Dodgers Highlights: Kiké Hernandez Starts Key Double Play, Bullpen Combines For 9...

Dodgers Highlights: Kiké Hernandez Starts Key Double Play, Bullpen Combines For 9 Strikeouts

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into play Wednesday night the Los Angeles Dodgers faced the prospect of falling 10 games back of the Arizona Diamondbacks for first place in the National League West standings. A loss would have been the Dodgers’ fifth in a row and eighth in nine games against the Diamondbacks.

Working in favor of Los Angeles was Hyun-Jin Ryu took the mound. But that quickly went by the wayside as he was removed with one out in the second inning due to suffering a left groin strain.

Although the Dodgers held a 1-0 lead, thanks to Cody Bellinger’s RBI single in the first inning, the outlook appeared bleak. After all, the bullpen had allowed 25 runs in 23 innings pitched over the last eight games.

But beginning with Pedro Baez, the group flipped the script at Chase Field. Baez set a career high with 42 pitches thrown and matched a career high by going 2.2 innings.

He seemingly sparked the momentum that Daniel Hudson, Tony Cingrani and Josh Fields carried forward. Hudson (two innings) and Cingrani (one inning) each fared well, but Fields encountered some trouble in the eighth inning.

The Diamondbacks had runners at the corners with only one out and A.J. Pollock batting. He was named the NL Player of the Month for April, had four home runs through the first two games of the series, and already hit a single and double on the night.

Pollock scorched a one-hopper to shortstop that Kiké Hernandez made a terrific backhanded stop on to start an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play. Kenley Jansen walked Daniel Descalso with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, which led to a run before Jansen could convert the save.

The Dodgers bullpen combined to limit the Diamondbacks to just the one run, while recording nine strikeouts over 7.2 innings.