An expected pitcher’s duel between Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke saw both pitchers knocked around, and the Los Angeles Dodgers saw familiar bullpen struggles resurface in an 8-5 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks that snapped their six-game winning streak.
Greinke entered 5-6 with a 4.90 ERA in 12 starts against his former team since signing with the Diamondbacks, and the Dodgers quickly added to those woes. Four of the first six batters got a hit, sparking L.A. to a 3-0 lead.
Singles by Joc Pederson and Justin Turner put runners at the corners with one out, and Cody Bellinger’s RBI double opened the scoring. After Max Muncy’s RBI groundout extended the Dodgers’ lead, Chris Taylor added to it with an RBI double of his own.
Just as quickly as Kershaw was given a lead, he let it slip away. A single and walk put two on and it led to Christian Walker clubbing a game-tying home run to center field. The homer was Walker’s third in six career at-bats against Kershaw.
Only Adam Dunn (four) has more home runs off the Dodgers’ left-hander. Walker later singled off Kershaw, marking his first hit that wasn’t a homer in their head-to-head matchups.
However frustrating as Walker’s home run may have been, it may have paled in comparison to Greinke’s line drive clearing the fence in left field to give the Diamondbacks a 4-3 lead in the second inning.
The four runs matched a season high for Kershaw, but he got through six innings. He’s completed at least that many in each of his 13 starts this season.
In addition to helping his cause, Greinke largely settled in after his shaky first inning. He did face some trouble along the way, including in the third when Alex Verdugo led off with a single and later moved into scoring position on a wild pitch.
Bellinger was intentionally walked for the first of two times on the night, and Greinke benefitted from Walker making an impressive stop to start an inning-ending double play. A leadoff single and error on a fielder’s choice left two on with nobody out in the sixth.
The Dodgers allowed a golden opportunity to tie or take the lead slip through their hands as Greinke struck out the next three batters. He started the seventh inning but was removed after allowing a leadoff single to Kyle Garlick, and that nearly wound up marking the start of the Diamondbacks coming undone.
A single put two on with one out, and intentionally walking Bellinger loaded the bases with two outs. Yoshihisa Hirano suddenly lost any feel for the strike zone and walked Muncy to bring in the tying run.
That extended Muncy’s streak of reaching safely to 33 consecutive games, which is the longest since Yasiel Puig had that same amount from April 25-June 1, 2014.
Hirano continued to struggle to find the zone but benefitted from two borderline pitches going his way and resulting in a strikeout for Chris Taylor.
Dylan Floro drew the heart of Diamondbacks’ order in the eighth inning and promptly allowed three straight singles. The last of which was to David Peralta, which broke up the tie. Earlier this month it was Peralta’s base hit that gave the Diamondbacks a walk-off win over the Dodgers in 11 innings to avoid being swept at Chase Field.
A walk loaded the bases, still with nobody out, and Nick Ahmed’s sacrifice fly gave the Diamondbacks some insurance. Tim Locastro’s two-run single with two outs essentially broke the game open but also were a factor come the ninth inning.
Turner was hit by a pitch, which would have meant Bellinger represented the tying run. The thought of what if resonated even more when Muncy pulled an RBI single through the right side. Though, that prompted the Diamondbacks to call on Greg Holland to squash any sort of rally.
The night also included another fan running onto the field in effort to give Bellinger a hug in right field. Like the game prior at Dodger Stadium, the woman was quickly apprehended by security.