Dodgers take over first place in NL West with narrow win over Padres

  • SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 12: Ross Stripling #68 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on July 12, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Chris Taylor reaches for a ground-ball single by San Diego Padres’ Austin Hedges during the fourth inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

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  • San Diego Padres starting pitcher Tyson Ross works against a Los Angeles Dodgers batter during the third inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 12: Chase Utley #26 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is tagged out by Freddy Galvis #13 of the San Diego Padres as he tries to steal second base during the third inning of a baseball game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

  • SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 12: Ross Stripling #68 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on July 12, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling watches a throw to a San Diego Padres batter during the first inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 12: Tyson Ross #38 of the San Diego Padres pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at PETCO Park on July 12, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

  • SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 12: Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers throws his helmet after striking out during the third inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on July 12, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

  • SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 12: Ross Stripling #68 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on July 12, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

  • SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 12: Dave Roberts #30 of the Los Angeles Dodgers argues a call with umpire Jordan Baker during the fourth inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on July 12, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Joc Pederson hits a double during the sixth inning to break up a no-hitter being thrown by the Padres’ Tyson Ross on Thursday in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Andrew Toles watches his RBI single during the seventh inning of the team’s baseball game against the San Diego Padres on Thursday, July 12, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • The Dodgers’ Andrew Toles hits an RBI single to break a scoreless tie and begin a three-run seventh inning in Thursday’s game against the Padres in San Diego. The Dodgers won 3-2. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor runs home to score the first run of the game during the seventh inning Thursday night in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

  • The Dodgers’ Justin Turner, center, gestures from the dugout toward teammate Andrew Toles after Toles’ RBI single during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Thursday, July 12, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • The Dodgers’ Matt Kemp follows through on an RBI single during the seventh inning of Thursday’s game in San Diego. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

  • Padres catcher Austin Hedges, left, tags out the Dodgers’ Kike’ Hernandez (14), who trying to score from second on an RBI single by Matt Kemp during the seventh inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson watches his RBI single during the seventh inning of the team’s baseball game against the San Diego Padres on Thursday, July 12, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Matt Kemp gestures after reaching third from first on an RBI single by Joc Pederson during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres Thursday, July 12, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 12: Wil Myers #4 of the San Diego Padres hits an RBI double during the seventh inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at PETCO Park on July 12, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

  • SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 12: Franmil Reyes #32 of the San Diego Padres scores ahead of the tag of Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning of a baseball game at PETCO Park on July 12, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

  • San Diego Padres shortstop Freddy Galvis, right, throws to first from his knees for the out on the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner as Padres second baseman Jose Pirela, left, watches during the ninth inning of a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • SAN DIEGO, CA – JULY 12: Freddy Galvis #13 of the San Diego Padres reacts after striking out during the eighth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at PETCO Park on July 12, 2018 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers closing pitcher Kenley Jansen celebrates after defeating the San Diego Padres in a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in San Diego. The Dodgers won 3-2. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers closing pitcher Kenley Jansen, right, celebrates with teammate catcher Yasmani Grandal after defeating the San Diego Padres in a baseball game Thursday, July 12, 2018, in San Diego. The Dodgers won 3-2. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

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SAN DIEGO — Ross Stripling is going to the All-Star Game. Tyson Ross is most assuredly not.

But it took a soft single by Andrew Toles in the seventh inning to separate the two and drive in the first run in a three-run seventh inning. That pushed the Dodgers past the San Diego Padres 3-2 on Thursday night – and into first place.

The win allowed the Dodgers to leap-frog the Arizona Diamondbacks (who lost earlier in the day) and move into first for only the second time this season. They took over first place despite going only 4-3 on a seven-game trip to Anaheim and San Diego. The Diamondbacks have lost nine of their last 13 games.

“It beats second place,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said when asked the significance of a division lead on July 12.

“Beats being in fourth place, too.”

That’s where the Dodgers were on May 16 when a six-game losing streak to the Cincinnati Reds and Miami Marlins dropped them 10 games under .500 (16-26).

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“It feels good,” said Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, who took over the NL lead in saves (26) Thursday. “Shoot, how we started in April who knew how the season was going to go for us?”

If you’ve been following this team, you kind of knew.

That 16-26 start was the first time they had been 10 games under .500 since June 2013. That season, the Dodgers won 60 of their next 88 games after hitting rock bottom and won the first of five consecutive division titles.

The Dodgers have done their part to follow a similar script. They have gone 35-16, the best record in the National League, since May 16.

“If we can be in first place three days from now at the All-Star break, that would be good,” Stripling said. “Obviously the Diamondbacks have put a good season together. We’ve been grinding along with them.”

It’s no coincidence that the Dodgers’ turnaround began when Justin Turner’s season did. Turner missed the first 40 games of the season with a fractured wrist. Though he hasn’t been as productive this year as last year when he made the All-Star team, he remains vital to the lineup.

That lineup has lost some of its vibrancy during this seven-game trip to Anaheim and San Diego. The Dodgers batted .190 with only three home runs and 24 runs scored on the trip and were held to three runs or fewer in five of the seven games.

