The Arizona Diamondbacks were low key in winning the National League West a year ago. It appears history is about to repeat itself.
The Diamondbacks pulled within 3 1/2 games of the top spot in the division with plenty of time left in the season and will resume a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers tonight at Chavez Ravine.
Newcomer Chris Johnson made his debut with the D-backs a memorable one by belting a grand slam in Monday's 7-2 victory.
"I got into town early this morning," Johnson said last night. "This is like opening day for me. My nerves were running wild."
Johnson was recently acquired from Houston for two prospects and the Diamondbacks designated veteran Lyle Overbay for assignment to make room.
"I understand it," Overbay told Arizona's site. "They want to go young. It's part of the deal. Hopefully I've done everything that they've asked of me."
Paul Goldschmidt added a three-run, first-inning home run for the Diamondbacks, winners in eight of the last 11 games. Arizona starter Trevor Cahill gave up just one run on six hits over six innings to earn the win, helping his team kick off a 10-game road trip in style.
Wade Miley will try to get himself back into the win column and keep Arizona there when he toes the rubber Tuesday. Miley has dropped three of five starts and had a personal two-start winning streak come to an end in Thursday's 3-1 setback to the New York Mets. He allowed all three runs and nine hits in 5 1/3 innings to fall to 11-6 in 20 games (17 starts) with a 3.11 ERA.
The left-handed Miley lost to Los Angeles on July 5, when he gave up four runs and eight hits in 6 2/3 frames of a 4-1 defeat. He is 1-1 with a 4.40 ERA in three career games (2 starts) against the Dodgers.
Los Angeles remained one percentage point behind San Francisco for the top spot in the NL West and lost for the fourth time in seven tries.
Aaron Harang had a dreadful outing on the mound and was reached for seven runs and nine hits in five innings.
"Aaron didn't seem like he had his good stuff," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.
Matt Kemp finished with three hits, including an RBI double, while Hanley Ramirez went 0-for-4 in his home debut as a member of the Dodgers. Los Angeles also acquired right-handed reliever and 2011 All-Star Brandon League from the Seattle Mariners for a pair of prospects last night. Seattle received outfielder Leon Landry and right- handed pitcher Logan Bawcom in the deal.
Hoping to keep the D-backs at bay, the Dodgers will hand the ball to Chris Capuano tonight. Capuano will try to win 11 games in a season for the fourth time in his career, but has dropped four of his last six starts. He last took the hill in Thursday's 7-4 setback at St. Louis and allowed six runs and 11 hits in only four innings.
Capuano, who is 10-6 with a 3.13 ERA in 21 starts this season, has given up 14 runs in his previous four outings. He lost at Arizona on July 8, when he allowed five runs and nine hits over five innings of a 7-1 loss. The lefty is only 2-5 with a 4.31 ERA in nine career games (8 starts) against the D-backs.
Arizona has won six of 10 meetings with Los Angeles this season.