Diamondbacks Fall in Early Hole and Bow to Dodgers

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Dodgers 6, Diamondbacks 4

PHOENIX, May 27 — Back-to-back second-inning homers off Madison Bumgarner — a three-run blast by Edwin Rios and solo shot by Mookie Betts — gave the Los Angeles Dodgers a lead they never relinquished as they hung on to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 6–4, Friday night at Chase Field.

In the fateful inning, third baseman Justin Turner drew a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a two-out single by second baseman Hanser Alberto. That put two on for Rios, the designated hitter, whose bomb landed near the right-field bullpen. Betts, the right fielder, followed with his 13th home run of the season, a no-doubter to the left-field seats.

Bumgarner recovered in the third, throwing 10 pitches en route to a 1-2-3 inning. Left fielder Chris Taylor led off the fourth with a triple to center. It amounted to nothing thanks to a heads-up play by catcher Jose Herrera, who picked Taylor off. Bumgarner quickly retired the next two hitters — center fielder Cody Bellinger and Alberto — to keep the score 4–0 in the middle of the fourth.

Diamondbacks Try to Chip Away, Dodgers Bounce Back

The Diamondbacks broke through in the bottom of the fifth against Dodgers starter Ryan Pepiot, although they could have scored more. A leadoff single by center fielder Alek Thomas and one-out single by Herrera put runners on first and second with one out. That brought up Jordan Luplow, pinch-hitting for designated hitter Daulton Varsho. Luplow, after an eight-pitch at-bat, walked, loading the bases for third baseman Josh Rojas. Rojas sent a fly ball to left-center. When Bellinger caught it, bumping into Taylor in the process, Thomas had plenty of time to score from third. A sharp grounder by second baseman Ketel Marte went straight to the shortstop, killing the rally attempt.

The Dodgers regained their four-run lead quickly, thanks to a leadoff homer by shortstop Trea Turner in the top of the sixth. J.B. Wendelken relieved Bumgarner in the top of the seventh. After walking Rios, he induced a fly to right by Betts. Pavin Smith, however, dropped it, and the error put runners on first and second with nobody out. A loud fly to the left-center field corner by first baseman Freddie Freeman advanced Rios to third on a tag-up, and a single to right by Trea Turner scored him.

Another Wasted Opportunity

The Diamondbacks cut the deficit from 6–1 to 6–2 in the bottom of the seventh. Herrera notched his second hit of the game with a one-out single and advanced to second on a wild pitch. A pinch-grounder to short by Cooper Hummel advanced Herrera to third, setting the stage for Rojas to drive Herrera in with a single of his own. Marte kept the inning going with a single. Walker got the count to 3–0 before taking two pitches that he thought were balls. Both were called strikes by plate umpire D.J. Reyburn, drawing the ire of Walker after an inning-ending groundout to short.

Daniel Hudson irritated his former team in the bottom of the eighth, drilling David Peralta with his very first pitch. Smith cleared the bases by grounding into a double play, bringing up Thomas. Hudson plunked him in the foot, but Perdomo could not take advantage, striking out to end the inning. Thomas was the third Diamondback to be hit by a pitch in the game, with Daulton Varsho having to leave the game with a sore right shoulder after being hit with the fourth pitch of the bottom of the first.

Diamondbacks Rally, but Dodgers Hang On

Tyler Holton, called up from Triple-A Reno prior to the game, kept the score 6–2 by pitching a scoreless eighth and ninth. Craig Kimbrel took the mound for the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth in a non-save situation. Herrera led off with his third single of the game and advanced to second on a walk by Hummel. Rojas ripped a drive to the gap in left-center, scoring Herrera. The speedy Hummel also would have scored easily had the ball not bounced into the stands.

On the ground-rule double, Hummel had to stop at third, but there were still runners on second and third with no outs. Marte popped to short for the first out before Walker scored Hummel with an RBI groundout to short. That brought up Peralta as the tying run with two outs and a runner on third. After a seven-pitch at-bat that saw three consecutive foul balls, Peralta grounded to second for the final out.

Postgame Reflections

Manager Torey Lovullo’s debriefing began with a frank summary. “We dug ourselves too big of a hole early, and we fought back and were making some noise there in the ninth. And we had the right guys in the right spot with runners out there, but we just couldn’t get that big hit.” He praised the way the team fought in the end. “It’s very typical of this team,” he said. “We didn’t shut down; we didn’t let the score get away from us.”

Lovullo praised Rojas and Herrera, who both had three-hit games. “It was a great day for (Herrera),” he said. “Being able to walk up to the plate and get a couple of really nice base hits, good approaches after a little bit of time down. He told me that he was thinking about baseball and working hard during those days missed (with COVID). When you walk up and get three hits in your return, you’re doing a lot right. So I know he’s probably feeling good about it, and they were big hits — big team at-bats as well.” Lovullo also mentioned Rojas, who had three RBI in addition to the aforementioned hits. “We had a couple guys that carried us today. Tomorrow, somebody else will eat, and we’ll try to go out and win a baseball game.”

Looking Ahead

Brusdar Graterol (1–2) was awarded the win in relief, while Bumgarner (2–3) took the loss. The Dodgers (31–14) and Diamondbacks (23–24) will play again Saturday in a Fox regional broadcast. Tony Gonsolin (4–0, 1.62 ERA) will start for the Dodgers against Merrill Kelly (3–2, 3.49 ERA) of the Diamondbacks in a battle of righties. First pitch will be at 4:15 pm Arizona Time/Pacific Time.

(Main Photo: Arizona Diamondbacks third baseman Josh Rojas bats against Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ryan Pepiot in the bottom of the first inning. Daulton Varsho is on first base. The Dodgers won the game, 6–4. Photo by Evan Thompson.)

Players mentioned:

Madison Bumgarner, Edwin Rios, Mookie Betts, Justin Turner, Hanser Alberto, Chris Taylor, Jose Herrera, Cody Bellinger, Ryan Pepiot, Alek Thomas, Jordan Luplow, Daulton Varsho, Josh Rojas, Ketel Marte, Trea Turner, J.B. Wendelken, Pavin Smith, Freddie Freeman, Cooper Hummel, Daniel Hudson, David Peralta, Tyler Holton, Craig Kimbrel, Torey Lovullo, Brusdar Graterol, Tony Gonsolin, Merrill Kelly