Now, they might have to make do without Turner, albeit briefly, again. Roberts said Turner aggravated a groin or hamstring muscle while running to first on a ground-out as a pinch-hitter in the ninth inning. Turner will not be in the lineup Friday and will be re-evaluated.

Ross was not a likely suspect to keep the lid on the Dodgers’ offense. In his previous two starts, the right-hander had a 19.29 ERA and opposing batters had a 1.427 OPS. But he held the Dodgers hitless into the sixth inning when a one-out double by Joc Pederson broke the spell.

Stripling had a rockier road. He didn’t have a 1-2-3 inning until the sixth after scattering six hits and a walk over the first five innings, stranding all seven runners on base, most notably striking Ross out with the bases loaded to end the fourth inning.

“It was just kind of a battle,” Stripling said. “I felt like they had a lot of good ABs. I definitely wasn’t missing a lot of barrels. … A little bit of luck on my part tonight. Might have built up some bad karma. There might be some bloopers in my future.”

The Dodgers finally broke through against Ross in the seventh inning when Chris Taylor lashed a one-out double down the left-field line. Toles dropped his single into left field to drive in the game’s first run and end Ross’ night.

Things went south for the Padres after that. The Dodgers batted around, scoring three times on four hits, a walk and two hit batters – one a classic, don’t-flinch, barely-there graze of Chase Utley’s left leg. Matt Kemp and Pederson joined Toles with RBI singles.

That was just enough when Wil Myers drove in two with a two-out double off Scott Alexander in the seventh. Dylan Floro and Jansen closed it out over the final two innings.

.@RossStripling talks with @alannarizzo about his 6-inning shutout in tonight’s series finale win vs. the #Padres. pic.twitter.com/ZhBte6sSch

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) July 13, 2018

Coming through. #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/hOeHoUpsYC

— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) July 13, 2018

“We turned our season around, and we’re in first place. Now we just got to keep going.”@kenleyjansen74 spoke with @alannarizzo after recording his 26th save of the season in tonight’s 3-2 win against the #Padres. pic.twitter.com/QMYyJbcUdm

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) July 13, 2018

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Dodgers reach deep into their bag of tricks to beat Diamondbacks

  • Dodger starting pitcher Alex Wood #57 during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Dodger starting pitcher Alex Wood #57 during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed, left, runs to first on an inside-the-park home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood, front, during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Arizona Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed, left, runs to first on an inside-the-park home run off Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood, front, during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

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  • Dodgers outfielder Enrique Hernandez #14 hits the wall going after a Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 fly ball during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.   Ahmed  scored on the play for an inside the park home un in the first inning. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Dodgers outfielder Enrique Hernandez #14 hits the wall going after a Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 fly ball during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. Ahmed scored on the play for an inside the park home un in the first inning. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte #4 catches the ball and makes the tag for the out as the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor #3 attempts to steal second base during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte #4 catches the ball and makes the tag for the out as the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor #3 attempts to steal second base during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte #4 catches the ball and makes the tag for the out as the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor #3 attempts to steal second base during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte #4 catches the ball and makes the tag for the out as the Dodgers’ Chris Taylor #3 attempts to steal second base during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin #46 during their game against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin #46 during their game against the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger #35 reacts during an at bat during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger #35 reacts during an at bat during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Diamondbacks’ Steven Souza Jr. #28 slides in to second base as Dodgers second baseman Austin Barnes #15 throws to first for a double play to end the third inning during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Diamondbacks’ Steven Souza Jr. #28 slides in to second base as Dodgers second baseman Austin Barnes #15 throws to first for a double play to end the third inning during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Dodger starting pitcher Alex Wood #57 during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Dodger starting pitcher Alex Wood #57 during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 dives for home plate as Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 waits for the throw during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  Ahmed was safe on the play for an inside the park home run in the first inning.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 dives for home plate as Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 waits for the throw during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. Ahmed was safe on the play for an inside the park home run in the first inning. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 dives for home plate as Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 waits for the throw during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  Ahmed was safe on the play for an inside the park home run in the first inning.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 dives for home plate as Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 waits for the throw during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. Ahmed was safe on the play for an inside the park home run in the first inning. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed, center, looks up for the call from umpire David Rackley after diving past Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal on an inside-the-park home run during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Arizona Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed, center, looks up for the call from umpire David Rackley after diving past Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal on an inside-the-park home run during the first inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed waits for the call after diving in ahead of the tag for an inside-the-park home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Arizona Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed waits for the call after diving in ahead of the tag for an inside-the-park home run during the first inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • The Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 is congratulated in the dugout after hitting an inside the park home run against the Dodgers during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed #13 is congratulated in the dugout after hitting an inside the park home run against the Dodgers during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood #57 during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood #57 during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor scores on a wild pitch as Diamondbacks pitcher Patrick Corbin moves in to cover a possible play at the plate during the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor scores on a wild pitch as Diamondbacks pitcher Patrick Corbin moves in to cover a possible play at the plate during the fourth inning of Wednesday’s game at Dodger Stadium. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor, right, is hit by a pitch with the bases loaded as Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Alex Avila watches during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor, right, is hit by a pitch with the bases loaded as Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Alex Avila watches during the sixth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor #3 is hit by a pitch during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Dodgers’ Chris Taylor #3 is hit by a pitch during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin wipes his face after the end of the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin wipes his face after the end of the fourth inning of the team’s baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor watches his single as Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin ducks out of the way during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor watches his single as Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Patrick Corbin ducks out of the way during the fourth inning of a baseball game Wednesday, May 9, 2018, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

