Behind a strong opening two innings, the Los Angeles Dodgers cruised to a 6-3 victory in the series opener against the Arizona Diamondbacks. Contrary to what was expected following a 2am arrival into Phoenix on gameday, the Dodger lineup came out energized — putting Robbie Ray into trouble immediately. Mookie Betts earned a leadoff walk and advanced to third on Max Muncy’s single. Justin Turner would follow by bringing home a run on a sacrifice fly, putting LA in front 1-0. AJ Pollock, continuing to barrel up the baseball as he’s done over the past few games, launched a 2-out 2-run homerun off of his former teammate to extend their lead to 3-0. Ross Stripling went to work from there with a sizable lead, getting around a leadoff single to put up a 0. Corey Seager led off the second inning with a solo homerun, and the boys in blue found themselves out front 4-0 early. Ray would work into a jam before getting Cody Bellinger to ground-out with the bases loaded to end the frame. Stripling took care of the bottom half, working around a 1-out walk, and Ray did the same in the top half of the third. Ketel Marte got Arizona on the board with a solo homerun in the bottom of the third, cutting the Dodger lead to 4-1. Ray’s fastball eluded the strike zone in the fourth, but he worked around a pair of walks for a scoreless inning. Stripling left a runner stranded on second in a scoreless home half. Pollock led the fifth off with a double, his second extra base hit of the night, and would soon advance to third on Chris Taylor’s sac-fly. Seager extended LA’s lead to 5-1 on a sacrifice ground-out, putting an end to a rough outing for Ray. Stripling continued to slice his way through the Diamondback lineup with a 1-2-3 inning to send the ballgame to the sixth. Facing Stefan Crichton, Max Muncy hit homerun number 3 on the year with a solo shot to the left/center gap, making it 6-1 LA. In the bottom half, Christian Walker brought home a run on a 1-out double, and Stripling’s day ended with his team in front 6-2. With an inherited runner to deal with, Adam Kolarek entered and couldn’t escape the sixth before allowing a bloop RBI single to Carson Kelly, bringing the D-Backs within 3. Being charged for the run, Stripling’s day ended with a line of 5.1IP, 3ER, 4H, 2BB, 2K and the victory. The Dodgers, aside from a Seager walk, went quietly in the top half of the seventh. Joe Kelly, who appealed his 8-game suspension yesterday morning, pitched a 1-2-3 frame to end the inning. Junior Guerra pitched a scoreless beginning of the eighth for Arizona, keeping it a 6-3 ballgame. Brusdar Graterol sat at triple digits in the quick bottom half that he pitched. After a scoreless top half of the ninth, Pedro Báez entered to close the ballgame. With Kenley Jansen unavailable after pitching the past 2 nights, Báez earned his second career save and put an end to the series opener.
The Dodgers win their third straight game to open the road trip, and improve to 5-2 on the year. Tomorrow, Tony Gonsolin will make his first start of the season while looking to build off of a very solid 2019 rookie campaign. Zac Gallen, coming off of a short but quality outing last Sunday, gets the ball for Arizona. 6:40 first pitch. Go Dodgers!