By Field Level Media
October 9, 202310:59 PM PDT
LOS ANGELES — Following a successful business trip, the Arizona Diamondbacks are headed home to try to complete the job.
Another productive first inning and 5 1/3 innings from Zac Gallen lifted the Diamondbacks to a 4-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday and a 2-0 lead in the best-of-five National League Division Series.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. hit a run-scoring single in a three-run opening inning and later homered as the Diamondbacks moved one victory away from their first appearance in the NL Championship Series since 2007.
Now the Diamondbacks return to Phoenix for Game 3 on Wednesday, and Game 4 on Thursday if needed, after going 4-0 on the road in the postseason so far. Arizona has played just three home games since Sept. 22 and none in the playoffs since 2017.
“I’m definitely looking forward to the energy the fans are gonna bring,” said the Diamondbacks’ Corbin Carroll, who reached base four times on a hit and three walks. “It’s been a long time since playoff baseball has been in Arizona, so getting to play in front of them is going to be special.”
Gallen (2-0) gave up two runs on five hits and two walks with four strikeouts. Paul Sewald pitched a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his third save of the postseason.
Dodgers rookie right-hander Bobby Miller (0-1) gave up three runs and recorded just five outs in his first career playoff start and appearance. Counting Clayton Kershaw’s disastrous start in Game 1, Dodgers starters have recorded just six outs while yielding nine runs in two games.
J.D. Martinez hit a home run for the Dodgers, who are in danger of being eliminated by a division opponent in the NLDS for a second consecutive season after they were ousted by the San Diego Padres last year.
One game after scoring five runs before making their first out, the Diamondbacks loaded the bases three batters into Game 2 on a walk to Carroll, a bunt single by Ketel Marte and a broken-bat single from Tommy Pham.
Arizona scored its three first-inning runs on a sacrifice fly to deep center field from Christian Walker, a Gabriel Moreno groundout and Gurriel’s single.
Dodgers relievers Brusdar Graterol and Ryan Brasier helped slow the Diamondbacks, combining to give up one run in 4 1/3 innings.
Martinez inched Los Angeles closer at 3-1 in the fourth with a home run to right field.
The Dodgers had a prime scoring chance with two on and one out in the fifth, but Mookie Betts hit into a fielder’s choice and Freddie Freeman struck out looking on a Gallen knuckle curve.
“I thought all night long we had pitches to hit and we couldn’t do anything with them,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “Once we got to their (bullpen), we had an opportunity and cashed in one run. … There’s certainly fight, there always has been. But it comes down to results, too.”
After the Diamondbacks went up 4-1 in the sixth on Gurriel’s home run to left against Brasier, the Dodgers threatened again in the bottom of the inning.
Gallen was removed after singles by Max Muncy and Martinez. Left-hander Andrew Saalfrank walked Chris Taylor to load the bases, but the Dodgers only scored once on an infield single from Enrique Hernandez behind the second base bag.
Arizona relievers Ryan Thompson, Kevin Ginkel and Sewald held the Dodgers scoreless over the final 3 1/3 innings.
“I can’t credit our bullpen enough,” Gallen said. “I don’t think it’s any secret that those guys down there struggled midway through the season, so for them to have the resiliency on the biggest stage right now, they’re coming up clutch for us.”
–Doug Padilla, Field Level Media