Yasiel Puig Provides Insurance With Home Run, Dodgers Sweep Diamondbacks
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers reached the end of their six-game homestand Wednesday night with an opportunity to sweep the Arizona Diamondbacks. At worst, the Dodgers would finish 4-2 against the San Diego Padres and Arizona before embarking on a 10-game road trip.

Just as they did Tuesday night, the Diamondbacks jumped out to an early lead. Brock Stewart retired the first two batters faced before walking A.J. Pollock. Paul Goldschmidt then hit a pop fly down the right field line that Charlie Culberson attempted to track down.

Culberson laid out for a diving catch, got his glove on the ball, but lost control of hit as he hit the ground. The play resulted in an RBI double.

Howie Kendrick led off the bottom of the first inning with a walk. He then raced around the bases to score on Corey Seager’s double.

Kendrick went into home plate with a head-first slide to avoid the tag from Diamondbacks catcher Chris Hermann. Yasmany Tomas drew a leadoff walk in the second inning but Stewart retired the next three batters.

Ray struck out the side in the bottom half of the second, though a passed ball allowed Kendrick to reach with two outs. Nothing came of it, however, as Kiké Hernandez flied out to end the inning.

Starting at first base for the first time int he Majors, Rob Segedin booted a grounder hit to his right, allowing Jean Segura to reach to open the third inning. Goldschmidt’s base hit to left field put runners on first and second with two outs.

Stewart worked his way out of the small by jam by retiring Jake Lamb. Yasiel Puig walked in the bottom of the third after Seager and Justin Turner both struck out. But Puig was stranded by Carlos Ruiz, and the Dodgers’ lead remained 2-1 through three innings.

Tomas singled to start the fourth, and Ray lined a two-out single off Turner’s glove on a leaping attempt. Segura grounded out to end the minor threat. The Diamondbacks again had their lead off man reach, with Chris Owings lining a base hit into center field.

Owings was caught stealing for the second out, though the Dodgers needed to challenge the original call, and Stewart got Goldschmidt to whiff on a slider to end another scoreless inning. Ray set the Dodgers down in order in the bottom of the fifth to give him seven consecutive batters retired.

J.P. Howell took over for the Dodgers in the sixth but only faced one batter — striking out Lamb. Louis Coleman then came on and struck out Tomas, who was the only hitter Coleman faced. Luis Avilan walked Hermann with two outs, which prompted yet another pitching change.

Jesse Chavez induced a dribbler up the line and threw high to first base but Segedin was able to stretch out for the catch to end a 17-minute inning. Puig lined a solo home run to center field in the bottom of the sixth, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 3-1 despite the team having just two hits on the night.

Ray’s night came to an end after six innings, with three runs allowed, two hits, and 12 strikeouts. Chavez remained in the game in the seventh and allowed back-to-back singles. A slow roller resulted in the first out of the inning, but also advanced both runners.

After Pollock struck out swinging, Goldschmidt was intentionally walked to load the bases. Grant Dayton replaced Chavez, leading to the Diamondbacks pinch-hitting for Lamb. Rickie Weeks Jr. got ahead in the count, 3-1, but struck out on a full count.

Pedro Baez struck out a pair and worked around a two-out walk to toss a scoreless eighth inning. Hernandez reached on an infield single to start the bottom of the eighth and Seager followed with a base hit. Turner’s fly ball to right field left runners on the corners with one out.

Puig wasn’t able to tack on any insurance as he grounded into an inning-ending double play. Kenley Jansen entered in the ninth and closed out the Dodgers’ 3-1 win to convert his second save in as many games.

Coupled with the San Francisco losing in walk-off fashion to the Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers extended their lead in the National League West to five games, building on their previous season-high four-game lead.