  • Dodgers Enrique Hernandez #14 and Yasiel Puig #66 collide as Puig throws to second base on a Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt #44 in the seventh inning during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Dodgers Enrique Hernandez #14 and Yasiel Puig #66 collide as Puig throws to second base on a Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt #44 in the seventh inning during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte #4 attempts to catch a Dodgers’ Austin Barnes #15 foul ball during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Diamondbacks’ Ketel Marte #4 attempts to catch a Dodgers’ Austin Barnes #15 foul ball during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Yasmani Grandal #9 slides in to home to score in the sixth inning during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Dodgers’ Yasmani Grandal #9 slides in to home to score in the sixth inning during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • The Dodgers’ Chase Utley #26 beats the throw to Diamondbacks third baseman Deven Marrero #10 during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    The Dodgers’ Chase Utley #26 beats the throw to Diamondbacks third baseman Deven Marrero #10 during their game at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

  • Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen #74 points to the sky after the final out during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018.  The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

    Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen #74 points to the sky after the final out during their game against the Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium Wednesday May 9, 2018. The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 6-3. (Photo by Hans Gutknecht, Los Angeles Daily News/SCNG)

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LOS ANGELES — Seven men batted with the bases loaded for the Dodgers on Wednesday. None of them got a hit. Their outfielders committed two errors, their pitchers issued five walks, and their center fielder misplayed a fly ball into an inside-the-park home run two batters into the game.

The Dodgers won anyway.

Two wild pitches, a hit batter, and a sacrifice fly led to four runs before Chase Utley’s two-run double put the finishing touch on the Dodgers’ 6-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The division rivals will not play each other again until August – an act of scheduling mercy for the Dodgers. Arizona (24-12) is 8-4 in head-to-head games and still enjoys an eight-game cushion over the fourth-place Dodgers (16-20) in the National League West.

The Dodgers needed their full bag of tricks before an announced crowd of 45,600 at Dodger Stadium.

Chris Taylor reached base four times, using two walks, a single and a hit by pitch. Yasiel Puig went 3 for 4 in his return from the disabled list. Dodgers starter Alex Wood eluded trouble for five innings, allowing only one run before the bullpen navigated a reckless game to safety.

The Dodgers’ unconventional three-run rally in the sixth inning broke open a 1-1 game.

Yasmani Grandal led off with a single against Fernando Salas (3-3). Austin Barnes singled with one out and Puig followed with another single to load the bases. Left-hander Andrew Chafin replaced the right-handed Salas, and he walked pinch-hitter Max Muncy to force in the go-ahead run.

Silvino Bracho was the next man out of the Arizona bullpen. He promptly plunked Taylor to force in the Dodgers’ third run. Bracho then tossed a wild pitch to force in Puig with the fourth run – all the insurance the Dodgers would need.

The win ended the Dodgers’ three-game losing streak. They will welcome the Cincinnati Reds for a four-game series starting Thursday.

Wood has been sneaky consistent in his fourth full season as a Dodger. The left-hander has not dominated as he did in 2017, when he went 16-3 with a 2.72 earned-run average and made the All-Star roster. But of his eight starts, six have seen Wood face 20 to 25 batters over five to six innings. What he’s lacked in efficiency, Wood has atoned for with consistency.

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If a series of clean, crisp innings were Wood’s goal Wednesday, his defense did not help.

In the first inning, Nick Ahmed hit fly a ball to the top of the center-field wall 398 feet from home plate. Kiké Hernandez, getting his second start of the season in center, faced a tough task trying to catch the ball. He timed his jump correctly but his glove flopped clumsily against the blue padding and came up empty. The ball caromed back toward the infield. Puig, the Dodgers’ right fielder, gamely fired a fastball to home plate, but it was too late. Ahmed was credited with an inside-the-park home run and the Dodgers trailed 1-0.

In the second inning, a bouncing base hit to left field skipped out of Matt Kemp’s glove, sending a runner to third base with nobody out. It was the first error by Kemp and only the second by a Dodgers outfielder this season. But Wood came back to strike out Alex Avila and Patrick Corbin before Chris Owings lined out to end the inning.

Wood got out of a third-inning jam by getting Ketel Marte to ground into a double play. The left-hander didn’t retire the side in order until the fifth. By then he was up to 94 pitches.

Wood’s fastball command betrayed him enough to induce three walks. It wasn’t his best start, but he handed the game to the bullpen having allowed just one run for the second time in as many starts.

Corbin could say the same; he and Wood faced off in Arizona six days earlier and each left with a no-decision in the Dodgers’ 5-2 win. This time Corbin allowed three hits and walked four batters, a season-high, and struck out seven.

