PHOENIX — The Diamondbacks are not motivated by celebration prevention, although no one wants his home field to be used as a postgame party pavilion at this time of the season.
“It’s not something I want to see,” manager Kirk Gibson said.
The D-backs are in preservation mode, and Paul Goldschmidt and the bullpen helped keep the Dodgers at bay for another night with a 2-1 victory at boisterous, bipartisan Chase Field on Monday.
Goldschmidt has tormented the Dodgers all season, and he was about all the offense the D-backs had Monday. Fortunately for them, he was all they needed. Trevor Cahill and three relievers made Goldschmidt’s two-run homer in the first inning stand up, keeping the Dodgers’ magic number at four to clinch the NL West.
“Until we are mathematically eliminated, we have to win every night,” closer Brad Ziegler said. “We’ve got to go after it, especially when we are playing the team we are chasing. We can’t worry about what they are all doing. We have to go out and play our game.”
After giving up two singles to open the ninth inning, Ziegler did not let another ball out of the infield. Ziegler fielded Juan Uribe’s bunt and forced a runner at third for the first out, then got a groundout before striking out Matt Kemp on a slider eight inches outside the strike zone for his 11th save.
“You just try to make good pitches, make him put the ball on the ground if he puts it in play. Fortunately, he didn’t.” said Ziegler, who has given up one hit to Kemp in nine career at-bats.
“He has a really good idea what I want to try to do, and I know what he likes to do off me. Fortunately, I won the battle tonight.”
And with it, the D-backs’ major league-high 32nd one-run victory.
Ziegler pitched through a sinus infection that has worked its way through the clubhouse, and he admitted after the game that he felt miserable.
“You get a little adrenaline. You don’t even think about it when you are on the mound, and then it’s just a little extra fatigue when you are done,” Ziegler said.
The Diamondbacks (76-73) have won three straight and but remain nine games out of the race for the second wild card and 9 1/2 games behind the Dodgers in the NL West with 13 games to play.
The Dodgers (86-64) have lost nine out of 12. They will win the division with any combination of their victories and D-backs losses totaling four.