Listless Dodgers lose to the Diamondbacks again

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Leadoff man Corbin Carroll driving balls into the gap and racing around the bases. Slugger Christian Walker crushing home runs into the left-field seats. Second baseman Ketel Marte delivering big hits and starting rally-killing double plays. A no-name pitcher shutting down their high-powered offense.

If this had a familiar ring to the Dodgers and a crowd of 46,593 in Chavez Ravine on Wednesday night, it was because it was all too familiar, the Arizona Diamondbacks cruising to a 6-0 victory to win two of three games in a series that was reminiscent of their three-game sweep of the Dodgers in last year’s National League Division Series.

Carroll keyed a three-run fifth inning with a two-run triple that helped send Dodgers ace Tyler Glasnow to his second straight loss; Walker did his usual Dodger damage with a solo homer in the sixth and a double in the eighth, and Marte started a quirky and timely double play to help extricate the Diamondbacks from a two-on, no-out jam in the sixth.

And it was bulk reliever Ryne Nelson who reprised the role of Brandon Pfaadt from Game 3 of that division series, the 26-year-old right-hander entering the day with a 2-3 record and 7.06 ERA in seven starts but blanking the Dodgers on five hits over five innings, striking out five and walking three.

The Dodgers, at the end of a 13-day, 13-game stretch in which they went 7-6, went hitless in eight at-bats with runners in scoring position and lost their first regular-season home series to Arizona since April 13-15, 2018, a span of 13 series. It was Arizona’s first shutout in Chavez Ravine since a 13-0 win on Sept. 4, 2017.

The Diamondbacks, with some key players hurt and others underachieving, were still two games under .500 (24-26) and eight games behind the Dodgers in the NL West after the win.

But as they showed during their surprising World Series run last October and again this week in Los Angeles, they could present problems for the Dodgers.

“Oh, yeah. I think we know that,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said, when asked if Arizona was better than its record might indicate. “It seems like everyone around the league is going through a lot of injuries — certainly those guys with their starting pitching.

“But their bullpen has been really good, they took good at-bats against us and they got big hits when they needed to. We know how good of a ball club they are. They certainly play us very well.”

Glasnow was dominant through four scoreless innings in which he gave up two singles, struck out six, walked none and induced 14 swinging strikes, but the Diamondbacks snapped the scoreless tie with three runs in the fifth.

Gabriel Moreno drew a one-out walk. No. 9 hitter Kevin Newman grounded a single to center field to advance Moreno to third, and Newman took second on the throw.

Carroll, the 2023 NL rookie of the year who is off to a brutal start in 2024 — he entered Wednesday with a .191 average, two homers and 14 RBIs — drove a hanging 1-and-2 curveball from Glasnow into the right-center field gap for a two-run triple for a 2-0 lead. He then scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0.

“I thought the stuff was really good early and through that fourth inning,” Roberts said of Glasnow, who gave up three runs and four hits in five innings, striking out six and walking one, to fall to 6-3 with a 3.09 ERA.

“He was getting the swing and miss. The command was good. The breaking ball was good. The slider was good. And then in that fifth inning, it seemed like he just couldn’t find his mechanics and lost his command. … He got Carroll into a leverage count and hung the breaking ball.”

The Dodgers had a similar threat in the top of the fourth when Teoscar Hernández walked and Gavin Lux laced a double to right to put runners on second and third with one out. But Nelson struck out Andy Pages on three pitches and got Jason Heyward to ground out to first.

The Dodgers failed to score again after putting two on with no outs in the fifth when Shohei Ohtani hit a mile-high fly ball to center field, Freddie Freeman struck out on a 96-mph fastball from Nelson and Will Smith flied to the wall in right.

“We had a couple of situational opportunities that we didn’t cash in on, even after we saw [Nelson] a couple of times,” Roberts said. “In those situations, he went after us with the fastball, and we couldn’t catch up to it. Just really uncharacteristic of us.”

The Diamondbacks pushed the lead to 4-0 in the sixth when Walker crushed a 417-foot solo homer to left-center field off reliever Elieser Hernández, giving the Arizona first baseman 22 homers in 87 games against the Dodgers, 14 of them coming in Chavez Ravine.

“He’s one of my favorite players to watch,” Roberts said of Walker. “He plays the game the right way. He uses the whole field. He doesn’t give away pitches. He’s a Gold Glover on defense. He runs the bases. He’s one of the guys I really respect as a ballplayer. You just don’t like it when he’s in the batter’s box, for sure.”

The Dodgers had one final chance to make a game of it in the bottom of the sixth when Teoscar Hernández singled to right and Lux singled to left, putting two on with no outs.

Pages followed with a jam-shot flare over the mound that Marte alertly let drop near the second-base bag. Marte fielded the ball, stepped on second for the force out and started a rundown that ended with Hernández being tagged out between second and third for a double play. Heyward flied out to the warning track in left to end the inning.

“There was really nothing our baserunners could have done,” Roberts said. “We had a chance to kind of build an inning, and then Andy gets sawed off, Ketel made a heady play and just killed the rally right there.”

Arizona scored twice off reliever Ryan Yarbrough in the eighth when Marte led off with a homer off the left-field foul pole and Walker doubled and later scored on a passed ball.

Short hops

Left-hander James Paxton and right-hander Walker Buehler will start the first two games of a three-game series at Cincinnati beginning Friday night, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto will start Sunday’s series finale, marking the fourth time this season the right-hander will pitch on five days’ rest. … Closer Evan Phillips, out since May 5 because of a mild right-hamstring strain, will throw live-batting practice with Class A Rancho Cucamonga on Thursday and is scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment with the club on Sunday.

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