Bauer Magnificent as Dodgers Shut Down Diamondbacks

Dodgers Diamondbacks

Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 0

PHOENIX, June 18 — Even a beauty from Caleb Smith wasn’t enough to snap the Arizona losing streak. Despite six scoreless innings of one-hit ball from Smith, the Los Angeles Dodgers roughed up Joe Mantiply for three runs in the eighth to defeat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 3–0. Reigning Cy Young winner Trevor Bauer pitched seven scoreless innings, allowing three hits while walking three and striking out eight.

Matching Zeroes

Both pitchers threw a scoreless opening three innings. Smith faced one more than the minimum, while Bauer faced two more. Both also threw a scoreless fourth, but each pitcher had to get out of trouble to do so. Smith walked Dodgers second baseman Chris Taylor to start the fourth. Third baseman Justin Turner followed with a one-hopper to third, tailor-made for a double play. But Asdrubal Cabrera muffed the ball, and everyone was safe. First baseman Albert Pujols, up next, hit a soft broken-bat liner to short that Nick Ahmed leapt to catch before left fielder AJ Pollock walked to load the bases. After a mound visit by pitching coach Matt Herges, Smith got Dodgers catcher Will Smith to ground into an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play.

Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker got things going in the bottom of the fourth with a one-out walk. Cabrera came up next and hit a grounder to second. Taylor threw to shortstop Gavin Lux, covering the bag, to force Walker, but that was the only out on the play. A legal takeout slide wiped Lux out as he tried to double Cabrera up at first. Left fielder David Peralta advanced Cabrera to second on a single, bringing up catcher Carson Kelly with two on and two out. He belted a deep fly to left that had a chance to leave the yard but died on the warning track, where Pollock caught it for the third out.

Another Fruitless Inning

Smith pitched a 1-2-3 fifth. In the bottom of the inning, a two-out mini-rally came up fruitless. Rojas walked, and Marte singled him to second, but Escobar popped foul to third to keep the game scoreless. A one-out walk by Taylor in the top of the sixth did not matter, as Turner — up next — grounded into a 6-4-3 double play to end the frame. Bauer responded with a 1-2-3 bottom of the sixth, sending the scoreless thriller into the seventh.

Dodgers Pull Ahead of Diamondbacks

Newly acquired reliever Noe Ramirez pitched a 1-2-3 top of the seventh. Bauer responded in kind in the bottom of the inning. In the top of the eighth, one pitch after receiving chin music from reliever Joe Mantiply, Dodgers right fielder Steven Souza, Jr. belted a drive into the Diamondbacks bullpen to put his former team in a 1–0 hole. “We threw a pitch where we weren’t supposed to, into an area where he can do damage, and he did his job,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said after the game. Lux followed with a walk, bringing up Andy Burns to pinch-hit for Bauer. His double advanced Lux to third and ended Mantiply’s night.

In came Stefan Crichton to stop the bleeding. He first faced Betts, whose sacrifice fly to the track in center gave the visitors a 2–0 lead, advanced Burns to third, and further riled up an already hostile crowd. After Taylor fouled to the first baseman for the second out, Crichton lost his balance mid-windup to Turner. By rule, that was a balk, and Burns scored for a 3–0 lead.

Jimmy Nelson sat the Diamondbacks down in order in the bottom of the eighth. In the top of the ninth, Joakim Soria pitched around a two-out walk to keep the score 3–0. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen slammed the door with a scoreless ninth to record his 17th save of the season and hand the Diamondbacks their club-record 15th consecutive loss.

Postgame Reflections

Caleb Smith declined to speak to the media after the game. Manager Torey Lovullo said about the 15th straight loss, “I’m pissed. I don’t like it. We’ve got to find a way out of it. We need to go out and execute. Do the things we’re supposed to do, the way we know how to do them. (We need) to get the job done and win a baseball game. That’s it. I think we’re all getting tired of it. The fans are getting tired of it. You guys are getting tired of it. It’s time to find a way.”

Looking Ahead

The Diamondbacks will have to find a way Saturday against a tough pitcher, Walker Buehler (6–0, 2.38 ERA). Facing him will be rookie Matt Peacock (2–4, 5.26 ERA). First pitch is 7:10 pm Arizona Time.

Main Photo:
Embed from Getty Images

Players/coaches/managers mentioned:
Caleb Smith, Joe Mantiply, Trevor Bauer, Chris Taylor, Justin Turner, Asdrubal Cabrera, Albert Pujols, Nick Ahmed, AJ PollockMatt Herges, Will Smith, Christian Walker, Gavin Lux, David Peralta, Carson Kelly, Noe Ramirez, Steven Souza, Jr., Torey Lovullo, Andy Burns, Stefan Crichton, Jimmy Nelson, Joakim Soria, Kenley JansenWalker Buehler, Matt Peacock


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