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Dodgers get help, hold on to beat Zack Greinke again

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MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at Arizona Diamondbacks Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers took advantage of a pair of Diamondbacks mistakes, and made it hold up to beat old friend Zack Greinke for the second time in two weeks, 3-2 on Friday night at Chase Field in Phoenix.

With the win, the Dodgers lowered their magic number to clinch the National League West to 12.

After just 19 runs in the first seven games of their road trip, the struggling Dodgers offense was happy to take whatever help they could get, with help in two different innings.

The Dodgers started fast with two runs in the opening frame, just the second time in eight game they have scored in the first inning on the road trip. Chase Utley doubled to open the game, and Justin Turner knocked him home with a triple, then scored on a passed ball.

Utley had two hits on the night, and in the series has five hits, including two doubles, and a walk.

LA added a run in the fourth inning when a potential inning-ending double play ball by Howie Kendrick instead featured a throw into the camera well, giving the Dodgers a 3-1 advantage.

That made for three runs against Greinke, though just one was earned. It was enough to hang the loss on Greinke, who walked a season-high four batters for a second straight start, though one was intentional.

Kenta Maeda made things work, allowing one run on three hits in his five innings, though how he did it was a little odd. He was fighting his control, especially in the second inning, and walked three batters on the night, the sixth time in 29 starts he has walked at least three batters.

All three walks were against the bottom of the Diamondbacks order, their 6-7-8 hitters.

But Maeda made up for it by completely handcuffing the top of Arizona’s order, holding their top four hitters to 0-for-11 with all six of his strikeouts, including Paul Goldschmidt twice.

Maeda in his six starts against the Diamondbacks in 2016 — he’s just the second Dodgers pitcher to start against Arizona six times in one year, joining Chad Billingsley in 2010 — put up a 2.97 ERA with 34 strikeouts and seven walks in 33⅓ innings.

The Dodgers bullpen took the reins from there, with six pitchers combining for the final 12 outs, but it was anything but a smooth ride.

Josh Fields and Pedro Baez each allowed a runner to reach base and each struck out two, each pitching a scoreless inning.

Grant Dayton struck out his only batter faced — lefty Jake Lamb — in the eighth, then gave way to Joe Blanton, who walked the bases loaded but got out of the inning, including a strikeout of his own. Blanton after getting out of the pressure situation was checking his pulse while smiling as he walked back to the Dodgers dugout.

Kenley Jansen even allowed a one-out triple and a run to score, but got the job done in the ninth for his 45th save, setting a new career high.

Friday particulars

Home runs: none

WP - Kenta Maeda (15-9): 5 IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts

LP - Zack Greinke (12-7): 6 IP, 4 hits, 3 runs (1 earned) 4 walks, 4 strikeouts

Sv - Kenley Jansen (45): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 run