The only run he allowed came in the fourth inning. Taylor led off with a single and stole second base. With one out, Kemp and Grandal drew back-to-back walks, loading the bases for Cody Bellinger.

Bellinger worked the count full, only to swing and miss at an 89-mph fastball down the middle of the plate. Corbin also struck out the next batter, Austin Barnes, but not before a wild pitch allowed Taylor to trot home from third.

More to come on this story.

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A.J. Pollock homers 3 times as Diamondbacks beat beleaguered Dodgers

  • Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zack Greinke throws a pitch against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed (13) advances to third base on a fly ball hit by teammate Jeff Mathis as Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy, right, makes a catch on a late throw during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Arizona Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed (13) advances to third base on a fly ball hit by teammate Jeff Mathis as Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Max Muncy, right, makes a catch on a late throw during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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  • Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling throws a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling throws a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, right, walks back to the dugout after being called out on strikes by umpire Jerry Layne (24) during the first inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Cody Bellinger, right, walks back to the dugout after being called out on strikes by umpire Jerry Layne (24) during the first inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock (11) rounds the bases after celebrating his home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers with third base coach Tony Perezchica (8) during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Arizona Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock (11) rounds the bases after celebrating his home run against the Los Angeles Dodgers with third base coach Tony Perezchica (8) during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks’ Daniel Descalso (3) scores a run as Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, right, looks for a late throw to home plate during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Arizona Diamondbacks’ Daniel Descalso (3) scores a run as Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, right, looks for a late throw to home plate during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  Starting pitcher Ross Stripling #68 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: Starting pitcher Ross Stripling #68 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks’ Zack Greinke connects for a run-scoring single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Arizona Diamondbacks’ Zack Greinke connects for a run-scoring single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Alex Verdugo is unable to make a catch on a ground rule double hit by Arizona Diamondbacks’ Zack Greinke during the fourth inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Alex Verdugo is unable to make a catch on a ground rule double hit by Arizona Diamondbacks’ Zack Greinke during the fourth inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling (68) waits for a new baseball after giving up a home run to Arizona Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed, right, during the fourth inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Ross Stripling (68) waits for a new baseball after giving up a home run to Arizona Diamondbacks’ Nick Ahmed, right, during the fourth inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson (31) flips his bat away in frustration after being called out on strikes as Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Jeff Mathis, right, heads back to the dugout during the fourth inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Joc Pederson (31) flips his bat away in frustration after being called out on strikes as Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Jeff Mathis, right, heads back to the dugout during the fourth inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock connects for a home run, his second of the night, during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Arizona Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock connects for a home run, his second of the night, during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor (3) celebrates his run scored against the Arizona Diamondbacks with Cody Bellinger (35) during the sixth inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor (3) celebrates his run scored against the Arizona Diamondbacks with Cody Bellinger (35) during the sixth inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  Chase Utley #26 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after a strike out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: Chase Utley #26 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after a strike out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  Nick Ahmed #13 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits a RBI single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: Nick Ahmed #13 of the Arizona Diamondbacks hits a RBI single against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the second inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  Starting pitcher Ross Stripling #68 of the Los Angeles Dodgers talks with catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 on the mound during the fourth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: Starting pitcher Ross Stripling #68 of the Los Angeles Dodgers talks with catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 on the mound during the fourth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after a strike out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts after a strike out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  Corey Seager #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers watches from the dugout during the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: Corey Seager #5 of the Los Angeles Dodgers watches from the dugout during the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  Alex Verdugo #61 of the Los Angeles Dodgers walks through the dugout during the fourth inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: Alex Verdugo #61 of the Los Angeles Dodgers walks through the dugout during the fourth inning of the MLB game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a RBI triple against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: Joc Pederson #31 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a RBI triple against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to a strike out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: Cody Bellinger #35 of the Los Angeles Dodgers reacts to a strike out against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  A.J. Pollock #11 of the Arizona Diamondbacks rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run of relief pitcher Brock Stewart #48 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: A.J. Pollock #11 of the Arizona Diamondbacks rounds the bases after hitting a solo home run of relief pitcher Brock Stewart #48 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  Relief pitcher Yoshihisa Hirano #66 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts after giving up a solo home run to Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: Relief pitcher Yoshihisa Hirano #66 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts after giving up a solo home run to Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during the seventh inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers high fives Breyvic Valera #33 after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers high fives Breyvic Valera #33 after hitting a solo home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  Relief pitcher Tony Cingrani #54 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: Relief pitcher Tony Cingrani #54 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the seventh inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  David Peralta #6 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts after being hit by a pitch in fromt of catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during seventh inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: David Peralta #6 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts after being hit by a pitch in fromt of catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during seventh inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  David Peralta #6 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts after being hit by a pitch in fromt of catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during seventh inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: David Peralta #6 of the Arizona Diamondbacks reacts after being hit by a pitch in fromt of catcher Yasmani Grandal #9 of the Los Angeles Dodgers during seventh inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30:  Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a RBI single against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the eighth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

