Looking to even their series against the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Los Angeles Dodgers may have anticipated an easy victory with the reigning NL MVP on the mound.
Instead, Arizona's Paul Goldschmidt kept on hitting.
Los Angeles will turn to its other elite pitcher Sunday when it tries to avoid its first sweep at the hands of the Diamondbacks in nearly two seasons.
The Dodgers (2-3) have received two less-than-stellar starts from Clayton Kershaw after he was outdueled by rookie Archie Bradley in Arizona's 6-0 win on Saturday.
Goldschmidt delivered the game's big blow with a two-run home run in the seventh, while A.J. Pollock, Ender Inciarte and Mark Trumbo combined for seven of Arizona's 10 hits against Kershaw, who has won two straight and three of the last four NL Cy Young Awards.
Arizona (3-2) opened the three-game home set with a 4-3 win Friday in extra innings.
"You want to protect your own house and that's important to our guys," manager Chip Hale said Saturday. "During the hitter's meeting today, they talked about how important it was to come out and play, and play angry and play the way we can.
"I felt like the guys were ready from pitch No. 1, and that's how we want to play every night."
Goldschmidt opened the season with a hitless performance against San Francisco, but has been one of the toughest outs in the majors since, going 7 for 13 with three walks, two home runs and six RBIs in his last four games.
The two-time All-Star has been especially successful against Los Angeles. In his last seven contests against the division foe, Goldschmidt has six home runs, 15 RBIs and 10 runs, and his 50 RBIs all-time against the Dodgers are his most against any opponent.
Zack Greinke (0-0, 1.50 ERA) will be tasked with stopping Goldschmidt and the Diamondbacks on Sunday to avoid his team's first winless series against Arizona since dropping three straight May 6-8, 2013.
The former Cy Young winner is 5-0 with a 1.59 ERA against the Diamondbacks dating to 2013. He allowed just one run and two hits in six innings of work Tuesday against San Diego following Kershaw's three-run outing on Monday.
"I had good command," Greinke told the team's official website Tuesday. "I located pretty well. I didn't throw many curves, but the other three pitches were pretty good and I mixed it up."
Behind him will be another slugging first basemen, Adrian Gonzalez, whose OPS is an absurd 2.338 after he got one hit and walked twice Saturday. Gonzalez's five homers lead the league and he became the first to hit that many in a season's first three games.
The Diamondbacks now turn to their top starter, Josh Collmenter (0-1, 7.71). The right-hander trudged through a rocky outing his first time out, lasting just 4 2-3 innings after allowing four earned runs and 10 hits in a 5-4 loss to San Francisco.
Collmenter's poor outing was a far cry from his stellar stretch to end 2014, when he touted a 1.26 ERA through his final seven starts. The 29-year-old, however, has been shaky against the Dodgers, surrendering 25 earned runs in seven career starts (6.37 ERA).
Both Justin Turner and Juan Uribe are considered day to day after suffering injuries in Saturday's loss. Turner exited in the third inning after getting spiked in the hand, and was replaced by Uribe, who promptly suffered a hamstring injury.