Dodgers-Diamondbacks Preview

PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks were the best defensive team in the majors last season according to advanced metrics used by, "saving" 63 runs more than an average defense.

After starting slowly this season in large part because of new starters in the outfield, the Diamondbacks flashed that form Monday to help Zack Greinke beat his former Los Angeles Dodgers teammates, 3-2, in the first game of a three-game series at Chase Field.

When the teams meet again Tuesday in the middle game of a three-game series, the Diamondbacks will hope to get more defensive plays such as the three gems they had Monday:

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--Left fielder Peter O'Brien took at least an extra-base hit and possibly a homer away from Justin Turner with a leap at the fence in the fifth inning of a 2-2 game.

-Second baseman Jean Segura made a running catch on Scott Van Slyke's looping fly ball to short center field with a runner on third base to end the sixth inning, preserving a 3-2 lead.

--Center fielder Michael Bourn got quick read and made a diving catch in short center field on Howie Kendrick's soft liner with the bases loaded and two outs to end the eighth inning.

The best of the trio, Bourn was asked?

Six-second pause.

"The bases were loaded when I did it," he said to large laughter.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, "A couple of plays they made, if they would have fallen, it would have been a different game."

Arizona will send right-hander Archie Bradley to the mound against Los Angeles' Kenta Maeda on Tuesday before left-handers Patrick Corbin and Clayton Kershaw square off Wednesday afternoon.

The Diamondbacks have not quite played as well defensively as they did last season, although it is not obvious by the numbers. They have "saved" 18 runs this season according to, tied for seventh in the majors with the Kansas City Royals.

The infield has been solid with first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, shortstop Nick Ahmed and Segura, but a number balls that would have been caught in the outfield have dropped in for hits this season because the outfielders as a group have less experience and have been forced to play deeper this season.

"We've had some plays we haven't made in key situations, and we're starting to make them now," Arizona manager Chip Hale. "Fantastic defense."

Maeda, a free agent from Japan, pitched six scoreless innings in his previous meeting with the Diamondbacks on April 12, but he was not involved in the decision. He is 5-4 with a 2.70 ERA, and he struck out a career-high nine in his last outing June 6 against Colorado, when he went 6 2/3 innings but took a 1-0 loss.

Bradley made his major league debut against the Dodgers and perennial Cy Young Award candidate Kershaw in Chase Field last season, giving up one hit in six scoreless innings of a 6-0 victory April 11. He also singled off Kershaw.

Paul Goldschmidt and Jake Lamb homered behind Greinke on Monday, each hitting their 12th of the season. Each hit his 11th in the second game of the Diamondbacks' nine-game homestand on June 7.

Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez has 34 homers in 157 games against the D-backs, the third most vs. Arizona. Barry Bonds had 39 and Todd Helton 37.