The Dodgers continued its romp through the desert with an 8-6 win over the Diamondbacks on Sunday that had just about everything. Adrian Gonzalez continued to supply the power, Dee Gordon ran wild on the bases, and there was even enough time for a little frolicking in the dugout.
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Gonzalez was 2-for-5 with a three-run home run in the third inning that broke the game open, continuing his torrid weekend. Gonzalez, who also doubled on Sunday, was 7-for-13 with three home runs, a double and 10 RBI in the three games at Chase Field.
The home run gave Gonzalez an extra-base hit in eight straight games, one shy of the franchise record set by Jack Fournier in 1925 and matched by John Roseboro in 1961.
Gordon was back in the leadoff spot on Sunday and continued his hot start, reaching base three times in five trips to the plate. He stole a career-high four bases, one shy of the franchise record set by current first base coach Davey Lopes on Aug. 24, 1974. The fourth steal by Gordon was the most daring, as he caught reliever Randall Delgado napping.
via Chad Moriyama
Gordon is hitting .400/.457/.525 on the season and has nine steals in 11 games. The Dodgers record (at least since 1914) for steals in March/April is 17, set by Eric Young in 1999. With 15 games remaining in April, that record might be in jeopardy.
We also saw the return of Sunday Kemp, who shook off an 0-for-11 slump with a second-inning home run for the first run of the game. Kemp, who hit two home runs last Sunday night against the Giants, made it eight straight road games for the Dodgers scoring first.
Five of those eight road games were against the Diamondbacks, against whom the Dodgers have built leads of 3-0, 7-0, 6-0, 5-0 and 5-0.
Sunday also gave us someone getting thrown out on a would-be single to right field, and the throw didn't come from Yasiel Puig. Dan Haren led off the third inning with a ground ball into right field, but he was erased at first base by Gerardo Parra. Haren was the first Dodger to get thrown out on a would-be single to right field since Josh Beckett on Sept. 13, 2012 (by Carlos Beltran). For the Diamondbacks, it was even more rare.
Haren on Sunday did not have any of the command he showed in his first two starts. After wiggling out of a 32-pitch first inning that saw him go to three balls on all five hitters, the right-hander relatively settled down for a 22-pitch second, though all four hitters saw two balls.
After his lead grew to 5-0, the third inning was not so kind to Haren. Gerardo Parra doubled and Aaron Hill tripled to begin the inning for one run, then after Haren got Paul Goldschmidt to ground out for another run, Eric Chavez blasted one to right for a home run.
But after those three runs Haren was somehow able to last into the sixth inning without further damage. He left up 7-3 with runners on first and second base and two outs in the sixth inning. Paco Rodriguez entered and got out of the jam without even throwing a single pitch, picking off Chris Owings at first base to end the inning.
But after the Dodgers extended their lead to 8-3 thanks to Juan Uribe's first home run - one of four extra-base hits for the Dodgers on Sunday, part of their MLB-best 47 extra-base hits on the season - Sunday also featured another recurring theme.
After allowing a single to the first batter of the seventh, Rodriguez was lifted in favor of the right-handed Jamey Wright, who pitched two scoreless innings on Friday. But on Sunday, Wright allowed a single, then with two outs a three-run home run to Mark Trumbo to pull within 8-6.
The Diamondbacks had the tying run at the plate in the seventh and eighth innings, but Wright, J.P. Howell and Chris Perez were able to escape with no damage, most notably with Perez striking out Hill and getting Goldschmidt to groundout to end the eighth.
Kenley Jansen restored order in the ninth, including a 100-mph cutter to strike out Trumbo, for his fourth save.
Diamondbacks starter Trevor Cahill couldn't get an out in the fifth inning and took the loss, falling to 0-4 with a 9.17 ERA. Cahill was 6-0 with a 2.01 ERA in 10 career starts against the Dodgers entering this season, but in 2014 the Dodgers have tagged him for 12 runs on 13 hits and nine walks in eight innings.
The Dodgers are off Monday, but take their road show up north to San Francisco for three games beginning Tuesday night in San Francisco. Beckett gets the call in the opener, facing Tim Lincecum for the Giants.
Home runs: Matt Kemp (3), Adrian Gonzalez (5), Juan Uribe (1); Eric Chavez (1), Mark Trumbo (6)
WP - Dan Haren (2-0): 5⅓ IP, 9 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk, 5 strikeouts
LP - Trevor Cahill (0-4): 4+ IP, 5 hits, 7 runs (6 earned), 5 walks, 8 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (4): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts