Edwin Ríos bolsters case for more playing time in Dodgers’ win over Diamondbacks
PHOENIX — So far this season, Edwin Ríos’ biggest challenge has been simply staying ready, trying to keep himself sharp between sporadic starts.
Lately, Ríos has been handed a different task.
With starts in six straight games, and 10 of the last 18, the left-handed slugger is simply trying to stay hot.
“Feels good knowing when you come to the field you’re gonna play,” said Ríos, whose recent stretch of playing time came after getting only five starts in the first 27 games. “Definitely soaking it in and trying to take advantage of it.”
Dodgers beat Dbacks to clinch winning road trip
PHOENIX — No matter what happens the rest of this weekend, the Dodgers will return home from this 10-game road trip with a winning record.
Despite some nervy moments from Craig Kimbrel in a two-run ninth, the Dodgers picked up their sixth victory of the trip with a 6-4 defeat of the Diamondbacks on Friday, taking their second-straight this weekend against the NL West foe.
Home runs from Edwin Ríos, Mookie Betts and Trea Turner keyed the victory, which also included a solid one-run, 4 1/3-inning start from rookie Ryan Pepiot.
Final: Dodgers 6, Dbacks 4
Ryan Pepiot pitches 4 1/3 innings in third MLB start; Trea Turner hits home run
Ryan Pepiot’s third MLB start was his best one yet, as the right-hander showed more consistent fastball command and swing-and-miss ability to get through 4 1/3 innings.
Pepiot did leave behind a jam in the fifth, exiting with one out and the bases loaded after a walk and two singles. But Brusdar Graterol limited the damage to just one run on a sacrifice fly — a tally the Dodgers immediately got back in the top of the sixth thanks to a Trea Turner solo home run.
Pepiot’s final line: 4.1 innings, 1 run, 3 hits, 3 walks, 5 strikeouts.
Top 6th: Dodgers lead 5-1
Dodgers take the lead on home runs from Edwin Ríos, Mookie Betts
The Dodgers didn’t take long to do some damage against a familiar foe.
After stranding a single in the first inning against Diamondbacks starter Madison Bumgarner, the Dodgers offense came to life in the second.
After a Justin Turner walk — ball four was thrown behind Turner’s back, leading a glare at Bumgarner from the veteran third baseman — and Hanser Alberto single, Edwin Ríos opened the scoring with a three-run bomb.
Friday is only Ríos’ second start against a left-handed pitcher this year. But in a 1-and-2 count, he got to an up-and-in fastball, launching his sixth home run of the season into the Dodgers bullpen down the right field line.
Two pitches later, Mookie Betts added to the lead, crushing a solo shot to left for his 13th home run of the year — putting him back in sole possession of the National League lead.
Mid 2nd: Dodgers lead 4-0
Dave Roberts to miss Friday’s game to attend daughter’s high school graduation; Bob Geren will manage
PHOENIX — Dave Roberts won’t be in the Dodgers dugout on Friday night.
The manager will miss the game to attend his daughter’s high school graduation. Bench coach Bob Geren will serve as manager instead.
On the field, Ryan Pepiot will take the mound for his third career start.
The Dodgers have also yet to announce any roster moves, despite Roberts saying on Thursday there was a possibility Max Muncy could go on the injured list.
Here’s the Dodgers full line Friday:
Starting lineups for Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks on Friday night
Here’s a look at the starting lineups for Friday’s game:
The Craig Kimbrel experience: How the Dodgers closer flips the switch from fun to fierce
It begins with the first chords of “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses, Slash’s opening guitar riff echoing around Dodger Stadium.
The crowd starts to buzz. The bullpen door swings open. And out lumbers the man with the scruffy beard, curly-haired ponytail and 381 career saves — his unflinching demeanor as stoic as it is imposing as he trots across the field and climbs atop the mound.
It’s all part of the Craig Kimbrel experience. And for the first time this season, Dodgers fans have seen it up close.
Traded to the team before the season, in hopes he could fill a Kenley Jansen-sized hole at the back of the bullpen, Kimbrel’s addition thus far has been a success.
He has converted all nine of his save opportunities, despite a couple of close calls. He has a 3.00 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 12 innings, flashing an overpowering arsenal that has made him the sport’s active career saves leader and all-time leader in strikeout percentage.
How to watch and stream the Dodgers this season
Here’s a look at the Dodgers broadcast and streaming schedule for the remainder of the 2022 regular season:
ICYMI: Freddie Freeman leads Dodgers with five RBIs to 14-1 rout over Diamondbacks
PHOENIX — The game was so out of hand by the eighth inning, relief pitcher Evan Phillips had a plate appearance … and drew a walk.
The game was so out of reach by the ninth, infielder Hanser Alberto took the mound … and recorded the final three outs without yielding a run.
Really, the Dodgers’ 14-1 win against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday was over almost as soon as it began.
The Dodgers opened the scoring after four pitches — back-to-back doubles from Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman — and led by two runs after the first.
They added four more runs in the second inning — including a three-run homer from Freeman — and hung another four-spot in the sixth.