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Bullpen game doesn’t work, Dodgers fall back into second place

Zack Greinke and company play spoilers in devastating 7-2 Dodgers loss to Diamondbacks

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

The Rockies were already decimating the Phillies by the time the Dodgers and D-backs squared up for the series finale in the desert Wednesday night. Zack Greinke and company played spoilers as they downed the Dodgers 7-2, bumping them back down to second place in the NL West with three games remaining in the regular season for LA.

The Dodgers held back Rich Hill in order to save him for a potential Game No. 163, but Ross Stripling was roughed up and couldn’t make it out of the second inning. It’s almost as if a ‘bullpen game’ isn’t the best idea in such an important must-win game.

The Dodgers got on the board in the first with three consecutive two-out singles against Greinke. Max Muncy and Manny Machado singled, then Cody Bellinger ripped it to right center to make it 1-0 Dodgers.

Ross Stripling helped out his own cause in the second with a RBI single up the middle, scoring Yasmani Grandal all the way from second base. That’s Stripling’s third career RBI and second this season. The D-backs challenged the call on the play at home, but it was upheld.

The D-backs hit five base hits plus hit for the cycle in the bottom of the second inning off Stripling to take a 3-2 lead. Socrates Brito went boom with a solo home run, his first of the year. Then A.J. Pollock tripled, and Nick Ahmed doubled to tie up the game. Greinke avenged Stripling’s RBI base hit, knocking in a run himself with a single. Ketel Marte also singled, and the Dodgers got guys up in the bullpen to warm at that point.

Dave Roberts mercifully hooked Stripling after just 1 23 innings and brought in Pedro Baez to face Paul Goldschmidt with the bases loaded. Baez, who’s been very effective of late, got his man to keep it a one-run game. Goldy struck out to end the ugly frame. He’s now 1-for-21 vs. Baez.


The Dodgers loaded the bases up as well, with one out, in the third. Yasiel Puig smoked a line drive, but it was right at Ahmed for the second out. Grandal grounded out, and the Dodgers left ‘em loaded even though they were all hard hit outs (99, 100, 101 mph).

Arizona took a 6-2 lead in the bottom half of the fifth on a three-run home run off Scott Alexander by Pollock.

David Peralta poured salt on the Dodgers’ wound with a moonshot off the first Caleb Ferguson fastball he saw in the seventh, 7-2 Arizona.

The Dodgers’ offense had seven hits in the first three innings, but they only mustered two hits over the next six. They went 2-for-8 with RISP and left eight men on base.

Los Angeles will either be tied for first place with the Rockies or one game back depending on the outcome of Colorado’s game vs. Jake Arrieta and the Phillies Thursday.

The Boys in Blue are clinging to life. Unless they can win it all from here on out, and they get some help from the Rox, there’ll be a new NL West champion for the first time in six seasons. However, their playoff hopes aren’t completely over. They’re currently a game ahead of the Cardinals for the second NL Wild Card.

Up Next

After a day off Thursday, the Dodgers open their final series of the regular season in San Francisco on Friday. The Dodgers look to Hyun-Jin Ryu (6-3, 2.00 ERA, 2.81 FIP) to cap off his impressive comeback season with a strong outing to keep their postseason hopes alive. Madison Bumgarner (6-6, 3.20 ERA, 4.00 FIP) will try to play spoiler, a role he surely takes delight in. First pitch is at 7:15 p.m. PDT.

Wednesday Particulars

Home Runs: Socrates Brito (1), A.J. Pollock (21), David Peralta (30)

WP: Zack Greinke (15-11): 6 IP, 2 runs, 8 hits, 6 strikeouts, 2 walks

LP: Ross Stripling (8-6): 1.2 IP, 3 runs, 5 hits, 2 strikeouts, 2 walks