A late rally kept the Arizona Diamondbacks' dominance of the Los Angeles Dodgers intact and the two NL West inhabitants will continue their three-game series Tuesday at Chavez Ravine.
The Diamondbacks, though, needed a four-run ninth inning to dispose of the Dodgers, 5-4, in Monday's series opener. Jason Kubel and Paul Goldschmidt sandwiched RBI singles around a two-run hit from Willie Bloomquist and the Diamondbacks improved to 6-1 against the Dodgers this season.
"I tried to hit something up the middle. I'm not going to complain where that hit went, but the results were good," Bloomquist said. "We battled the whole game and this was a big momentum swing for us."
Cody Ross had three hits and a run scored for Arizona, which has won five in a row against Los Angeles and is 10-2 in the last 12 trips to Dodger Stadium. Wade Miley started for the D'backs and did not figure into the decision, as he gave up three runs in six innings. Tony Sipp picked up his third win (3-1) in relief and Heath Bell worked around two hits, one a home run, in the ninth inning for his 12th save.
Arizona, which leads the NL West by two games ahead of Colorado and San Francisco, has won six of its last 10 games overall and opened a six-game road trip on a positive note. It will also visit San Diego for three games and is 2-2 in a nine-game stretch against division foes.
Ian Kennedy hopes to erase the memory of his last start when he takes the mound Tuesday for the Diamondbacks. In a 12-8 loss at St. Louis last Thursday, Kennedy was beaten for a career-high 10 runs and a career-worst 13 hits in a season-low four innings.
"It stinks. Both bullpens have been taxed and I really wanted to go out there and go deep in the ballgame," Kennedy said. "They save a lot of games for us. They do a good job. I don't like doing that to them."
Kennedy, a right-hander and former All-Star, is 3-4 with a 5.72 earned run average in 12 starts and lost to the Dodgers on April 13. In the 7-5 loss, Kennedy was reached for six runs and 10 hits in 5 2/3 innings, falling to 5-3 with a 3.88 ERA in nine career starts in this series.
The Dodgers have dropped three in a row and are 4-4 on a 10-game homestand.
Clayton Kershaw was in line for a win with seven innings of one-run ball and five strikeouts, but did not factor in the outcome after the bullpen imploded. Kenley Jansen tossed a scoreless eighth, but Brandon League was responsible for all four runs in the ninth inning to take the loss.
"Clayton took us as far as he could tonight," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Brandon (League) wasn't very good. This is not a good way to start the series. This one hurts, it is a two-game swing."
Mark Ellis went 3-for-4 with a home run and Juan Uribe went deep, while Yasiel Puig continued to shine with three hits in defeat. Puig has six multi-hit games in eight chances and is batting .500 with four homers and 10 RBI since his promotion from Double-A Chattanooga. He has recorded at least three hits in a game three times.
Puig was rewarded for his effort Monday with NL Player of the Week honors.
Hoping to stem the tide for the Dodgers Tuesday will be right-handed hurler Zack Greinke. Greinke is 3-1 with a 3.89 earned run average in seven starts and was brilliant in his previous outing, a 5-0 win last Thursday versus the Atlanta Braves. Greinke was backed by a grand slam from Puig and spun seven scoreless innings, allowing four hits with seven K's and three walks.
"It was definitely big for me," Greinke said of his best outing since coming off of the disabled list because of a broken collarbone. "I've been struggling. But I felt like I've been kind of close. It's still not exactly where I want to be, but it was definitely a fun start."
Greinke, however, hasn't pitched well in his career against Arizona as evidenced by an 0-3 mark and a 7.90 ERA over 27 1/3 innings. On the bright side, the right-hander is 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA in four home starts.