    PHOENIX, AZ – APRIL 30: Matt Kemp #27 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a RBI single against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the eighth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on April 30, 2018 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

  • Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasmani Grandal (9) celebrates his run scored against the Arizona Diamondbacks with teammates and coaches in the dugout during the eighth inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. Arizona won 8-5. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Los Angeles Dodgers’ Yasmani Grandal (9) celebrates his run scored against the Arizona Diamondbacks with teammates and coaches in the dugout during the eighth inning of a baseball game Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. Arizona won 8-5. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Brad Boxberger (31) celebrates with catcher Jeff Mathis, left, after the final out in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the Dodgers 8-5. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Brad Boxberger (31) celebrates with catcher Jeff Mathis, left, after the final out in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the Dodgers 8-5. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • Arizona Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock (11), who had three home runs on the night, celebrates with Deven Marrero (10) after the final out in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the Dodgers 8-5. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    Arizona Diamondbacks’ A.J. Pollock (11), who had three home runs on the night, celebrates with Deven Marrero (10) after the final out in the ninth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. The Diamondbacks defeated the Dodgers 8-5. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • An injured Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager watches his teammates warm up prior to a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    An injured Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager watches his teammates warm up prior to a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

  • An injured Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager stands in the dugout prior to a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

    An injured Los Angeles Dodgers’ Corey Seager stands in the dugout prior to a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Monday, April 30, 2018, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

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PHOENIX — After the dust settled between Cody Bellinger and Dave Roberts, after the bloodcurdling verdict on Corey Seager’s right elbow had been revealed, the Dodgers still had a baseball game to play on Monday.

Winning was difficult enough at full strength. It proved even harder in the face of a three-homer game by A.J. Pollock, who stole the show against a pitching staff stretched to the extreme.

The Dodgers lost 8-5 to the Arizona Diamondbacks, their fifth loss in their last six games. Arizona (20-8) extended its lead over the fourth-place Dodgers (12-16) to eight games in the National League West.

The Dodgers burned through five pitchers in the opener of a four-game series. Spot starter Ross Stripling (0-1) got little support from his offense against former teammate Zack Greinke (3-2), who beat the Dodgers for the second time this season.

To his credit, Stripling got 12 outs – seven more than any other Dodgers pitcher. Three relievers allowed at least one run. The other, Tony Cingrani, walked pinch-hitter Alex Avila to load the bases then tagged David Peralta on the hand with a fastball to force a run across in the seventh inning.

Dodger relievers are 4-5 with a 4.69 earned-run average this season. They are 4 for 11 in save opportunities, a stat that might look better if Kenley Jansen had a few more chances to save a game.

“The ’pen will get untracked,” Manager Dave Roberts said. “It’s one thing where you’re trying to keep the game close and keep these guys at bay. You see the guys on the offensive side continuing to battle and chip away. I love the way that we competed until the last out. We really did. We lost by three runs but the fight was there.”

There wasn’t much fight early. Greinke didn’t allow a hit against his former team until Yasmani Grandal (3 for 3) doubled in the fourth inning. He didn’t allow a run until the sixth inning. He’s beaten the Dodgers twice already this season.

Seager’s season-ending elbow injury became official a few hours prior to the game. Whether that was a distraction or not, Bellinger acknowledged it took an emotional toll.

“We knew he was playing through it,” Bellinger said.

Stripling, who is Seager’s roommate in Los Angeles, had a sense the news was coming.

“He said that when it was going to start affecting his swing is when he was going to say something,” Stripling said. “I guess we reached that point.”

Chris Taylor started at shortstop in Seager’s place. Chase Utley batted second. Kiké Hernandez took a turn in center field but was later replaced by Joc Pederson, a rotation that could become a custom. Bellinger batted cleanup one day after Roberts benched him for a lack of hustle.

Maybe the Dodgers’ greatest enemy was not within, or even in the other dugout, but behind the plate.

Greinke struck out 10 in six innings, including seven K’s against left-handed batters. Afterward, the Dodgers were critical of home plate umpire Jerry Layne’s strike zone. Some believed its girth expanded against left-handed batters in particular. Bellinger said “he knows he was brutal back there,” and Stripling conceded he could have taken better advantage of the large zone himself.

“You never want to use the home plate umpire, the zone, as an excuse,” Roberts said. “I do think there were some calls, when you look back at the video, it was a little too liberal. When you have a pitcher like Zack Greinke, his command, he’s going to exploit that. He figured that out early, that he was getting balls off the plate.”

The Dodgers were hoping to get three or four innings out of Stripling, a relief pitcher making his first start of the season. They did, but relying on a bullpen game to outwit the Diamondbacks’ offense proved as futile as it looked on paper.

After Stripling threw eight pitches in a scoreless first inning, Pollock hit the first of his three solo home runs to begin the second. Daniel Descalso followed with a double. Nick Ahmed drove in Descalso with a single, and Ahmed scored on a two-out single by Greinke.

Down 3-0 in the fourth inning, Stripling allowed another solo home run, this one to Ahmed. Stripling got through the outing on 66 pitches, but his durability exceeded his dominance. The right-hander allowed eight hits. All four runs against him were earned, inflating his earned-run average from 0.63 to 2.45.

