LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers asked Alex Wood and Kenley Jansen to both stretch out of their comfort zones, and were rewarded with performances that allowed the Dodgers to a limited offensive performance into a win, 3-1 over the Diamondbacks on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
Wood got into a groove as the game wore on, and retired 11 batters in a row to finish the seventh inning, but his night wasn't done. He was asked to start the eighth inning as well, up two runs, though when he was beaten to the bag at first by Phil Gosselin on an infield single to open the inning, that turned out to be the end of Wood's rope.
Still, at 105 pitches he threw the most of any Dodgers starter this season, allowing a run on five hits. His only run allowed was a solo home run by Nick Ahmed in the third inning.
Pedro Baez was brought in over Chris Hatcher, both victimized by home runs on Tuesday. But Baez faced only two batters, retiring one (on a rocket to center), which brought in Kenley Jansen to record the final five outs.
In his career Jansen has pitched two innings 11 different times, but never for a save. His longest save before Wednesday was four outs, but that changed. Jansen struck out pinch-hitter David Peralta, then retired the unstoppable Paul Godlschmidt to end the eighth, then pitched a perfect ninth to close out the win.
"Me and Doc [Dave Roberts] talked about it today, and I was ready for it," Jansen said after the game. "Those guys [in the bullpen] are going to be great, so I might not even have to do this again."
The Dodgers got off the mat in the fourth inning, with Adrian Gonzalez hitting a solo shot into the right field pavilion to tie the game at 1-1.
Then a two-run rally was helped greatly in the fifth inning by a throwing error by Ahmed, helping to accelerate the frame. But thanks to Wood and Jansen, that was enough.
The home run by Ahmed, his second in as many days, was the fourth allowed this season by the Dodgers to a No. 9 hitter. In all of 2015, the Dodgers allowed six home runs in 585 plate appearances to ninth-place hitters.
Even if we expand it and group No. 8 hitters in — to account for the relatively high number of pitchers who have batted eighth against the Dodgers this season (five in nine games) — the Dodgers allowed 22 home runs in 1,184 PA last year, one every 53.8 PA, compared to six in 62 PA in 2016, one every 10.3 PA.
Justin Turner was hit by a pitch twice on Wednesday, including on his left hand in the seventh inning. He was checked out for few minutes in the seventh inning before staying in the game. After the game Roberts said X-rays were negative on Turner's hand.
The Dodgers try to take the series finale on Thursday night, with hitless wonder Ross Stripling on the mound against left-hander Robbie Ray.
Home runs: Adrian Gonzalez (1); Nick Ahmed (3)
WP - Alex Wood (1-1): 7+ IP, 5 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts
LP - Rubby De La Rosa (0-2): 4⅔ IP, 5 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 1 walk, 3 strikeouts
Sv - Kenley Jansen (3): 1⅔ IP, 2 strikeouts