The Los Angeles Dodgers’ second-half momentum has continued to build through a historic August. They’ll look to add to their good fortune on Wednesday with a chance at a three-game sweep over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Los Angeles earned a 9-1 victory over Arizona on Tuesday to win the current series and take the season series. The Dodgers have won seven of the 12 games between the National League West rivals.
Los Angeles also improved to 23-4 in August, two victories shy of the club’s best win total in any month. The Dodgers won 25 games in July 1947 and August 1953 — while still calling Brooklyn home. It is the seventh time in franchise history the Dodgers have won at least 23 games in a single month.
After sitting in third place as recently as July 2, the Dodgers now have a 13 1/2-game lead over the second-place San Francisco Giants in the NL West.
Second in baseball with 206 home runs, the Dodgers hit two more Tuesday.
Mookie Betts set a career high with his 36th of the season for Los Angeles, which won for the 14th time in the past 15 home games and can sweep a series for the fifth time this month.
“It’s a team effort, top to bottom and kind of passing the baton to the next guy,” Chris Taylor said on the SportsNet LA broadcast after recording three hits and reaching base four times. “We’re using the whole field with good at-bats and grinding the pitcher down. And then we get big swings. Mookie had a big homer, (Will Smith) had a big homer. That’s kind of what we have been doing the past month.”
Los Angeles right-hander Ryan Pepiot (0-0, 2.00 ERA) was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City and will get the start. Pepiot has a 2.00 ERA in nine major league innings this season and has faced the Diamondbacks three times in his career (two starts), going 1-0 with a 3.18 ERA.
The Diamondbacks started the series with their two best starters, Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly, but the duo combined to give up 13 runs in 10 2/3 innings in consecutive defeats.
Arizona was feeling good of late as a winner in 10 of 12 games before arriving in Los Angeles. And while the Diamondbacks have found it hard to measure up against a first-place club, they are still in the wild-card hunt, a mere half game out of the third spot.
The Diamondbacks are set to send right-hander Brandon Pfaadt (1-6, 5.91) to the mound Wednesday. The rookie has made 13 starts this season with one coming against the Dodgers on Aug. 8, when he took the loss after allowing four runs on six hits over 4 2/3 innings.
Pfaadt has been solid over his past three outings, posting a 2.50 ERA while earning his first career win on Friday against the Cincinnati Reds.
“This past month, he’s been really good,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said of Pfaadt. “I can just see the train moving. He gets out there and he’s executing pitches. And one pitch, one mistake, one miss isn’t throwing him off track. He’s right back at it.”
–Field Level Media