Recap: Albert Pujols, Will Smith Lead Dodgers To Sweep Of Diamondbacks

Albert Pujols and Will Smith delivered for the Los Angeles Dodgers and they completed a four-game sweep of the Arizona Diamondbacks with a 3-2 win. The Dodgers won eight of nine games on their homestand and now head out for series with the San Francisco Giants and Houston Astros.

With one out and Will Smith on base after his single in the second inning, Pujols’ blast to the opposite field gave the Dodgers an early lead. He also made a bit of personal history by joining Shea Hillenbrand (2007) and Tim Wallach (1996) as players to hit a home run with the Dodgers and L.A. Angels in the same season.

Furthermore, he’s one of four Dodgers to hit a homer at 41 years of age or older. The group also includes Rickey Henderson (44 years old; twice in 2003), Babe Herman (42; 1945) and Curt Davis (41; 1945).

Pujols giving the Dodgers a lead helped alleviate some of the pressure in a bullpen game. David Price served as the opener and worked around a pair of hits to complete two scoreless innings. Jimmy Nelson followed by retiring all six batters faced, including five by strike out.

Alex Vesia also upheld the Dodgers’ 2-0 lead, but Joe Kelly could not follow suit in the sixth inning. After a one-out double, Kelly surrendered a game-tying home run to Eduardo Escobar. It marked a second consecutive night Escobar slugged a homer.

Arizona was in position to pull even thanks in large part to Merrill Kelly settling in after Pujols’ home run. However, the right-hander batting for himself in the seventh came back to cost the Diamondbacks as Will Smith ambushed his first pitch in the bottom half of the inning for a go-ahead home run.

Smith’s homer not only gave the Dodgers a lead, but carried sentimental value as it came on the same night as his favorite player growing up — Pujols — also going deep. Kelly was ultimately tabbed with a loss, but he set a career high with 12 strikeouts.

Smith bails out Dodgers

In addition to the go-ahead home run, Smith delivered in a key moment from behind the plate by throwing out pinch-runner Tim Locastro on a stolen base attempt to end the eighth inning. It was a particularly welcomed sight considering opponents have largely run rampant on the Dodgers this season.

Jansen saves

Kenley Jansen pitched on back-to-back days for the third time this season, but it was his first time making three appearances in four days.

Jansen fared well, setting the Diamondbacks down in order to convert his 10th save of the season.

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