Four Game Sweep of Diamondbacks – 5/20/21
The Dodgers were looking for their first four-game sweep of the season coming into tonight’s game against the Diamondbacks. Since May’s injury, they have yet to name a replacement starter, so tonight’s outing was covered by the bullpen. The last bullpen game resulted in a loss, but they also didn’t give up an earned run as the runs that came across reached due to an error. The way they’ve performed in this homestand, a bullpen outing seemed completely winnable. The offense wasn’t too hot in last night’s win, so they were going to be tonight’s question mark as well.
DP Starts Bullpen Game
Price opened this game up for the Dodgers for his first start since 2019. He gave up a base hit leadoff batter, but the runner was eliminated in a double play. He also gave up a double in the first but didn’t allow anyone to score. In the 2nd inning, he gave up another double but again worked around it to retire the D-backs without giving up a run. He went two scoreless in this one and struck out one while giving up three hits. Price has turned it around dramatically since his first two outings when he gave up five earned runs combined. Over his last nine innings, he has only given up one earned run. He came off the IL this week after missing 17 games with a hamstring strain, and it’s great to get another good arm back into the bullpen.
Just Enough in the Box
While the Dodgers offense wasn’t hitting the ball particularly well in tonight’s game, they did score early. Smith singled to open up the second inning and the first Dodgers hit of the game. Pujols came to the plate and hit his first home run as a Los Angeles Dodger! I got the notification on my phone before I saw it on tv and all I could do was smile. It still doesn’t feel real that Albert Pujols plays for the Dodgers. But his 668th home run put them up 2-0 early into this game.
LA MÁQUINA. pic.twitter.com/iMqvazW4JB
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 21, 2021
After Price’s scoreless appearance, Nelson came into pitch and threw two scoreless innings of his own. He struck out five in his outing and had his slider working beautifully. Vesia took over in the 5th and threw a scoreless inning of work while striking out two. Kelly, who had been magnificent this homestand, finally had some trouble in an outing.
D-Backs Strike Back
With a runner on and two outs, Escobar took Joe Kelly deep for the second game in a row, tying the game up 2-2. The very next batter should’ve been the final out of the inning, but Taylor misplayed a ball in center field, and that kept the inning alive. Turner then threw a ball away on the next play when he had no shot at getting Peralta at first, and that put the go-ahead run on 2nd. González came into pitch and struck the batter out, ending the inning and keeping the game tied up. He came out again in the 7th, struck out two more batters, and had a 1-2-3 inning.
After watching Pujols go deep earlier in the game, Smith followed up his idol with a shot of his own. On the first pitch of the AB, Smith took a sinker on the inside of the plate and pulled it to left field for his fifth home run of the season. He also gave the Dodgers a 3-2 lead late in the game. That’s something we’ve seen a lot from this team lately. The bats are cold early on, but they continue to fight back and find ways to pull out wins.
Bullpen Shuts It Down
Treinen took over in the 8th and gave up a two-out base hit. Locastro came into pinch-hit, and after Smith just hit the go-ahead home run, he threw out Locastro trying to get into scoring position to end the 8th. Jansen got the 9th for the second game in a row, looking for his 10th save of the season. He faced Josh Reddick to lead off the inning and got him swinging on a slider. He set down the next two batters, and the Dodgers won 3-2.
The Dodgers completed the four game sweep against the Diamondbacks and did it on the back of some fantastic pitching and timely hits. With tonight’s win, they move to within two games of first place and head to San Francisco to begin a three-game series. With the Giants currently in first place and playing some really good baseball, we should be in for a great weekend.
First pitch of the series is tomorrow night at 6:45 PM PDT.
For the recap on last night’s win, click here.
Photo Credit – Harry How/Getty Images