Manny Ramirez, refreshed after a rare day off, and Andre Ethier whacked back-to-back home runs in the first inning and they galloped in with a 7-2 win.
Lefty Eric Stults apparently decided he will stick around to watch just how this all plays out, worked into the sixth inning to boost his record to 3-1. He allowed only five hits and a pair of runs while striking out four, making the Dodgers just a bit more comfortable as they wait for Hiroki Kuroda to heal from an early-season injury.
"For me, I just want to have a quality start," Stults said. "As far as what management does, I can't control that. I just have to be ready to pitch every fifth day. You start to think about too many other things, that's when bad things happen. Obviously, after a rough one (he only lasted 2.1 innings his last time out), it's always good to get back out there. I'd like to work deeper in the game, but it's just good to get a victory and keep the streak alive."
The Dodgers finished with 10 hits from seven different players. James Loney was the only regular to go hitless, aside from Stults, and Ramirez, Ethier and Kemp had a pair each. Ramirez added a homer, an RBI double, a sacrifice fly, a double-play grounder and took a pitch in the butt. Kemp added a pair of runs and two stolen bases.
Ramirez's 533rd home run put him in Hall of Fame country, within one of Jimmy Foxx for 16th place on the career list and just three behind Mickey Mantle.
Ronald Belisario, Guillermo Mota, Cory Wade and Jonathan Broxton worked the final 3.1 innings, allowing only a single hit and striking out four. Broxton pitched the ninth just to get some work in and struck out two. He now has 23 strikeouts and only two hits allowed in 13 innings with a 0.69 ERA.
The Arizona triple play came in the second inning. With Matt Kemp on first on an error and Russell Martin, who had walked, on second, manager Joe Torre called for a hit-and-run. Run they did and hit Casey Blake did but his line shot was to Josh Wilson at short. He tossed the ball to Felipe Lopez at second and the relay to Connor Jackson at first base nailed Kemp trying to get back. It was the second triple play in Diamondback history.
Los Angeles shrugged that off and scored two runs in the fifth and sixth innings, then added a single run in the eighth.
It was the first triple play the Dodgers have hit into since Alfredo Griffin hit into one at the Astrodome Aug. 4, 1991, against Houston. It also was the first at Dodger Stadium since 1998.
Torre said Stults showed the aggressiveness that was missing in San Francisco last week. Stults said he even mixed in a cut fastball he worked on in his bullpen session, a pitch he shelved because it had little effect while he pitched predominantly in the desert air of Las Vegas the past three years. "That was a good outing for him," said Torre. "I thought he mixed his pitches well. He threw inside to right-handed hitters, in off the plate. That's necessary with the changeup he has."
Kemp and Blake singled in the fifth. After Kemp stole third, Stults' sac fly drove in one and later in the inning Ramirez added another run scoring fly ball.
Martin singled and Kemp doubled him in in the sixth inning. With two out, a fielding error by first baseman Tony Clark on a Rafael Furcal ground ball allowed the second run to cross the plate. Blake walked in the eighth and scored on Ramirez's double to end the scoring.
The final game of the short, two-game series, will see Jeff Weaver make his first start since Sept. 28, 2007, when he completed a rocky season with Seattle. Weaver will be limited to 75 pitches.
Weaver, 32, spent all of last season in the minors and signed a minor-league contract with the Dodgers over the winter. He made five appearances — including one start — for Albuquerque and tossed four shutout innings of relief for the Dodgers after being called up in relief of starter James McDonald.
He will be opposed by RHP Max Scherzer (0-2, 3.48 ERA) who had the best start of his young career Thursday when he shut out the Milwaukee Brewers for six innings, striking out seven and allowing one walk with five hits. He threw 107 pitches and the 24-year-old is looking for his first Major League win.
Score by Innings Arizona 010 001 000-2 LA Dodgers 200 022 01x-7 Dodgers ab r h bi ave Furcal ss 4 0 1 0 .257 Hudson 2b 3 0 1 0 .336 Ramirez lf 3 1 2 3 .360 Broxton p 0 0 0 0 .000 Ethier rf 4 1 2 1 .316 Loney 1b 4 0 0 0 .281 Martin c 2 1 1 0 .230 Kemp cf 4 2 2 1 .298 Blake 3b 3 2 1 0 .226 Stults p 1 0 0 1 .000 Belisario p 0 0 0 0 .000 Loretta ph 1 0 0 0 .375 Mota p 0 0 0 0 .000 Wade p 0 0 0 0 .000 Pierre ph-lf 1 0 0 0 .379 ----------------------------- Totals 30 7 10 6 Arizona 31 2 6 2 2B- Kemp (7), Ramirez (8). HR- Ramirez (6), Ethier (6). RBI- Rameriz 3 (18), Ethier (25), Stults (1), Kemp (17). SF- Stults, Ramirez. LOB- Dodgers 9, Arizona 5. SB- Kemp 2 (7). DP- Martin, Blake and Hudson. Dodgers in h r-er bb so era Stults (3-1) 5.2 5 2-2 2 4 4.94 Belisario 0.1 0 0-0 0 0 3.31 Moto 0.2 1 0-0 0 1 6.23 Wade 1.1 0 0-0 0 1 2.25 Broxton 1.0 0 0-0 0 2 0.69 HB- Ramirez; by Stults. T- 3:34. Att-30,530.McDonald Goes in For a Tune-Up
When McDonald couldn't get out of the second inning in his start five days ago he was given a couple of days at Inland Empire to work with pitching coach, and personal mentor, Charlie Hough for a sort of tune-up.
"I would throw 15 or 20 throws, just so he could see what I was doing," McDonald told Ken Gurnick of MLB/com. "Then we would look at the video and compare, and work on it again the next day. I just feel like he knows me. He was my coach in '07. He knows my mechanics. I would call him during the season last year and he could figure out what I was doing wrong without seeing me, just by me explaining what was happening."
"I could be a starter, it doesn't matter, but what you've seen out there wasn't really me," he said.
Torre said he will try to get McDonald in the game tonight game quickly, and with Weaver having not throw more than 60 pitches this season , it could come as early as Tuesday night.
Dodger Blue Notes --Among the pitchers the Dodgers have faced at Chavez Ravine during this record-setting streak have been former Cy Young Award winners Randy Johnson, Barry Zito and Jake Peavy. ...With Belisario, Brent Leach and McDonald, the Dodgers have three rookies on their staff. In addition, Clayton Kershaw, Eric Stults, Ramon Troncoso and Cory Wade started this season with less than one full season of Major League service time. ...Andre Ethier has a team-high 25 RBIs after 27 games, on pace for 150 for a 162-game season. He also is tied with Manny Ramirez for the team lead with six homers, on pace for 36. ...Hiroki Kuroda played catch Monday and Hong-Chih Kuo did not, but there's no timetable for either disabled pitcher to take the mound again for the Dodgers. Kuroda, the Opening Day starter who has been disabled since April 7 with a left oblique strain. Kuo has undergone four elbow operations, including two Tommy John elbow reconstructions. Conte said another operation is not planned. "It's degenerative change," Conte said. "It flares up for no reason. We've known about it all along. We know exactly what it is. He could pitch with it, but there's no sense to go out with more discomfort." The club recognizes Kuo bravery. "People don't know how tough he is," Conte said. "What he's been through, coming in at 11 in the morning to pitch an inning, he is a pretty incredible person. I wouldn't expect him to be out a long time, but I can't tell a timetable."