By Earl Heath, Contributing Sports Writer
It was a tough start of the week as LA fell to the Padres on back to back nights falling 6-2 in the first game as Julio Urias (9-3) gave up six hits and six runs. Mookie Betts hit his 9th homer putting the ‘Men in Blue’ on the board as they fell 6-2. The following night Clayton Kershaw (8-7) had a quality start going six innings giving up 4 hits while striking out seven.
LA was 2 for 8 with men in scoring position and left 10 men on base.
“We’ve got to find a way to win those games” said skipper Dave Roberts. “I think the difference was they got some timely hits and they played some really good defense against us.”
The Dodgers began the weekend with a sweep over Arizona. Steven Souza Jr. , a former D-Back hit the go-ahead homer over the left field fence, giving the Dodgers the 1-0 lead.
“My tenure here wasn’t great just because of all those things,” Souza said. “So to be able to put that behind me tonight and play baseball, feel healthy, and feel great with this amazing group of guys behind me was great.”
Souza’s home run was his first as a Dodger and first at Chase Field since he slugged five with the Diamondbacks in 2018. His trot — nearly a spring after almost missing first base out of excitement, was frantic.
“I don’t think I’ve ever done that in my career, luckily I touched first. I didn’t want to pull a Ke’Bryan Hayes and miss it. The last moment that I had here wasn’t a great one,” Souza said. “So I was more fired up that I could kind of erase that and put that really in the past and celebrate this one.”
The game’s only offense came in the eighth inning from L.A. but it was all they needed as they took down the D-Backs, 3-0.
The Dodgers added two insurance runs after his homer. Gavin Lux walked and Andy Burns doubled, putting two runners on. A sacrifice fly from Mookie Betts added a run and then a balk batter later brought in another run.
Jimmy Nelson threw a scoreless inning in the eighth and Kenley Jansen shut things down in the ninth for his 17th save of the season. The Dodgers began the weekend with a sweep over the D-Backs…
I game two Walker Buehler took a no-hitter into the eighth, and Will Smith had three hits, including a home run in the Dodgers’ 9-3 rout of the Diamondbacks on Saturday night at Chase Field in Phoenix.
Buehler struck out a season-high 11 batters on Saturday, allowing only two singles, two walks, and a hit by pitch in 7⅓ innings. He pitched into the eighth for the first time since a complete-game win on August 3, 2019, and his 108 pitches.
At one stretch Buehler retired his next 12 batters faced before David Peralta’s eighth-inning single broke up a chance at history.
“There’s a lot of pride in our fan base, in how they support us and follow us, and travel. It feels a lot like a home game here a lot of times,” Buehler said. “They were definitely loud, and it was a cool moment for me.”
Dave Roberts said he planned to ride Buehler as long as he had the no-hitter going, even up to 125 pitches or so.
“Man, I wanted that no-hitter. Everyone wanted it,” Roberts said. “I think pitch count is one thing, but when you peel back a layer, it’s stress of innings. And there wasn’t any stress. He was repeating his delivery. He was locating, the stuff held, so I was going to see it through. I wanted it for him.”
In the final game of the series it became too close as the Dodgers nearly blew an eight-run lead. Luckily they pulled through, pulling out the 9-8 victory to give L.A. the sweep over the D-Backs.
It took a couple of innings to heat things up, but the Dodgers piled on all nine of their runs over the course of innings 3-5. After a leadoff strikeout, Chris Taylor and AJ Pollock each reached base to start the rally. Justin Turner then singled in the first run of the game for the Dodgers.
Albert Pujols crushed a three-run homer, giving the Dodgers the 4-0 lead. For Pujols, it’s his sixth home run already while with the Dodgers. Since he debuted with the Dodgers on May 17, his six homers are tied for the team lead.
The runs wouldn’t stop there. After a walk from Andy Burns, Steven Souza Jr. tripled in a run.
L.A. added two more runs an inning later. After back-to-back hits to begin the inning, AJ Pollock doubled in two runs to give the Dodgers a 7-0 lead. Pollock had a great series in his former home ballpark, as he recorded five hits during the three-game series, including three on Sunday.
Tony Gonsolin got the start for the Dodgers and had another solid outing for L.A. He gave them 3 2⁄3 innings but threw only 46 pitches. Prior to the game, Dave Roberts said that Gonsolin would throw only 45-60 pitches. Gonsolin had two strikeouts and didn’t issue a walk. After he had a rough start to his season, he’s allowed only two runs in 7 1⁄3 innings since his 2021 debut.