’s choice, all runners safe. Bases loaded, one out. Kelly flied to right. Peralta struck out swinging.
Score after three: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0
It’s 2-0 Dodgers after two
Dodgers: Chris Taylor walked on six pitches. Austin Barnes grounded into a 6-4-3 double play. Urías grounded to second.
Diamondbacks: Peralta singled to third. Ildemaro Vargas flied to right. Geraldo Perdomo flied to center. Humberto Mejia grounded to third.
Score after two: Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0
Dodgers take 2-0 lead on homers by Corey Seager and Trea Turner
Dodgers: Right-hander Humberto Mejia pitching for the Diamondbacks. Mookie Betts grounded to third. Corey Seager homered to left, estimated at 393 feet. Trea Turner homered to left-center, estimated at 413 feet. Max Muncy popped to short. AJ Pollock walked on nine pitches. Gavin Lux popped to third.
Diamondbacks: Left-hander Julio Urías pitching for the Dodgers. Ketel Marte popped to second. Henry Ramos doubled to left. Daulton Varsho popped to second. Christian Walker walked (which seems appropriate) on seven pitches. Carson Kelly struck out swinging.
Score after one: Dodgers 2, Diamondbacks 0
Julio Urías takes the mound in Dodgers’ rubber match against Diamondbacks
PHOENIX — After falling to two games back in the National League West standings on Saturday, the Dodgers will try to rebound in their series rubber match against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday afternoon.
The Dodgers made a couple changes to their lineup, putting AJ Pollock back in left field and moving Chris Taylor to third base. Justin Turner got a day off. Catcher Austin Barnes will also be behind the plate.
Sunday will be Taylor’s second consecutive start after he battled a neck issue earlier in the week.
While Taylor is still getting treatment from the training staff, manager Dave Roberts said the team believes they are “out of the woods” with Taylor’s injury.
Julio Urías will be on the mound, entering the game with a 3.10 ERA and 18-3 record.
The left-hander is coming off one of his poorer starts of the season, after he gave four runs in six innings against the Colorado Rockies earlier this week. Urías’ velocity was also down for a second consecutive start.
Here’s the Dodgers full lineup Sunday:
Mookie Betts, RF
Corey Seager, SS
Trea Turner, 2B
Max Muncy, 1B
AJ Pollock, LF
Gavin Lux, CF
Chris Taylor, 3B
Austin Barnes, C
Julio Urías, P
Roberts still didn’t offer a return date for Cody Bellinger (left rib fracture), but said the outfielder’s batting practice session on Saturday looked good.
“Hopefully we can build on that today,” Roberts said. “Tomorrow will be an off day and we’ll just see where he’s at in the coming days. Obviously he hasn’t seen live pitching. [We have to] see how he feels. So there’s a lot of factors that are going into when we activate him.”
Bellinger said on Saturday he is hoping to return as soon as Tuesday, the first day he will be eligible to come off the injured list.
Final week rotation
Roberts said the Dodgers won’t make any changes to their starting rotation for the final week of the regular season, even with Monday’s off day.
Roberts said that will include another start for Tony Gonsolin.
The Dodgers have the rotation set up currently so that Max Scherzer would pitch in a potential Game 163 or in the wild-card game.
Dodgers’ division title struggles deepen with loss to last-place Arizona
PHOENIX — It was set up to be a night of reaching milestones and making up, or at the very least maintaining, valuable ground in the National League West standings.
Instead, the Dodgers suffered a dismal string of results on Saturday, losing 7-2 to the Arizona Diamondbacks as their deficit to the San Francisco Giants in the division race doubled from one game to two.
With more than a week remaining in the regular season, a two-game gap isn’t insurmountable; nor is it fatal for a Dodgers team that, at worst, has clinched a spot in the wild-card game.
Still, Saturday seemed like a day for the Dodgers (99-56) to strengthen their spot in the standings, not stumble further from the division lead.
Dodgers can’t keep pace with Diamondbacks in 7-2 loss
Trea Turner hit his second home run of the game in the ninth, but it was too little, too late for the Dodgers in a 7-2 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday.
It marked the ninth multi-homer game of Turner’s career. The blast to left field came off Diamondbacks reliever Caleb Smith.
With the San Francisco Giants defeating the Colorado Rockies on Saturday, the Dodgers are two games out of first place in the NL West.
The Dodgers will wrap up their three-game series against Arizona on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. PDT.
