The Dodgers ended the official first half of the season on a good note as Kiké Hernández and Justin Turner each hit solo homers and Chris Taylor drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI double as the Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks 3-2.
Throughout the year, the Dodger bullpen has been a problem, including Monday night when Dylan Floro allowed 4 runs in an 8-5 Dodger loss. But Tuesday night was a different game. With Ross Stripling on the mound in place of an injured Rich Hill, the Dodger bullpen was required to go 6 innings. And this time they stepped up.
The bullpen combined for 6 shutout innings and they allowed just 2 hits and 1 walk. Joe Kelly pitched one inning, Julio Urías lasted three innings, then Pedro Báez took an inning with Kenley Jansen closing it out.
“Trust me, I’ve been hearing, people been criticizing, and to me that’s just motivation and all my guys feel the way I feel,” said Jansen. “When people say you don’t have it no more, that’s just motivation to get better.”
“Listen, it’s fair. When every part of the team is going great and one part is not clicking yet, it’s fair to kind of criticize it. But I take it as a positive – it’s going to keep me pushing to get better.”
One part of this Dodger team that has been clicking is the offense. And although they didn’t put up 5+ runs in this game, they came up with the clutch hits when they needed them and scored just enough.
Hernández got the Dodgers on the board with a leadoff homer against Ray. Ray is one of the pitchers that Hernández hits well against. After Tuesday night’s game, Hernández has an OPS of .998 with 4 homers and 10 RBI against Ray.
Turner came up with a key hit in the sixth inning with the Dodgers down by a run. Turner hit a slider from Ray, crushing a no-doubt shot into the left field seats for a solo homer.
Two batters later, Taylor gave the Dodgers the lead. With a man on second, Taylor hit a high line drive to right field. Initially the ball looked playable for Adam Jones, but the ball carried right over his glove. With that misplay, Taylor arrived at second base with an RBI double.
The Dodgers and Diamondbacks will face off at 12:40 pm today for the final game of the series. Rookie pitcher, Taylor Clarke, will start for the Diamondbacks. He has a 6.48 ERA on the year. For the Dodgers, they will call up Tony Gonsolin, their 4th ranked prospect by MLB Pipeline. This year at Triple-A, Gonsolin is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA in 26.0 innings.