Manny Machado Hits 5th Home Run In Past 8 Games But Dodgers Drop Series Opener To Diamondbacks
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

While the Los Angeles Dodgers had shown recent improvement with situational hitting, they regressed Thursday night and it factored heavily into their five-game winning streak being snapped in a 3-1 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.


Deploying a patient approach that thwarted Robbie Ray the last time they faced him — Game 2 of the 2017 National League Division Series — the Dodgers generated plenty of traffic. Ray walked Justin Turner and Manny Machado but struck out Matt Kemp and Kiké Hernandez to get through a scoreless first inning.

A Brian Dozier one-out single in the third was wiped out when Turner grounded into a double play. Nothing came of base hits by Kemp and Hernandez in the fourth as Chris Taylor struck out and Yasiel Puig grounded out.

Despite fighting a bit of a high pitch count, Ray pitched into the sixth inning. His bid for a shutout was lost and night came to an end when Machado slugged a solo home run with one out. The homer was Machado’s fifth in the past eight games.

Meanwhile, Rich Hill was also succeeding even as the Diamondbacks were putting runners on base. He notched eight strikeouts through four scoreless innings despite Arizona having three singles and two hit batsmen during that span.

After Ray and A.J. Pollock combined for back-to-back singles in the fifth, Hill induced a grounder to third base that only resulted in a force out instead of a double play. Replay showed Ray up the baseline a bit, which forced Turner’s throw to sail a bit.

Hill nonetheless was on the verge of getting through the inning unscathed as he retired Paul Goldschmidt for the first time all night. However, David Peralta ambushed a first-pitch fastball low in the zone that just cleared the fence in right field for a three-run home run.

Pedro Baez, Caleb Ferguson and Dylan Floro combined to keep the Diamondbacks off the board over the final four innings but it was to no avail.

The Dodgers had a look at the game in the bottom of the eighth when singles by Turner and Machado put runners at the corners with one out, only for Kemp to hit into an inning-ending double play.

The Dodgers stranded six baserunners and finished the night 0-for-5 with men in scoring position.