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Alex Wood wins pitching duel with Diamondbacks

Dodgers widened their division lead to a season-best 4½ games over Arizona

MLB: Arizona Diamondbacks at Los Angeles Dodgers Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers and Diamondbacks have been the two best teams this season at preventing runs, so it is only right that the two teams played a hard-fought, low-scoring affair on Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium. The home team came out on top in the 1-0 contest thanks to Alex Wood ending his unofficial first half with yet another gem.

Wood struck out 10 in his seven scoreless innings, further strengthening his All-Star bid.

We got to see fired-up Wood for a second straight start, though Wednesday wasn’t fueled by the anger of baseball’s unwritten rules. This time, Wood got himself in and out of jams — runners on second and third with two outs in the fourth inning, then runners on first and second with one out in the sixth.

Both Arizona rallies ended with swinging strikeouts — Brandon Drury in the fourth inning, and Jake Lamb in the sixth — followed by Wood pumping his fist as he walked off the mound.

Even with the high strikeout total, Wood was able to keep his pitch count low, which allowed him to reach the eighth inning for the second time in his last four starts.

Wood lowered his ERA to 1.67, and with the win improved to 10-0, the first Dodgers pitcher to open a season with 10 straight wins since reliever Ed Roebuck in 1962. If we’re talking starters, Wood is the first since Don Newcombe back in 1955 for Brooklyn.

In his last nine starts, Wood has allowed zero or one run eight times.

Here’s your run

After a one-out single by Chris Taylor in the second inning, Yasmani Grandal continued his hot hitting with a double to the left center field gap — his eighth extra-base hit in his last 10 games — for the game’s first run.

It was the 18th double of the season for Grandal, just one shy of his career high, set in 2014 with the Padres.

That was it against Diamondbacks starter Zack Godley, who kept the Dodgers off balance in his 5⅔ innings. He struck out six and induced eight ground ball outs, limiting the Dodgers to one run.

The mound visit

Wood was pulled after just 85 pitches, which meant Pedro Baez in the eighth inning with a one-run lead, an advantage that looked quite precarious after a four-pitch walk then a ball on the first pitch to Baez’s second batter faced. That brought a sprinting Dave Roberts out to the mound, where he likely delivered some version of, “Hey, throw strikes” to his reliever.

Whatever Roberts said, it worked, as Baez struck out two of his next three batters, including a four-pitch whiff of Paul Goldschmidt to end the inning.

Did I mention fired up Alex Wood? Here was his reaction to Baez striking out Goldschmidt:

Up next

The Dodgers go for the series sweep on Thursday night, sending Rich Hill to the mound to face Diamondbacks All-Star lefty Robbie Ray in the series finale, a 7:10 p.m. PT start.

Wednesday particulars

Home runs: none

WP - Alex Wood (10-0): 7 IP, 3 hits, 2 walks, 10 strikeouts

LP - Zack Godley (3-3): 5⅔ IP, 3 hits, 1 run, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Sv - Kenley Jansen (20): 1 IP, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts