LOS ANGELES — You might not have noticed Scott Alexander at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night, which was the whole point.
He quietly muffled Arizona when the Dodgers only led by one run. Chase Utley then sent a two-run double into the left-center gap and the Dodgers wound up 6-3 winners in an affair that resembled a hostage situation more than a game.
They went 2 for 12 with men in scoring position and had immense trouble advancing more than one base. They got their first four runs on two wild pitches, a hit-by-pitch and a run-scoring fly ball.
They have been having so much difficulty delivering in the clutch that they’re thinking about hiring a doula.
“We’re still not playing complete baseball games,” Manager Dave Roberts said. Nor do they have a complete lineup, although right fielder Yasiel Puig did play Wednesday, and third baseman Justin Turner was all over the place in pregame ceremonies, had a simulated game, and expects to be active next week.
Alexander was a point of light. He came here in a three-way deal, bringing solid ground-ball credentials from Kansas City. He was supposed to be a left-handed weapon to replace Tony Watson, who signed with San Francisco.
But he couldn’t get out of his own way in the first month of the season and went to Oklahoma City for a tuneup. Triple-A pitching coach Bill Simas got him aligned, without the world watching, and Alexander looked the part on Wednesday.
“I don’t really judge it by velocity,’” Alexander said. “It’s just how it feels, coming out of my hand. I thought I was starting to get a better flow before I was sent down. I got some help with my timing and everything started to work.
“At first I was kind of lost, didn’t have a feel for anything. Down there I found the final piece of it. I’ve had slow starts before, but I don’t remember feeling that lost. It was frustrating not being able to even get into a game. Tonight I felt normal out there.”
Alexander wasn’t allowed to ease back in. The Diamondbacks, winners of 14 of their past 17 regular-season games against the Dodgers, had scored twice in the seventh off J.T. Chargois and had two on with two out.
Alexander got a ground ball from Ketel Marte that made Roberts’ heart flutter a bit when shortstop Chris Taylor flipped it to second baseman Austin Barnes instead of throwing to first. Another hard slide by Steven Souza, who hit third baseman Matt Muncy hard with a slide on Tuesday, almost broke up the force play but didn’t.
It was still 4-3 in the eighth when Alexander got two grounders, then fanned Daniel Descalso.
Alexander had three rough outings in his first 11 appearances and had a 1.853 WHIP, which was not the introduction that he’d had in mind.
“I think it was tough only because they didn’t know me,” he said. “Early on, you think you can patch it in spring training, you’ll figure it out. Eventually, you just want to get the ball somewhere close to where you want it. It felt good tonight.”
Kenley Jansen got a three-out save after he pitched two innings on Tuesday. Alex Wood gave up an inside-the-park home run by Nick Ahmed in the first, after Kiké Hernandez rammed into the center-field wall. But Wood shut down the Diamondbacks for the next four innings, despite five hits and three walks.
Puig had three hits and Utley, after that double off lefty Jorge De La Rosa, gave his usual baseball tutorial by hustling to get to third on a fly ball to center.
And no bones were broken during the making of this victory.
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