LOS ANGELES -- A two-run rally against relief pitcher Luis Avilan in the seventh inning lifted the Diamondbacks to yet another win over the low-scoring Dodgers. The 3-1 win in Wednesday’s series finale at Dodger Stadium was Arizona’s sixth win in as many tries against Los Angeles in the last nine days.
The Dodgers have lost six straight games and 11 of their last 12, while the Diamondbacks have won 13 straight. It’s not the best combination for lowering the Dodgers’ magic number to clinch their fifth consecutive National League West title.
With two whole runs scored in the series, the Dodgers have now scored 50 runs in their last 18 games, an average of just 2.78 runs per game. The club is 5-13 during that span.
Avilan entered a tie game in the seventh inning, but allowed hits to his first three batters faced, including a double off the wall in center field by Adam Rosales, with the speedy Ketel Marte bringing home the go-ahead run from first base.
Two outs later, J.D. Martinez was intentionally walked to load the bases, a move that proved costly when Avilan grazed Daniel Descalso’s arm with a pitch to force home a second run.
Avilan allowed just one total run in his previous 19 appearances, dating back to July 8.
Chris Taylor started things off for the Dodgers, doubling against Taijuan Walker to open the first inning. A fly ball to right field by Curtis Granderson advanced Taylor to third base, then after a Justin Turner walk, Taylor scored when Cody Bellinger was too fast for Arizona to turn two on his ground ball to second base.
The run was significant because the Dodgers claimed a 1-0 advantage, their first lead in the six games these two teams played against each other in the last two weeks. Arizona had a streak of 97 consecutive innings without trailing, tied for the second longest in modern MLB history per Elias, and went 10 full games without trailing before Wednesday, fueling their 12-game winning streak.
That lead with short-lived, however, thanks to an error by Taylor at shortstop, allowing A.J. Pollock to reach. Pollock stole second, then scored on a two-out double by the pitcher Walker to tie the score.
That was the only run against Kenta Maeda in his five innings of work. He struck out eight to match his season high — done four times -- and has a 30.9-percent strikeout rate in his seven starts since the start of August.
Dodgers starting pitchers fared much better this time through against the Diamondbacks. Last week in Phoenix, Rich Hill, Hyun-jin Ryu and Maeda combined to get tattooed for 19 runs on 24 hits in 10⅔ innings, with 10 strikeouts.
In this three-game series, those same three starters allowed four runs on nine hits in 17 innings, with 25 strikeouts. But they got two total runs of support while in the game.
“They set the tone in a nice way,” manager Dave Roberts said. “They were challenged a little bit by that Arizona series, and those guys responded.”
Walker had nearly as many walks (three) as strikeouts (four), and threw nearly as many balls (46) as strikes (53), but the Dodgers couldn’t tally more than a single run in his six innings of work.
One of those strikeouts was catching Justin Turner looking in the sixth inning. Later in the frame, home plate umpire Chris Fairchild heard something from the dugout, and ejected Turner.
It was the eighth Dodgers ejection this season, with eight different players getting the boot. The full list, in order: Joc Pederson, Ross Stripling, Bob Geren, Adrian Gonzalez, Yasmani Grandal, Dave Roberts, Chase Utley, and Turner.
Home runs: none
WP - Taijuan Walker (9-7): 6 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 3 walks, 4 strikeouts
LP - Luis Avilan (2-2): ⅔ IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 1 intentional walk, 1 strikeout
Sv - Fernando Rodney (36): 1 IP, 2 strikeouts