Nolasco handcuffs D-backs in Dodgers debut

By BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer

PHOENIX — Ricky Nolasco looked right at home in Dodger blue.

The right-hander made a sparkling debut
for surging Los Angeles on Tuesday night, limiting Arizona to four hits
in seven innings in a 6-1 victory, the Dodgers’ 14th win in 17 games.

“I was pretty pumped up,” Nolasco said.
“I haven’t been that locked in in a long time. It worked out great. I
was able to make good pitches. I was definitely excited. The energy and
adrenaline was going those first few innings, so it was awesome.”

Nolasco (6-8), acquired Saturday in a
trade with the Miami Marlins, also doubled and singled, driving in a run
and scoring another.

“It just gives you more confidence when
you’re adding it to (Clayton) Kershaw, (Zack) Greinke and Hyun-Jin
(Ryu), three pretty kind of top-notch guys there at the top of the
rotation,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Then to add Ricky, if he
can pitch like this, every time you go out there you think you’ve got a
good chance to win.”

Adrian Gonzalez drove in three runs for Los Angeles but Hanley Ramirez went 0 for 4, snapping his 19-game hitting streak.

Ian Kennedy (3-5), facing the Dodgers
for the first time since serving a 10-game suspension for his role in a
bench-clearing brawl a month ago in Los Angeles, allowed six runs, five
earned, and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings. He hit Ramirez with a pitch in
the first inning.

The Dodgers pulled within 2 games of the NL West-leading Diamondbacks.

Plate umpire Marvin Hudson warned both
benches after Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario hit Miguel Montero in
the leg with a pitch in the ninth inning. Belisario had warned after the
brawl that “it’s not over.”

He repeated that sentiment after the game but insisted he didn’t hit Montero on purpose.

“It’s not over,” Belisario said, “but it wasn’t on purpose.”

So it’s still not over?

“No,” he said.

The Dodgers, who won by the same score
in Monday’s series opener, have won 11 of their last 13 against NL West
opponents, picking up seven games in the standings since they were a
season-worst 9 out on June 22.

Nolasco, who fanned five with no walks,
shut out Arizona until the seventh, when Aaron Hill doubled off the
glove of a diving Yasiel Puig in right field and scored on Martin
Prado’s single.

Arizona center fielder Adam Eaton,
making his season debut after being activated from the disabled list,
stumbled and dropped Gonzalez’s fly ball at the warning track with the
bases loaded in the fifth.

Kennedy had made his last seven starts
on the road, including the June 11 outing in Los Angeles, where he hit
Puig and Greinke with high pitches in a testy game that included a
bench-clearing melee. Of the eight suspensions that followed, Kennedy’s
was the most severe at 10 games, although he missed just one start.

The Arizona right-hander made things
interesting in the first inning Tuesday when he plunked Ramirez in the
shoulder. Nothing intentional, Kennedy said.

“Up-and-in changeup slipped out of my hand,” he said.

Mattingly agreed.

“We know that Kennedy’s not trying to
hit Hanley,” Mattingly said. “That was a changeup. They were just trying
to get in. That’s nothing.”

Nolasco’s two-out single to right
brought in the game’s first run in the second. A.J. Ellis and Skip
Schumaker singled to start the inning, then Jerry Hairston Jr. grounded
into a double play, leaving a runner at third with two outs as the
pitcher came to the plate.

Andre Ethier led off the Dodgers fourth
with a single. With Ethier running on the play, Ellis struck out but
Montero’s throw to second sailed into center field and Ethier wound up
at third with one out. With the infield playing in to cut off the run,
Schumaker bounced one to second, but Hill dropped the ball, ruining any
chance for a play at the plate. Schumaker was thrown out at first, but
the unearned run scored to make it 2-0.

Nolasco opened the fifth with a double
to right-center, then Carl Crawford reached on a bunt single and Puig
walked to load the bases with no outs. Gonzalez lofted one to deep
center, where Eaton lost his footing on the warning track and as he fell
to the ground the ball popped out of his glove for an error. Two runs
scored to make it 4-0.

Puig came barreling around third on the
play and attempted to score, but Montero took the relay throw from
shortstop Didi Gregorius. Puig shoved Montero as the tag was applied,
then the two stared at each other as the young Dodgers star walked
toward the dugout.

“He plays with a lot of arrogance,” Kennedy said. “I don’t know if he was trying to run (Montero) over or what.”

After Kennedy walked two to load the bases in the sixth, Gonzalez’s two-run single off Tony Sipp broke it open at 6-0.

Gregorius robbed Schumaker with a soaring grab of a line drive to end the Los Angeles seventh.

NOTES: Kennedy leads the NL with 10 hit batters. Detroit RHP Doug Fister leads the majors with 13. … Arizona 3B Eric Chavez was a late scratch with a sore hip. … Los Angeles pitchers have five hits in the first two games of the series. … Seeking a sweep, the Dodgers send Hyun-Jin Ryu (7-3, 2.82 ERA) to the mound and Arizona counters with Tyler Skaggs (2-1, 3.65) in a matchup of left-handers Wednesday night.