Dodgers rally with 3 in 8th to beat D-Backs 5-2
LOS ANGELES (AP) The number of times the Los Angeles Dodgers have used Kenley Jansen - even in non-save situations - shows the number of close games they have played and how much success they've had this season.
Dee Gordon hit a go-ahead RBI single during a three-run eighth inning and Jansen got his 41st save, leading the Dodgers to a 5-2 victory over Arizona on Saturday night. Their 14th victory in 18 meetings with the Diamondbacks kept the defending NL West champions two games ahead of San Francisco in the division standings after the Giants won 5-4 at Detroit.
''You want to play these kind of games,'' said the Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez, who had a two-run homer. ''You don't want to have blowouts, because you're going to play tight games in the playoffs. Tight games, no matter who they're against, are always good leading into October.''
Juan Uribe led off the eighth with a single against Daniel Hudson (0-1), making his second appearance since returning from two Tommy John surgeries in consecutive years. Roger Bernadina ran for Uribe and beat the throw to second from third baseman Aaron Hill, who was attempting an inning-ending double play on a grounder by pinch-hitter Justin Turner.
All runners were safe on the fielder's choice, and Gordon worked the count to 3-2 before lining his clutch hit to center field. Hanley Ramirez then greeted Will Harris with a two-run double.
Brian Wilson (2-3) got three outs for the victory and Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth.
Hyun-Jin Ryu escaped a bases-loaded, no-out jam in the Arizona second inning and carried a 2-0 lead into seventh with the help of Gonzalez's two-run homer in the first against Chase Anderson. But the Diamondbacks tied it with an RBI double by Cody Ross and a run-scoring single by pinch-hitter A.J. Pollock that chased the left-hander after 114 pitches.
''It was the normal things that make him difficult,'' D-Backs cleanup hitter Mark Trumbo said. ''He has exceptional control, throws any pitch anytime in the count and doesn't care if he gets behind. So you know you're in for a battle going into it, and that's what we got.''
The Diamondbacks, who fell a season-worst 21 games out of first place one day after general manager Kevin Towers was fired, opened the second with a double by Trumbo, a single by Aaron Hill and a walk to Ross. But Left fielder Carl Crawford made a sliding catch of Tuffy Gosewisch's sinking liner for the second out as Trumbo held at third, and Ryu struck out Anderson.
Gordon led off the Dodgers' first with a double inside first base and Gonzalez drove his 20th homer into the right field pavilion one out later on the first pitch he saw from Anderson.
Gonzalez, who leads all active players in homers and Runs batted in against the Diamondbacks, is six RBIs away from his seventh 20-homer, 100-RBI season in the majors.
''He's as consistent a hitter as there is in the game right now,'' Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. ''He knows how to hit to every situation there is, and he tailors his at-bats to every situation. He has a plan for every pitcher and every at-bat, and it shows. That's why he's such a tremendous run producer.''
HARD HABIT TO BREAK
With the score tied heading into the Dodgers' eighth, the p.a. system blared the Bon Jovi hit ''Living On A Prayer'' - while the in-house camera crew showed former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda sitting in the owners' box next to a pair of nuns who were wearing blue habits.
RUNNING INTO OUTS
Both right fielders turned hit-and-run flyballs into inning-ending double plays in the first frame. Matt Kemp doubled up Ender Inciarte at first base after catching Chris Owings' drive, and Cody Ross did likewise to Kemp after catching Crawford's ball.
Gordon, who leads the majors with 58 stolen bases, was thrown out for the 17th time when he tried to run on Gosewisch in the third inning with Gonzalez at bat. Gosewisch is 6 for 16 in that department.
Diamondbacks: 1B Paul Goldschmidt, whose season ended on Aug. 1 because of a broken left hand, batted .259 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 14 games against the Dodgers this season. Last year he hit .388 in 19 games vs. L.A. with six homers and 21 RBIs.
Dodgers: CF Yasiel Puig did not play because of a stomach ailment, according to manager Don Mattingly, and was scheduled to get an IV. Josh Beckett was transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room on the 40-man roster for Bernadina, whose contract was selected from Triple-A Albuquerque.
Diamondbacks: Trevor Cahill (3-10, 5.06 ERA) is 0-3 in three starts against the Dodgers this season, allowing 17 earned runs in 11 1-3 innings.
Dodgers: Zack Greinke (13-8, 2.72 ERA) is 4-0 with a 1.11 ERA in his last five starts against Arizona. A victory by the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner would give them three pitchers with at least 14 wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1977-78, when they had four in both years.