PHOENIX — It appears that this rivalry is going stay awhile.
The Los Angeles Dodgers had their way with the Diamondbacks during their second straight 6-1 victory on Tuesday, when Ricky Nolasco turned his Dodgers’ debut into a bad sign for the rest of the NL West.
The two top contenders for the division title as the All-Star break nears threw in some more extracurricular activity, although it was nothing like the brawl that occurred the last time Ian Kennedy faced them on June 11.
Kennedy hit Hanley Ramirez in the first inning, although the pitch was clocked at 79 mph, and neither side thought enough of it to stir.
It got a little chippier as the Dodgers built their lead to 4-0 in the fifth inning.
Rampaging Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig tried to run through Miguel Montero on a play at the plate, and he then stared at Montero as he walked toward the Dodgers’ dugout. Montero shook his finger at Puig with a Dikembe Mutombo on-no-you-don’t wag.
Ronald Belisario hit Montero with an 0-2 pitch with two outs in the ninth inning. Whatever the intent, Montero went to first base without incident, and the game ended one batter later.
Belisario is the player who said “it’s not over” after the teams brawled in Los Angeles, when Kennedy hit Puig and Zack Greinke and Greinke hit Cody Ross and Montero. Kennedy got a 10-game suspension, and three Dodgers’ players, including Belisario, got suspensions of one and two games.
“No, it wasn’t on purpose,” said Belisario. “I was just trying to come in, you know. I mean, they think that I hit him on purpose, but no it wasn’t. But I mean, 0-2, come on?”
He was reminded of his statement from before.
“It’s not over, but it wasn’t on purpose,” he said.
So it’s still not over?
“No,” he said.
That is fine with the Diamondbacks, who have seen their division lead drop from 4 ½ games to 2 ½ games after getting one run in each of the last two nights. Greinke did not give up a run in seven innings of a 6-1 victory Monday
While Puig has propelled the Dodgers (45-46) to 14 victories in their last 17 games, he also has rubbed some the wrong way in his first 33 games.
“He plays with a lot of arrogance. He’s young. He’s a pretty good player. I don’t know if he was trying to run over ‘Miggy’ or what,” Kennedy said.
The game turned against the D-backs in that fifth inning, when the Dodgers loaded the bases on a double by Nolasco and walks to Carl Crawford and Puig with no outs. Adrian Gonzalez hit a fly to the warning track in center field, and Adam Eaton got his feet tangled and fell. He still almost caught the ball, but it bounced off his glove and two runs scored.
Puig tried to make it three, but he was out when Montero held onto the relay throw from Didi Gregorius.
Puig looked at Montero as he walked toward the Dodgers’ dugout, and Montero looked back and appeared to wag his finger.
“He came in hard,” Montero said. “He’s playing the game hard. He’s just trying to score. I’m trying to block the plate as well. You don’t need to look at me if you get out. That’s it. I’m not starting anything. He’s looking at me, like, I don’t know … He was out. That’s all I care. The damage was already done.
“I think it’s just the way the kid plays. Other guys are taking it the wrong way, maybe. Maybe not. It seems like sometimes he might get in trouble, not with the D-backs, but with somebody else. He plays the game hard.”
Montero, who turned 30 on Tuesday, seemed to believe Belisario did not hit him on purpose.
“I don’t think so,” he said. “He probably tried to overthrow and just pulled it. He got me. I’m not crying about getting hit. It’s just part of the game.”