If the Dodgers have designs on winning the National League West they will have to climb back from uncommon depths. They ventured deeper into the darkness on Monday night, getting handled by Zack Greinke, A.J. Pollock and the Diamondbacks in an 8-5 defeat at Chase Field.
Monday night was a microcosm of the early season for the Dodgers, who dug themselves a hole early, down 5-0, only to claw back to get closer, but ultimately fell short.
The loss ended a nightmarish opening month for the Dodgers at 12-16, now eight games back of Arizona in the division. It’s the furthest the Dodgers have been out of first place at the end of April since divisional play began in 1969.
Worst Dodgers standing, end of April
|1979||6½ (10-14)||79-83 (3rd)|
|1993||6½ (8-15)||81-81 (4th)|
|1973||6 (11-11)||95-66 (2nd)|
|1982||6 (10-11)||88-74 (2nd)|
|2003||6 (14-14)||85-77 (2nd)|
|2010||6 (9-14)||80-82 (4th)|
The franchise’s previous worst at the end of April was 6½ games back, both in 1979 and 1993.
Greinke had his way with his old team in the series opener, striking out 10 in his six innings, not permitting a run until his final frame. He allowed just four hits on the night, and had two of his own at the plate, including an RBI single to cap a three-run second-inning rally against spot starter Ross Stripling, who went four innings.
Pollock hit one of two Dodgers home runs against Ross Stripling, then added another against Brock Stewart, and still another against Josh Fields in the eighth for a tidy three-homer game.
Nick Ahmed hit the other D-backs home run, his fifth of the season and his high for any month of his career. Seven of his 25 career home runs have been hit versus the Dodgers, against whom he is hitting .297/.333/.542 in 35 games.
Arizona has out-homered the Dodgers 15-6 in their encounters this season and has won six of seven games.
The Dodgers will continue to beat their heads against the wall on Tuesday, with Clayton Kershaw on the mound against Diamondbacks right-hander Matt Koch, in a 6:40 p.m. PT start.
Home runs: Max Muncy (2); A.J. Pollock 3 (9), Nick Ahmed (5)
WP - Zack Greinke (3-2): 6 IP, 4 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 10 strikeouts
LP - Ross Stripling (0-1): 4 IP, 8 hits, 4 runs, 1 walk, 2 strikeouts
Sv - Brad Boxberger (9): 1 IP, 1 strikeout