Brock Stewart took over in the fifth inning and Pollock thwacked another home run to left field, extending the Dbacks’ lead to 5-0. Pollock hit 14 home runs last year. He already has nine this season; five have been hit against the Dodgers.

Count ’em. 3⃣ home runs for A.J. Pollock. 💪💪💪 pic.twitter.com/7rTAr7zZgM

— MLB (@MLB) May 1, 2018

The Dodgers got a couple runs back against Greinke in the sixth inning. When Max Muncy hit a home run into the Dodgers’ bullpen in the seventh, Arizona led 5-3 and the threat of a competitive game appeared real. It fizzled quickly.

Cingrani took over for Daniel Hudson in the seventh inning, his first appearance since a scary “dead arm” spell Friday in San Francisco. His fastball was back in gear at 94 mph; his control was not.

After Cingrani hit Peralta with the bases loaded, Jarrod Dyson hit a ground ball to Dodgers shortstop Taylor that could have ended the inning. But the ball took a strange hop, Taylor threw high to first base, and Dyson was safe. Another run scored on the play and the Dodgers trailed 7-3.

After scoring a pair of runs in the eighth inning – Pederson drove in a run with a sacrifice fly, Matt Kemp another with a single – Josh Fields allowed Pollock’s third home run of the game in the ninth.

Stripling suggested the Dodgers’ wobbly bullpen could benefit from a change of scenery.

“Maybe we’re just ready to play someone else,” he said. “It feels like we’ve played the Giants and the Diamondbacks 30 times each.”

Game two of the four-game series is Tuesday.

.@alannarizzo chats with @RossStripling following his 4-inning outing in tonight’s 8-5 loss against Arizona. pic.twitter.com/lCy3QACdXU

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) May 1, 2018

Dave Roberts talks about @RossStripling‘s outing, the #Dodgers bullpen and more. pic.twitter.com/VK6WCLIFxe

— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) May 1, 2018

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Whicker: Astros leave Dodgers offense stranded in space

LOS ANGELES — You can send a good-riddance bouquet to Yu Darvish if you wish.

You can build the weirdest Erector set of reasons why Dave Roberts bollixed up the pitching.

In lieu of recognizing that the Dodgers lost the World Series to a better team.

You can wonder all winter why manifest destiny died in the glove of Yuli Gurriel, who took the final throw from Jose Altuve and disbelievingly put his hands on his head as the Houston Astros, who first were named the Colt .45s and played on a snake-infested field with mosquitos the size of backpacks, won the first World Series in their history.

But in the end you have to go back to Dodger trademarks that lost their adhesiveness and fell off, and Dodger habits that they somehow unlearned.

In the tough moments, the big blue offensive machine was taken apart by Houston pitching and never reassembled. With all those pieces on the ground, nothing else mattered.

Game 7 was the most cut-and-dried game of the series. There were no lead changes, no course corrections after Series MVP George Springer creamed a two-run home run off Darvish in the second inning for a 5-0 lead.

Yet Lance McCullers Jr. hit almost as many Dodgers as he did the targets from catcher Brian McCann, and he was gone in the third inning, with plenty of chances for the Dodgers to recover. They didn’t, and their clubhouse reeked of disbelief.

“I thought all day we were going to come in here to win,” catcher Austin Barnes said.

“We left everything we had on that field,” center fielder Chris Taylor said. “I think everyone in here is physically and mentally exhausted. Throughout the playoffs, there was no letup. We’re pretty spent right now. It’s a good time to get away from baseball for a while.”

Their season ended on the first day of November, less than three and a half months from when another one will begin. In boxing they say there is always a style waiting for you, a method to neutralize whatever you do. That seemed impossible after 104 regular-season wins, but the Astros had that secret sauce. It came from pitchers most Dodgers fans couldn’t have picked out of a Starbucks line.

Charlie Morton pitched the final four innings of Game 7 with 99 mph fastballs and great variety and precision. He held the Dodgers to five hits in 10⅓ innings overall, with 11 strikeouts.

Brad Peacock pitched 7⅓ innings against L.A. and gave up four hits.

The Dodgers managed to avoid losing to Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel. But Peacock finished them off in Game 3 and Morton in Game 7.

“Morton had that bowling-ball sinker,” Barnes said. “But when they got the five-run lead, sure, they were going to come right at us.”

“He threw me a lot of changeups,” Taylor said of Morton. “Curves and changeups and that heavy sinker, really tough at-bats.”

‘“I think they put the ball in the spots they wanted,” first baseman Cody Bellinger said. “They were aggressive and got ahead of us. We had guys on base, chances to do something, and couldn’t get the hit we needed.”

All season the Dodgers were finicky eaters at the plate. They stayed within the confines of their personal strike zones. They became annoying fouling machines in two-strike situations, and then teed off when pitchers gave in.

The Astros took the game back to where it lives, where pitchers put the burden on hitters. The Dodgers drew three walks per game and saw more pitches than Houston did. But Morton needed only 128 pitches to get his 31 outs in the Series.

