PHOENIX – If the Arizona Diamondbacks wanted to make the Dodgers sweat, they would have done better to leave the roof of Chase Field open to the 110-degree heat.
But maybe they have at least given the Dodgers something to think about.
Held to one hit – a solo home run by Cody Bellinger – through six innings by right-hander Zack Greinke, the Dodgers broke through for two runs in the seventh and handed the Diamondbacks a 3-2 defeat Wednesday night at Chase Field.
It does little but take another day off the baseball calendar. The Dodgers’ lead in the NL West is a robust 15½ games over the Colorado Rockies with the Diamondbacks 16 games back now. The NL order is all but set. The Diamondbacks and Rockies have strong holds on the wild-card spots (the Cardinals and Brewers are seven games back) and the winner of the wild-card play-in game will face the Dodgers in a best-of-five NL Division Series (assuming the Dodgers maintain their status as the NL’s top dog).
The Dodgers have matching 7-5 records against the Diamondbacks and Rockies this season. But the Diamondbacks have played them tougher. Four of the past five Dodgers-Diamondbacks games have been decided by one run – all in the Dodgers’ favor.
But the Diamondbacks have actually outscored the Dodgers head-to-head 53-50 and have had the upper hand at Chase Field where they have won three of the five meetings and outscored the Dodgers 34-22.
They had the upper hand for six innings Wednesday with Greinke holding the Dodgers in check.
Paul Goldschmidt homered in the fourth inning – as he typically does whenever the Dodgers and Diamondbacks meet.
And in the sixth inning, J.D. Martinez – obtained from the Detroit Tigers before last week’s non-waiver trade deadline to fortify the Diamondbacks’ weak attack against left-handed pitching – gave Greinke the lead with a two-out RBI single against Dodgers left-hander Alex Wood.
But Bellinger led off the seventh with his second hit off Greinke, a double to right field. The former Dodgers right-hander was poised to slip away from danger after getting Yasmani Grandal to fly out and Chase Utley to ground out.
That brought up Joc Pederson who was hitless in his previous 23 at-bats including strikeouts in his first two at-bats against Greinke on Wednesday night. But Greinke left a fat changeup over the plate and Pederson lashed it for an RBI double to tie the score. Yasiel Puig followed with an RBI single, driving Pederson home with the go-ahead…