Diamondbacks score two more runs to take a 7-1 lead in eighth
Arizona’s David Peralta laced a two-run single into left field off Dodgers reliever Evan Phillips to give the Diamondbacks a 7-1 lead in the eighth inning.
Josh Rojas and Jake McCarthy, who reached base on walks, scored on Peralta’s hit. An alert, running catch by Mookie Betts at the wall in right field on a ball hit by Ketel Marte sent the game into the ninth.
Dodgers: Facing Diamondbacks reliever Noe Ramirez, the Dodgers went down in order. Matt Beaty grounded out and Mookie Betts and Corey Seager each flied out.
Diamondbacks score another run in the seventh to take 5-1 lead
Arizona’s Kole Calhoun hit a pinch-hit RBI single off Dodgers reliever David Price to extend the Diamondbacks’ lead to 5-1 in the seventh inning.
Jake McCarthy scored on Calhoun’s line drive to center after reaching base on a walk. He then advanced to second on a wild pitch by Price before scoring.
Daulton Varsho then hit a two-out drive off the wall in left field for a double, sending Calhoun to third and ending Price’s relief stint. Phil Bickford got Christian Walker to ground out to third to end the inning.
Dodgers: What looked to be a promising inning at the plate quickly fizzled into nothing for the Dodgers. With Joe Mantiply taking over for Zac Gallen on the mound for Arizona, consecutive singles by Chris Taylor and Justin Turner put two on with one out. Manager Dave Roberts opted to have Albert Pujols pinch hit for Gavin Lux, and Pujols hit into a 5-4-3 double play, thwarting any potential Dodgers rally.
End of the seventh: Diamondbacks 5, Dodgers 1
Trea Turner hits solo home run to get Dodgers onto the scoreboard
Trea Turner hit a solo home run to the left-field corner off Arizona starter Zac Gallen to make it 4-1 Diamondbacks in the sixth inning.
It was Turner’s 23rd home run of the season and the third hit of the game for the Dodgers. Max Muncy then flied out and Zac Gallen caught Will Smith swinging for his eighth strikeout to cap the frame.
Diamondbacks: Brusdar Graterol retired the Diamondbacks in order on 10 pitches.
End of the sixth: Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 1
Diamondbacks take 4-0 lead over Dodgers, chase out Clayton Kershaw
Arizona’s Daulton Varsho hit a run-scoring single to give the Diamondbacks a 4-0 lead over the Dodgers in the fifth inning and end Clayton Kershaw’s night on the mound.
Zac Gallen led off with a single to second before Ketel Marte picked up his third hit of the game on a drive to center field. Marte eventually scored on Varsho’s hit to left field. Gallen was forced out at third on a grounder by Henry Ramos. The Dodgers could have forced out Marte on the play, but Trea Turner took his foot off second base before catching Justin Turner’s throw.
Brusdar Graterol took over for Kershaw with one out in the fifth inning, getting Christian Walker to ground out into a 4-3 double play. Kershaw allowed three earned runs, six hits, walked one and struck out three over 73 pitches.
Dodgers: Gallen continues to confound the Dodgers at the plate. Through five innings the Diamondbacks starter has held the Dodgers to two hits and has seven strikeouts. He retired the Dodgers in order in the fifth, getting Gavin Lux to fly out to center field before Kershaw and Mookie Betts grounded out.
End of the fifth: Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 0
Cody Bellinger eager to return and end slump with a refined swing
PHOENIX — Cody Bellinger has a new haircut and, he hopes, a more refined swing.
Now, he’s just waiting on his ribs to heal enough to showcase them in game action.
Out since Sep. 17 with a fractured left rib, Bellinger made an encouraging step in his recovery process on Saturday by going through several rounds of pregame batting practice and catching fly balls in the outfield.
Afterward, Bellinger said the pain in his ribs — which he hurt after colliding with teammate Gavin Lux in the outfield during a game earlier this month — is becoming more tolerable and that he’s hopeful he can come off the injured list as soon as Tuesday, the first day he’ll be eligible to return to the active roster.
“Today was very promising,” Bellinger said. “Swinging felt great. Throwing was the worst part [right after the injury happened] because of the motion where the rib was, and that actually felt pretty good today. So I would say I’m close.”
Diamondbacks take 3-0 lead over Dodgers on Justin Turner’s throwing error
A throwing error by Justin Turner allowed Christian Walker to score and give the Arizona Diamondbacks a 3-0 lead in the fourth inning.
