PHOENIX – There just isn’t much margin for error when you’re playing the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Diamondbacks already knew that, of course. But they got a reminder of it on Tuesday night. Despite a solid start from Robbie Ray, a scoreless performance from the bullpen and another two hits from Ketel Marte, Arizona fell by a final of 3-2 in front of 27,927 fans at Chase Field.
For Marte, the two hits mean he has delivered eight straight multi-hit efforts. That’s a new franchise record, breaking the previous mark of seven that was held by none other than Luis Gonzalez.
Enrique Hernandez took Ray deep to lead off the game, but the D-backs’ lefty settled in after that. In fact, he threw just 71 pitches through the first five frames and didn’t even allow another hit until the sixth inning. Problem is, that hit was another homer – this time off the bat of Justin Turner.
“Well that’s the first curveball I think that Turner’s hit off me,” Ray pointed out later. “So it’s just tip your cap.”
The third hit Ray allowed was a long double to the very next batter, Alex Verdugo. And then Chris Taylor followed with the fourth hit of the night – another double to drive Verdugo in. That gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead, and that’s all they needed.
Arizona hung around though. Matt Andriese and T.J. McFarland combined for 2.2 shutout innings and Nick Ahmed fought his way into scoring position with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, before Carson Kelly grounded out to end the game.
“Our guys are fighting as hard as they possibly can through the 27 outs,” Lovullo said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them. It’s just tough when you come up on the short end of that type of game, you know? It was a very emotional game. The crowd was into it.”
To be fair, saying Kelly simply “grounded out” to end the game doesn’t really tell the whole story. He made LA closer Kenley Jansen throw him nine pitches, fouling off strike three four separate times. And even the out itself was a weird one, as Jansen essentially bounced the ball to home plate, but Kelly’s check swing made accidental contact.
“Carson was taking some really good swings and he just bounced the ball and it probably threw him off a little bit,” Lovullo explained. “I haven’t seen a finish like that ever.”
The loss snaps Arizona’s three-game winning streak and sets the stage for Wednesday’s contest to decide the series.
Prior to the game, Arizona Cardinals first-round pick Kyler Murray and Arizona Coyotes first rounder Victor Soderstrom threw out the first pitch. Murray has a well-documented history with baseball, having been selected by the Oakland A’s with the ninth pick of the 2018 draft. Soderstrom does not, so he literally used a hockey stick to shoot the ball to home plate.
After the game, Lovullo noted that Jake Lamb is being activated and Domingo Leyba is being sent down to make room. He also confirmed Alex Young will get the start and make his Major League debut on Thursday.