Elian Herrera hit his first major league home run on Thursday, and was congratulated by Mark Ellis, who is back after missing seven weeks.
The Dodgers started out their series against the Diamondbacks in Arizona on the right foot on Thursday night, recapturing Phoenix memories with a pair of rare occurrences in their 4-1 win at Chase Field.
Nathan Eovaldi got his first major league win in Arizona last August 6, but hadn't won since then before his win tonight. It was thanks in part to rare run support for Eovaldi, who had seen the Dodgers score five runs in his previous seven starts this season, and never more than one run with him in the game, before Thursday night.
The Dodgers also hit a pair of home runs, their first game with multiple home runs since May 21, a game that was also in Arizona. On Thursday, Scott Van Slyke crushed a ball well into the left field seats in the fourth inning, and Elian Herrera added his first major league home run in the seventh inning.
Mark Ellis, making his first start in 48 days, promptly welcomed himself back into the lineup with a one-out double in the first inning. Jerry Hairston Jr. followed with a single, then Juan Rivera doubled in one run and Luis Cruz singled in another for a 2-0 Dodgers lead.
It was the second straight day the Dodgers had four consecutive hits in the first inning, an inning that has been good to the club this season. The Dodgers have outscored their opponents 59-34 in the opening frame this season.
The RBI for Cruz was his fourth in four games, making him the first player to drive in at least one run in his first four games with the Dodgers since Jimmy Wynn had an RBI in his first six games as a Dodger in 1974.
The Diamondbacks loaded the bases with nobody out in the second inning off Eovaldi, but he escaped with just one run allowed thanks in part to the red-hot Aaron Hill (.400 with 14 extra-base hits in his last 15 games entering Thursday), who grounded into a 1-2-3 double play.
That was one of three double plays turned by the Dodgers behind Eovaldi, who lasted six innings and allowed just one run. He walked three and stuck out three.
- The trio of Scott Elbert, Ronald Belisario, and Kenley Jansen retired all nine batters they faced to close out the game. They have combined to retire 28 of the 29 batters they have faced this month with one walk (by Jansen) and 13 strikeouts.
- Mark Ellis went 2-for-4 with a walk, an RBI, and a run scored in his first start since May 18.
- Herrera is the 14th different Dodger to hit a home run this season. Last year, 19 different Dodgers homered, including 15 by the All-Star break.
Matt Kemp went 1-for-4 with an RBI in his third rehab game with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday night, and played seven innings in center field.
- With the win, the Dodgers (47-37) are now a game and a half in front of San Francisco (45-38) in the National League West.
The suddenly hot Dodgers look for their fourth straight win on Friday, with ace Clayton Kershaw on the mound to make his final start before heading to Kansas City for the All-Star Game. Overhand delivery specialist Josh Collmenter gets the start for Arizona.
Home Runs: Scott Van Slyke (2), Elian Herrera (1)
WP - Nathan Eovaldi (1-5): 6 IP, 5 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
LP - Wade Miley (9-5): 6 2/3 IP, 8 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (15): 1 IP, 3 strikeouts