After fielding a grounder by Ildemaro Vargas, Turner overthrew Max Muncy at first, allowing Walker to score from third. Walker reached base on a walk and then moved to third on a fly to right field by Carson Kelly and a soft grounder by Josh Rojas. Clayton Kershaw then struck out Jake McCarthy to end the inning.
Dodgers: Justin Turner hit a two-out single, but was left on base when Chris Taylor flied out to center field.
End of the fourth: Diamondbacks 4, Dodgers 0
Dodgers trail Diamondbacks heading into the fourth inning
Dodgers: Mookie Betts and Corey Seager drew two-out walks before Gavin Lux grounded out to first to cap the frame.
Diamondbacks: Daulton Varsho hit into a 4-3 double play to make it a 1-2-3 inning.
End of the third: Diamondbacks 2, Dodgers 0
Diamondbacks hit another first-pitch home run off Clayton Kershaw
It was deja vu for Clayton Kershaw in the second inning. After allowing a first-pitch home run to Ketel Marte in the first inning, Kershaw allowed a first-pitch homer to Carson Kelly in the second inning to give Arizona a 2-0 lead.
Kelly’s 13th home run of the season looked similar to Marte’s blast, with the ball going into Arizona’s bullpen in the left-field corner.
A throwing error by Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager allowed Ildemaro Vargos to reach first before he was forced out a second on an infield grounder by Jake McCarthy. Kershaw then picked up strikeout No. 2 by getting Zac Gallen to look at an 86-mph slider.
Dodgers: Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zac Gallen is baffling the Dodgers at the plate. Gallen’s right arm has recorded every Arizona out so far, striking out Will Smith, Justin Turner and Chris Taylor in the second to give him six strikeouts so far.
End of the second inning: Diamondbacks 2, Dodgers 0
Clayton Kershaw gives up home run on his first pitch
Arizona’s Ketel Marte hit a first-pitch home run off Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw to give the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Marte’s home run, which went over the wall in the left-field corner at Chase Field, was his 13th homer of the season. It marked the fourth time Kershaw allowed a home run on his first pitch of a game. After Marte’s home run, Henry Ramos and Daulton Varsho each flied out before Kershaw struck out Christian Walker.
Dodgers at the plate: Diamondbacks starter Zac Gallen got off to a strong start, striking out Mookie Betts, Trea Turner and Max Muncy. He allowed a single to Corey Seager, but the shortstop was left stranded at second when Muncy struck out.
End of the first: Diamondbacks 1, Dodgers 0
Chris Taylor returns to starting lineup; Clayton Kershaw on the mound
PHOENIX — After a neck injury forced Chris Taylor to miss two games earlier this week and come off the bench in the two after that, the outfielder will be back in the Dodgers’ starting lineup Saturday, batting seventh and playing left field as the team tries to clinch a series win against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
“He’s good to go,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Excited to get him a start.”
Taylor takes over in left for AJ Pollock, with Gavin Lux playing in center for a third straight game.
Roberts said the team would continue to monitor Taylor and Pollock — who also recently returned from a hamstring strain — as they build to full strength.
“They both are valuable to our ball club, being in there either starting or off the bench, but most importantly we have to keep them both healthy,” Roberts said of Pollock and Taylor. “So getting AJ out of games, managing CT’s starts, things like that will be beneficial. Certainly the way Gavin has played has made things a lot better for all of us.”
AJ Pollock, who rejoined the Dodgers this week after recovering from a hamstring injury, hit a two-run home run and made an amazing catch Friday.
Taylor’s return was the only change the Dodgers made from their Friday lineup. Justin Turner will again bat sixth. Will Smith remains behind the plate with Clayton Kershaw taking the mound.
Saturday will be Kershaw’s third start since returning earlier this month after a left elbow injury.
The left-hander threw 50 pitches in a 4 1/3-inning, one-run start on Sept. 13 against the Diamondbacks, then went up to 74 pitches in a five-inning, one-run start against the Cincinnati Reds last weekend.
Saturday will also be only the fifth time this season, and 18th time in his career, Kershaw has had Smith catching him in a game.
“He hasn’t worked with Clayton [as much] compared to Austin [Barnes],” Roberts said of Smith. “But he’s very familiar with him. He’s caught him plenty over the last couple years. Will’s our starting catcher, he’s caught all the other guys that we have. So I feel very confident that, as we finish out the season and get ready for the postseason, he’ll be in lockstep with all those guys.”
