Published January 27, 2017
PHOENIX -- Talk of Rich Hill's blister has been quieted by the left-hander's blistering pace since taking the mound for the Los Angeles Dodgers, at least mostly.
Hill will look to extend his 19-inning scoreless streak Thursday night when the Dodgers travel to Phoenix to face the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Hill (3-0, 0.00 ERA) threw seven perfect innings against the Miami Marlins in his last start but was pulled by Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts for several reasons, including a familiar issue on Hill's pitching hand.
"There was heat on his index finger," Roberts said. "It was starting to get tender."
Hill, who said his finger was "fine", was less than happy to come out of the game but understood where the outing figured into the Dodgers' pennant hopes.
"Dave was in a very difficult position," said Hill, who will be making his fourth start. "You look at it, and you move on. That's all you can do."
Hill has won his past nine decisions between Los Angeles and Oakland.
The Dodgers' position has continued to improve over the past week-plus. With Los Angeles' 2-0 rain-soaked victory at Yankee Stadium, the Dodgers have won eight of their past ten and are five games ahead of the San Francisco Giants in the NL West.
Los Angeles posted its major league-leading 15th shutout of the season on Wednesday.
Hill will be opposed by Diamondbacks right-hander Archie Bradley (6-9, 5.10), who lasted just three innings in his past start, allowing five runs on eight hits with three strikeouts.
Bradley has had success in the past against Los Angeles, posting a 3.06 ERA in three prior starts against the Dodgers.
Arizona manager Chip Hale had to dig a little deeper into his bullpen than anticipated in Wednesday night's 11-6 against the Colorado Rockies.
Right-hander Rubby De La Rosa was on a rough 60-pitch count which the Diamondbacks optimistically hoped would carry him through at least four innings. Instead, he needed 40 pitches to get through the first, walking two and giving up a home run along the way and earning a visit to the mound from Hale.
De La Rosa came back to start the second and promptly hit Daniel Descalso with a pitch and Hale went to swingman Randall Delgado three outs into the game to finish the second before shifting to scheduled piggyback reliever Braden Shipley in the third.
"It's just hard because that order is so good at scoring runs," Hale said. "They were on him pretty well at the end."
Hale used seven pitchers but, after Shipley left, none of the final four through more than 17 pitches.
Offensively, the Diamondbacks continued rolling against the Rockies.
Jean Segura has posted consecutive two-homer games and finished Wednesday's win with five hits in six at-bats. He has four home runs in his past two games and continued his march toward 200 hits, from which he's now 18 away.
Brandon Drury became the first Diamondbacks rookie to homer in three straight games and has driven in a run in six straight contests. Light-hitting shortstop Chris Owings also homered on Wednesday for an offense that scored a franchise-record 34 runs in three games against Colorado on a franchise-record tying 50 hits.
The Dodgers have won 10 of the first 15 meetings between the teams, though the clubs have split the six prior games at Chase Field.