PHOENIX (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers hit the halfway mark of their schedule with the most wins in the majors and matched the best midway mark in franchise history.
The season hasn’t been perfect so far, but it’s pretty close.
Enrique Hernandez hit his sixth career leadoff home run, Justin Turner added a solo shot and the Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-2 Tuesday night.
“Every team has to deal with injuries, we’ve had our fair share, just continue to trudge along, continue to win baseball games that’s the thing we can hang our hat on,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “The results are a byproduct of that.”
Hernandez hit a 0-2 pitch out to left off Robbie Ray (5-5) to open the game and Turner hit his off the left-hander in the sixth inning. Chris Taylor drove in the go-ahead run on a double two batters later.
A night after the bullpen struggled in an 8-5 loss to Arizona, it shut down the Diamondbacks with six scoreless innings.
Joe Kelly worked a perfect fourth inning — despite dropping an easy foul pop-up — in place of Ross Stripling, who was on a limited pitch count in his return to the rotation.
Julio Urias (4-2) allowed a hit in three innings and Pedro Baez had a dominating eighth. Kenley Jansen needed 27 pitches in the ninth, but worked around Nick Ahmed’s two-out single and stolen base to close out his 23rd save.
The NL West-leading Dodgers have won seven of eight and are a baseball-best 55-26.
“One bad night by one guy reflects the whole pen, but tonight, collectively, they did a nice job,” Roberts said.
David Peralta had run-scoring hits in the first and third innings for the Diamondbacks. Ketel Marte went 2 for 4 for his eighth straight multi-hit game, breaking Luis Gonzalez’s team record set in 2001.
“Couldn’t really get anything going offensively against their bullpen,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “We made some noise in the ninth inning and hopefully that will be a push for us tomorrow, be a catalyst for a good outcome.”
Ray gave up the leadoff homer to Hernandez, but held the Dodgers without a hit over the next four innings despite running up his pitch count.
The left-hander ran into trouble in the sixth inning as Turner hit his to left, and consecutive doubles by Alex Verdugo and Taylor put the Dodgers up 3-2.
Ray allowed three runs and four hits, while striking out nine in 6 1/3 innings.
“I felt really good. I felt like I mixed up really well in and out, up and down,” Ray said. “I kept us in it, gave us a chance to win. It just didn’t come out that way.”
Stripling started the season in the rotation before being bumped to the bullpen when Rich Hill returned from a knee injury in April. The right-hander was solid as a starter his previous go-round, going 1-1 with a 2.65 ERA.
Roberts wanted to limit Stripling’s pitch count in his return to the rotation after another Hill injury, so he was pulled after allowing two runs on four hits in three innings.
“I wasn’t extremely sharp, but I made some pitches,” Stripling said. “Not upset up with it by any means, but definitely not the sharpest I’ve been.”
Dodgers: SS Corey Seager is progressing in his return from a hamstring injury and took some groundballs on Monday, but no timetable has been set for his return.
Diamondbacks: INF Jack Lamb (quadriceps) completed his rehab and is expected to be activated from the injured list on Wednesday. Arizona optioned INF Domingo Leyba to Triple-A Reno Tuesday night to make room for Lamb on the roster.
Dodgers THP Tony Gonsolin will make his major league debut in the series finale on Wednesday. Arizona RHP Taylor Clarke allowed three runs on four hits to lose his first career start against the Dodgers on June 4.
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