The Los Angeles Dodgers entered play on Wednesday afternoon needing a win against the Arizona Diamondbacks to finish .500 on their six-game road trip. The Dodgers began the day 6-2 in series rubber matches this season.
Patrick Corbin walked Justin Turner with one out in the first inning and later gave up a single to Trayce Thompson that allowed Turner to go from first to third base. Thompson moved into scoring position on a wild pitch, but both runners were stranded as Adrian Gonzalez was called out on strikes.
Clayton Kershaw bookended a perfect bottom of the first with strikeouts. Howie Kendrick reached on a leadoff single in the second and Kershaw kept the inning alive with a two-out walk. Corbin kept the Dodgers off the board, however, by getting Kiké Hernandez to pull a chopper to third base.
Rickie Weeks Jr. led off the bottom of the second with a solo home run to give the Diamondbacks a 1-0 lead. Kershaw struck out the next two batters faced and Nick Ahmed flied out on the first pitch he saw.
Turner golfed a ball to left that Weeks misplayed but benefitted from it hitting off the wall. He fielded the carom and threw Turner out on his attempt to stretch it to a double. Corbin then proceeded to strikeout Corey Seager and Thompson to end the inning.
An Adrian Gonzalez leadoff walk in the fourth was quickly erased on Howie Kendrick double play. Scott Van Slyke turned a base hit to left-center field into a hustle double. It was all for naught, with A.J. Ellis lining out to the warning track in right field.
After Kershaw struck out Paul Goldschmidt a second time, Weeks jumped on the first pitch for a two-out double. Wellington Castillo also went down swinging for his second strikeout, which left the Diamondbacks’ lead at 1-0 through four innings.
A bad call resulted in Yasmany Tomas drawing a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth. The walk was just Kershaw’s seventh of the season. Ahmed grounded into a double play on the next pitch and Corbin flied out to end the inning.
The Dodgers mounted a two-out rally in the sixth, beginning with a Gonzalez single to left. Kendrick followed with a base hit of his own, and Scott Van Slyke landed the big blow with a three-run home run to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.
Michael Bourn led off the bottom of the sixth with a single to center and moved into scoring position on a soft groundout. Then with two down, Goldschmidt lined an RBI single off the top of the wall in left field, missing a game-tying home run by a mere inches.
Kershaw’s errant pickoff attempt allowed Goldschmidt to advance to second base, where he was stranded as Kershaw retired Weeks Jr. for the first time in the game. Van Slyke misjudged a line drive to left field and watched the ball carry over his head for a Castillo leadoff double in the bottom of the seventh.
Tomas struck out swinging and Ahmed grounded out, leaving it to pinch-hitter Phil Gosselin with the runner in scoring position. He went down looking on Kershaw’s patented curveball, which gave him 10 strikeouts on the day.
Kershaw picked up his 11th strikeout in the bottom of the eighth and called it a day after 104 pitches over 7.1 innings. Joe Blanton entered and would have gotten out of the inning after two batters faced, but Seager couldn’t come up with a backhanded stop.
Goldschmidt fouled off four pitches in an eight-pitch at-bat that ended on a groundout to Seager. The Dodgers weren’t able to get any insurance in the top of the ninth, but Kenley Jansen struck out the side to close out the 3-2 victory.
The save was Jansen’s 161st of his career, which moved him into a tie with Eric Gagne for most saves in Dodgers franchise history.