“What I learned is that it’s not the regular season, and you have to make adjustments in-game if necessary,” Bellinger said. “And sometimes, different kinds of adjustments.”

Bellinger, who as usual faced more of the media music than any other Dodger, had a strange Series. He wound up striking out 17 times, which is a Series record, and 29 times for the postseason, which is also a record. He started the Series 0 for 13. But then he won Game 4 and did all he could to win Game 5, with a homer and a triple.

Seven games were long enough for Bellinger, as good a defender as either side had, to throw behind Darvish on Alex Bregman’s grounder, giving Houston a 1-0 lead in about three minutes. Bellinger wound up 4 for 28 for the Series and had plenty of company in misery.

Justin Turner, who was far from 100 percent physically, went 4 for 25 with 2 RBIs. Yasiel Puig was 4 for 27. Chris Taylor and Corey Seager were both 6 for 27.

Add it up and the Dodgers hit .205 for the Series and .200 with men in scoring position. More important, their on-base percentage was only .290.

And yet they will have trouble letting go of the very legitimate notion that they should have won the Series in five games.

They had a two-run lead in Game 2 going into the eighth inning before Houston laid waste to the bullpen, and they had three leads in that Mad Max of a Game 5 in Houston before Dave Roberts was reduced to using relievers who should have spent the night in the hammock.

“That’s probably what I’ll look back on, the two games we had a chance to win and didn’t,” Taylor said. “But I’m sure we won a couple of games you could say the same thing about.”

A few Dodgers were giving the “we had a great season” speech without convincing anyone, including themselves. The verge of victory is a more painful resting place than the periphery. Especially when you forget how you got there.

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Justin Turner, Chris Taylor repay Dodgers’ patience by sharing NLCS MVP

Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner hits an RBI single during the third inning of Game 5 of the NLCS on Thursday night in Chicago. Turner shared NLCS co-MVP honors with Chris Taylor. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Los Angeles Dodgers’ Justin Turner hits an RBI single during the third inning of Game 5 of the NLCS on Thursday night in Chicago. Turner shared NLCS co-MVP honors with Chris Taylor. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

By JIM LITKE

The Associated Press

CHICAGO — Justin Turner and Chris Taylor shared MVP honors in the NL Championship Series, repaying a Dodgers organization willing to roll the dice on players whose big league careers were stalled.

In Turner’s case, it was then-bench coach Tim Wallach who rediscovered him playing in a Cal State Fullerton alumni baseball game four years ago, after his career appeared all but over.

In Taylor’s case, it was the Dodgers’ willingness to gamble that an offseason of grueling workouts would enable the young utilityman to rebuild his swing in a matter of months.

The co-MVPs turned up in the interview room together after the Dodgers eliminated the reigning World Series champion Chicago Cubs, 11-1, in Game 5. They were champagne-soaked with hats turned backward, a pair of googles still perched on Turner’s head. Fittingly, they doused each other with praise.

“He’s a dynamic player and a table setter,” said Turner, who hit .333 for the series, with two home runs and seven RBI. “When he goes, we usually go as a team.”

“I talk to him as much as I can. He’s one of the reasons I decided to make the changes I did,” said Taylor, who finished at .316 with two homers and three RBI. Both men also walked five times, as many as the entire Cubs roster.

“Guys that have gone out on a ledge and made big changes and had success with it,” Taylor added, “I saw those guys and the success they had, and that’s kind of what encouraged me to go out of my comfort zone.”

Before the Dodgers punched their first World Series ticket since 1988, Manager Dave Roberts said Taylor had been a “fringy, 4-A player” with his old swing – good enough to play comfortably in Triple-A, but too often overmatched in the major leagues.

With a new look at the plate (Mike Trout’s bat waggle, Turner’s leg kick, Nolan Arenado’s weight shift), the 27-year-old was part of the most valuable duo on the field throughout this series.

“To really try to shoot the moon as far as committing to a swing change, he did that,” Robert said. “And it really paid off.”

Turner, meanwhile, had already established himself in three previous playoff appearances as one of the most dangerous hitters in the postseason. Then he served notice in Game 2 that he’d be a similar force against the Cubs.

His walk-off home run in that one was the Dodgers’ first in the postseason since Kirk Gibson in 1988, a feat he remembered watching as a 4-year-old at his grandmother’s house in Southern California.

“One of my first baseball memories,” Turner said.

Now he’s returning the favor for a few youngsters in search of some inspiration.

“People were talking about the J.T. homer,” Roberts said, “and it’s up to us to make that an iconic moment as well.”

Taylor’s highlights included momentum-swinging home runs in both Games 1 and 3. The first came in the sixth inning, when reliever Hector Rondon tried to throw a 97 mph fastball and watched Taylor deposit it over the wall in right-center for a 3-2 lead.

The second came in Game 3, when Chicago starter Kyle Hendricks tried to sneak an 88 mph sinker past him. Taylor drove that one into the seats as well, tying the score, 1-1, and helping LA’s offense get on track in a 6-1 win.

The most inspirational part of Turner’s story stretches much further back.

