Staggering success at home is playing a major role in the Los Angeles Dodgers closing in on an NL West crown.
Facing the Arizona Diamondbacks is also playing a part.
The Dodgers attempt to match their longest home winning streak of the season and continue their dominance of the Diamondbacks in the finale of this three-game set Wednesday night.
Los Angeles (85-59) has won 18 of its last 22 home games and is on the brink of its second seven-game winning streak of that stretch. The Dodgers won at home again Tuesday, as pinch-hitter Scott Van Slyke hit a two-run, walkoff homer in a 5-3, 11-inning win over Arizona.
“Everybody is excited about it,” Van Slyke said. “We’re on a roll and we want to continue winning games. I think our attitude will continue to be the same after we clinch.”
They’re getting closer to doing just that, with their magic number to secure the division down to six. Los Angeles leads the second-place Diamondbacks (72-72) by 13 games with 18 to play in the regular season.
The Dodgers have won five in a row against Arizona by a 32-11 margin. They’ve batted .300 with 10 home runs in those games.
Adrian Gonzalez has keyed that success with a .451 average, three homers and 11 RBIs in the last 13 meetings. He has five hits in this series after going 3 for 4 on Tuesday, improving to 10 for 17 over the past four games overall.
Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-5, 3.02 ERA) is expected to take the mound for Los Angeles after a back injury forced him to miss his latest scheduled start Friday.
The rookie left-hander was solid in his most recent outing Aug. 30, yielding one run with six strikeouts in 6 1-3 innings of a 9-2 win over San Diego. He had lost his two previous starts while surrendering seven runs in 12 1-3 innings.
Ryu has been superb at home, going 7-2 with a 2.07 ERA. However, he allowed three runs and 11 hits in six innings of an 8-6 loss in 12 in his only home meeting with Arizona on June 12.
The Diamondbacks have lost seven of 10 this month, batting .173 during a three-game skid.
Those offensive struggles won’t provide much comfort for Patrick Corbin (13-6, 2.97), who is 0-3 with a 7.85 ERA in his last three starts. The left-hander, however, was better in Friday’s 3-0 defeat at San Francisco. He allowed three runs in eight innings after surrendering 14 in 10 1-3 over the previous two outings.
“I just think he’s locating better,” manager Kirk Gibson told the team’s official website. “He made a couple of mistakes, but he’s locating the ball better, getting it to both sides of the plate. He’s throwing strikes to the inside corner to the righties. It just seemed like he had more arm speed. He’s very comfortable out there.”
Corbin is 2-1 with a 2.42 ERA in four career starts against the Dodgers. The worst of those outings came June 12, when he gave up four runs – all in the fifth – and eight hits over five innings opposite Ryu on June 12.
He pitched three-hit ball for six innings in a 3-0 home win against them April 12.
Gonzalez is 1 for 6 with three strikeouts against Corbin.