Here’s the Dodgers full lineup Saturday:
Mookie Betts, RF
Corey Seager, SS
Trea Turner, 2B
Max Muncy, 1B
Will Smith, C
Justin Turner, 3B
Chris Taylor, LF
Gavin Lux, CF
Clayton Kershaw, P
AJ Pollock shows no signs of rust in Dodgers’ victory over Diamondbacks
PHOENIX — When AJ Pollock suffered a hamstring injury earlier this month, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts initially feared the outfielder’s season might be over.
But since rejoining the Dodgers this week, Pollock has hardly shown any signs of rust.
A night after collecting two hits in his return to the starting lineup, Pollock stayed hot in the Dodgers’ 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday, hitting an early two-run home run and making a leaping catch at the wall defensively to help the club keep pace in the National League West race.
The Dodgers (99-55) didn’t gain any ground in the standings Friday, staying one game behind the San Francisco Giants, who beat the Colorado Rockies in Denver. But they didn’t slip either, with Pollock’s 17th home run of the season punctuating a three-run second inning that gave them a lead they protected the rest of the night.
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 4-2 win over the Diamondbacks on Friday.
Dodgers defeat Diamondbacks 4-2 for win No. 99
Dodgers left fielder Chris Taylor made two outstanding catches to save Kenley Jansen and preserve a 4-2 victory over the Diamondbacks in front of a sea of Dodger fans at Chase Field.
Taylor prevented a potential extra-base hit by David Peralta to lead off the bottom of the ninth when he made an incredible diving catch. Taylor then made a running catch on the next at-bat when Pavin Smith hit into the left-field corner. It was two of four spectacular catches the Dodgers recorded in the outfield tonight, with AJ Pollock and Gavin Lux getting the others earlier in the game.
Jansen then struck out Carson Kelly to earn his 35th save and the Dodgers’ 99th win of 2021.
In the top of the ninth, Diamondbacks reliever Noe Ramirez retired the Dodgers in order.
Blake Treinen gets out of jam to send game into the ninth
Dodgers: Diamondbacks reliever Tyler Clippard struck out pinch-hitter Chris Taylor with the bases loaded to prevent the Dodgers from extending their lead.
Max Muncy hit a leadoff single before before Justin Turner hit a liner to center field two at-bats later to move Muncy to third. AJ Pollock then popped out and Gavin Lux walked before Clippard got Taylor on four pitches.
Diamondbacks: Dodgers reliever Blake Treinen issued consecutive walks to Josh Rojas and Ketel Marte before he struck out Kole Calhoun to stymie another Arizona scoring chance.
End of the eighth: Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 2
Dodgers lead 4-2 heading into the eighth inning
Dodgers: Corey Seager hit a two-out triple into the right-field corner, pulling a low pitch in the zone from Arizona reliever Sean Poppen for his first triple since May 3 vs. Milwaukee. Trea Turner then grounded out to third to end the inning.
Diamondbacks: Dodgers reliever Corey Knebel struck out Pavin Smith and Carson Kelly as part of a 1-2-3 inning.
End of the seventh: Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 2
Will Smith drives in run to give Dodgers a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning
Will Smith drove in Trea Turner on a sacrifice fly off Diamondbacks reliever Luis Frias to give the Dodgers a 4-2 lead in the sixth inning.
Turner extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a leadoff double for his 31st extra-base hit of the season. Max Muncy then singled on a sharp liner to center field before Smith flied out to left field to plate Turner from third.
After Justin Turner was forced out at second on an infield grounder from AJ Pollock, Diamondbacks reliever Joe Mantiply entered the game and struck out Gavin Lux to cap the frame.
Alex Vesia took over on the mound for Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin in the bottom of the sixth. Gonsolin allowed two earned runs, three hits and struck out seven over five innings.
Diamondbacks: Ketel Marte hit a one-out standing double into the right field corner off Vesia, who then walked Daulton Varsho. Kole Calhoun followed with a pop out to left that failed to move the runners. Vesia then completed the recovery by striking out David Peralta for the final out.
End of the sixth: Dodgers 4, Diamondbacks 2
Diamondbacks cut into the Dodgers’ lead in the fifth inning
Arizona’s Josh VanMeter hit a run-scoring single off Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin to make it 3-2 Dodgers heading into the sixth inning.
VanMeter’s single to left field drove in Pavin Smith, who struck out but reached base on what was ruled as a wild pitch that got past catcher Will Smith. A second wild pitch by Gonsolin allowed VanMeter to advance to second before the Dodgers pitcher struck out Jake McCarthy to end the inning.