He broke into the big leagues with Baltimore at the end of the 2009 season, but was designated for reassignment to the minors the following spring. Claimed off waivers by the Mets, Turner lasted three seasons playing all around the infield (he was blocked by All-Star David Wright at third base), but the Mets let him leave as a free agent in 2013.

Later that offseason, Wallach saw Turner playing in a Cal State Fullerton alumni game, and the organization signed him to a minor league deal. His versatility earned him playing time when infielders Hanley Ramirez and Juan Uribe went down with injuries, and the third baseman has been tough to keep off the lineup card since.

After that breakout year, Turner began establishing his postseason bona fides against his old team, the Mets, in the 2015 NLDS with a .526 average. After tearing through the 2016 NLDS, though Turner stumbled against the Cubs in the NLCS a season ago.

But he more than made up for that this time around.

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Whicker: Dodgers, Cody Bellinger show their leathery side in Game 1 win

LOS ANGELES — Since Sept. 22, nothing they did meant anything. Aimless games. Playoff auditions. Meetings and videos and ticket requests and logistics and a lava flow of stats.

Baseball teams rarely have time to look around. Now the Dodgers had to kill more of it than they ever imagined.

The Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks were the final teams to throw a postseason pitch. The American League teams had finished two games before their Game 1.

Two things could happen: the Dodgers would be burdened by the weight of their 104 wins and their 29 years without rings, or they would play like the selves they showed throughout that season.

Leadoff man Chris Taylor took two strikes from Taijuan Walker, fouled and worked his way to 3-and-2, and got a base hit.

The reset button was on.

The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks, 9-5, after they led, 7-1. They left their fans to fret about the four home runs off Clayton Kershaw, but otherwise they rediscovered themselves, the focus and the flair. Justin Turner got five RBI in his methodical way and Yasiel Puig drove all over the road.

And in one moment of potential turbulence, Cody Bellinger provided the defensive layer that the Dodgers had produced without much notice all year.

The score was 4-1 in the top of the fourth. A.J. Pollock had homered off Kershaw the previous inning. Here, J.D. Martinez singled. The Dodgers then turned the first of three double plays. But Kershaw, not quite on his pre-injury game, walked Adam Rosales.

Ketel Marte chopped a ball that looked as if it would ooze past Bellinger and Logan Forsythe and into right field, to bring the tying run to the plate.

Instead, first baseman Bellinger extended his glove to the limit and nabbed it, and then flipped to Corey Seager for the force that ended the inning.

“I just kept putting my hand out and it wound up in the glove,” Bellinger said. “I didn’t have a good grip on it at first.”

Sometimes the plays that keep you from losing are as crucial as the ones that let you win. The Dodgers gratefully got three runs in their fourth, and the rest was entertainment: Brandon Morrow snuffing a rally with one 99 mph pitch, a resurgent Seager providing a single to left and a triple to right, and Puig being Puig, as if he could do otherwise.

Puig doubled home the fourth run in the first inning and executed a Shawn Michaels crotch chop when he came up with his slide. He tripled in the seventh inning and looked up from that slide, saw his dugout celebrating and stuck out his tongue again and again

“I don’t know what that was,” Bellinger said.

“Sometimes you shake your head, sometimes you smile,” said Manager Dave Roberts, who did a lot of head-shaking last week when Puig reverted to his own time zone. But Puig was part of the fun the Dodgers were rediscovering.

“I was getting anxious,” Bellinger said. “I wasn’t really nervous. It was exciting, hearing the crowd roar. By the first pitch, all of that goes away.

“I didn’t really feel that urgency until today. We’d spent some days with live pitching, our pitchers had faced live hitting. It’s always good to have a couple of days off. By tonight we were ready to go.”

For Taylor, the frame tightened on Wednesday night, when the Diamondbacks held off Colorado and moved into the Dodgers’ bracket.

“That’s when I started saying I wanted to get out there,” Taylor said. “You’ve been off a couple of days, now it’s time to get started. The way we kept scoring, it felt like the beginning of the year. It seemed like everything was clicking.”

The Dodgers got five hits in 15 at-bats with men in scoring position. The 15 was as impressive as the five because it pressured the Arizona pitchers. Walker was gone after one inning, and rookie Zack Godley, usually a starter, made a nice one-man stand for five innings.

The Diamondbacks need all the bullpen they can get because they used Robbie Ray, the Game 2 starter Saturday, for 34 pitches in the wild-card win Wednesday.

Ray was 3-0 against the Dodgers this year and was untouchable in two late-season victories. He will be pitching with three days’ rest. It’s natural to wonder if he’ll be compromised in any way.

Meanwhile, Kershaw announced that he is immediately preparing for Game 5, which would be Thursday. That’s significant because, at long last, he won’t be asked to pitch a playoff game on unnaturally short rest.

The ninth inning wasn’t a save situation but Kenley Jansen pitched it anyway, and it turned out sloppy. There was a single and a walk and an error by Seager. The final hitter was David Peralta, and he sent a seed up the middle that disappeared, hard, into Jansen’s glove, the type of projectile the Dodgers either caught or dodged for most of six months.

On Friday they were a target that had remembered how to move.

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