Dodgers: Gavin Lux drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tony Gonsolin. Mookie Betts then grounded out and Corey Seager flied out to short.
End of the fifth: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 2
Gavin Lux makes spectacular catch to prevent a Diamondbacks run
Dodgers: Another 1-2-3 inning at the plate for the Dodgers, with Arizona starter Humberto Castellanos striking out Will Smith along the way. Castellanos has allowed five hits, three earned runs, one walk and struck out one over 59 pitches.
Diamondbacks: AJ Pollock isn’t the only ball-catching wall-crasher in the Dodgers’ outfield. Gavin Lux made a spectacular catch in center field, running into the wall in the right-center field gap to rob Kole Calhoun of a potential run-scoring double. Lux then quickly turned it into a double play after Daulton Varsha, who was almost all the way to third by the time he realized Lux made the improbable catch, couldn’t tag up to first in time.
Lux is making only his second start in center field for the Dodgers after playing in left field for weeks before Pollock’s return from injury.
End of the fourth: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1
Tony Gonsolin up to five strikeouts through three innings
Dodgers: Diamondbacks starter Humberto Castellanos retired the Dodgers in order, getting Corey Seager, Trea Turner and Max Muncy to hit into popups.
Diamondbacks: Tony Gonsolin struck out Castellanos and Josh Rojas to give him five strikeouts on 37 pitches.
End of the third: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1
AJ Pollock and Justin Turner propel Dodgers to 3-1 lead in second inning
AJ Pollock hit a two-run home run and Justin Turner hit a run-scoring single for the Dodgers before the Diamondbacks countered with a homer of their own to make it 3-1 in the bottom of the second inning.
Turner’s hit scored Will Smith from second, who opened the inning with a double. Pollock then drove in Turner on his 17th homer of the year — a blast to left-center field off Arizona starter Humberto Castellanos — much to the delight of the pro-Dodgers crowd.
After Tony Gonsolin reached first on a soft grounder to third, Mookie Betts grounded into a double play to end the top of the second.
Kole Calhoun was the first Diamondbacks batter of the second, and he crushed a 95-mph fastball from Gonsolin over the right-field wall. It was the former Angels outfielder’s fifth home run of the season. Gonsolin then struck out Pavin Smith and Carson Kelly to get out of the inning.
End of the second: Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1
AJ Pollock makes another spectacular catch in left field
Dodgers at the plate: Mookie Betts opened with a single off a deep grounder to Arizona shortstop Josh Rojas, who made a bad throw while rushing to get out his speedy adversary at first. Two at-bats later, Trea Turner hit into a 6-4-3 double play. Corey Seager, who reached base on a walk by Diamondbacks starter Humberto Castellanos, was out at second on the play.
Max Muncy then flied out to center field to leave Betts stranded at third.
Diamondbacks at the plate: AJ Pollock made another spectacular catch, this time off the first Arizona batter of the game. Pollock ran into the left-field wall while making a leaping catch on a fly ball hit by Josh Rojas. While the ball probably wouldn’t have left the field, it did prevent a potential extra-base hit for Rojas, much to the relief of Dodgers starter Tony Gonsolin. Despite a pretty hard collision with the padded wall, Pollock was fine.
Gonsolin struck out Daulton Varsho for the inning’s final out.
End of the first inning: Dodgers 0, Diamondbacks 0
Gavin Lux in center field again; Justin Turner dropped to sixth in batting order
PHOENIX — Gavin Lux has looked like a different hitter since returning to the Dodgers earlier this month.
To keep him in the lineup this week, the Dodgers have given him a different position to learn.
After starting in center field for the first time in the majors Thursday, Lux was slotted back into the position for Friday’s series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks, batting eighth as the Dodgers continue to try to catch the San Francisco Giants in the National League West standings.
Before this month, Lux had never played center in his professional career since the Dodgers drafted him 20th overall in 2016.
But, after playing center for the first time in a triple-A game with Oklahoma City on Sept. 5, Lux has been called upon to do the same in back-to-back games this week as the Dodgers navigate several injuries in their outfield.
Even when they don’t play their best, the resilient Dodgers find ways to win and stay on the heels of the San Francisco Giants for the NL West title.
Though Lux has limited outfield experience — he has also started 10 times in left field this season after playing exclusively at second base in his first two big league seasons — he continues to warrant opportunities with his bat.
Entering Friday, the 23-year-old was batting .444 with an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of 1.163 in 11 games since being called back up to the majors earlier this month.
“Just finding ways that I can help get in there and help us still win some games,” Lux said earlier this week, adding that he was feeling “a lot more comfortable” away from the infield.
“It’s just getting reps and taking reads off the swing,” he said. “So, night and day compared to a week ago.”
Lux’s center field experiment might not last much longer.
Manager Dave Roberts said Chris Taylor — who will be available off the bench Friday — is scheduled to return to the starting lineup in center field Saturday.
The team is hoping to get Cody Bellinger back from the injured list sometime next week as well, though Roberts said Bellinger isn’t progressing quite as fast as hoped from a left rib fracture he suffered in an outfield collision with Lux last weekend.
Max Muncy’s two-run homer in the 10th inning gave the Dodgers a 7-5 win over the Colorado Rockies in the series finale Thursday.
Bellinger, who is eligible to be activated as soon as Tuesday, is expected to take swings during batting practice Saturday.
“I don’t want to box him into playing on Tuesday,” Roberts said of Bellinger, who largely split playing time in center field with Taylor before his injury. “When it happens, it happens. It’s just kind of a day-to-day thing.”
In the meantime, Lux is giving the Dodgers another option — both with his bat and an increasing versatility in the outfield.
“With the outfield, center field you could argue is easiest, because the reads [off the bat] are more true,” Roberts said. “There’s certainly more ground to cover. I can count on the foot speed with Gavin.”
Justin Turner bats sixth
For the first time since 2015, Justin Turner was slotted lower than fifth in the Dodgers batting order Friday, hitting sixth as he tries to snap a recent 13-for-60 slump at the plate.
“Obviously, he’s been grinding, hasn’t been getting the results,” Roberts said of Turner, who still entered Friday with a .274 average and 25 home runs this season.
Roberts added: “I talked to Justin about it, just to give him a heads up, and it doesn’t bother him. He didn’t bat an eye. He’s just ready to help us win a ballgame regardless of where he hits in the order.”
Roberts said he believed Turner’s recent struggles have mainly been caused by timing issues in his swing.
“The biggest part of it, and he’ll attest himself, is when he’s getting pitches to handle, the at-bat isn’t ending,” Roberts said. “That’s common with all hitters when you’re not going great. When you get good pitches you got to do something with them. I think the last four to five weeks, he’s probably missed more than he’s used to.
“He’s been through spurts like this, like all hitters do at times in a season. [This one has lasted] maybe a little bit longer than hoped this year, but I know he’s going to turn it around and play big for us to finish out this season.”
Here’s the Dodgers (98-55) full lineup for Friday against the Diamondbacks (49-104):
Mookie Betts, RF
Corey Seager, SS
Trea Turner, 2B
Max Muncy, 1B
Will Smith, C
Justin Turner, 3B
AJ Pollock, LF
Gavin Lux, CF
Tony Gonsolin, P
Betting odds and lines for Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks on Friday
The Dodgers turn to Tony Gonsolin to try to lend some relief to a bullpen that has logged the fourth-most innings of any team since the All-Star Break when he starts against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday.
Gonsolin has yet to allow more than three runs in a game this season and has a 2.93 ERA, with the Dodgers 9-4 in games he pitches in.
The Dodgers’ bullpen has the second-best ERA in the league at 3.14. The team opened a -220 favorite at DraftKings and got to a -225 favorite overnight with the Diamondbacks deciding to give Humberto Castellanos the start.
The Diamondbacks have used Castellanos primarily as a starter after the team was 0-8 in games in which he entered the game out of the bullpen. They are 4-1 in his starts despite his 4.63 ERA.
The Diamondbacks have played just six of their last 25 games under the total while the Dodgers have had played nine of their last 34 games over the total. The total at DraftKings opened at 9.5 and climbed to 10 overnight with the Dodgers having scored at least five runs in nine of their last 10 games.
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ICYMI: Dodgers use late-inning rally to beat Rockies and move within a game of Giants
Highlights from the Dodgers’ 7-5 win over the Colorado Rockies on Thursday.
They were flat, trailing the Rockies by two runs with six outs remaining at Coors Field, on their way to dropping two of three games to the inferior club for the second time in four weeks. The San Francisco Giants meanwhile were working more magic 1,000 miles away at Petco Park, taking a lead over the San Diego Padres on a pinch-hit, three-run home run.
It was scoreboard watching to the nth degree.
“A little bit of a seesaw,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
If the results held, the Dodgers would’ve fallen three games behind the Giants in the standings with nine games left. Catching them would’ve been nearly impossible. But the results didn’t hold.