LOS ANGELES (AP) — It was not a good night to ask Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson what he thought of Juan Uribe’s performance.
Uribe homered in each of his first three trips to the plate and the Dodgers connected six times Monday night in an 8-1 romp over the D-backs that reduced their magic number for clinching the NL West title to eight.
“They swung the bats very well. You saw … six home runs. They were on tonight,” Gibson said. “We’ve got scouting reports, but you’ve got to tip your hat a little bit to Uribe.”
Los Angeles’ first four homers came off Randall Delgado (4-6), who threw 70 pitches over 2 2/3 innings. The Panamanian right-hander is 1-3 with a 5.40 ERA and 13 home runs allowed in eight starts since earning his first major league complete game and shutout on July 26.
Andre Ethier drove Delgado’s second pitch of the second inning to center field for his 12th homer, and Uribe sent a 2-0 pitch into the left-field pavilion for the Dodgers’ fourth set of back-to-back homers this season.
It was more of the same in the third. Adrian Gonzalez hit his 20th homer after a double by Hanley Ramirez, and Uribe went deep again on a full count, giving him his 10th multihomer game and first since Sept. 23, 2010.
“Delgado made good pitches to get out of that inning, but after that he gave up four home runs, so we got him out of there,” Gibson said. “He has good stuff, but he just has to learn to locate and keep pitches out of the middle of the zone.”
Two innings later, Uribe completed his first three-homer game in the majors with a two-out drive into the pavilion seats in left-center after Ramirez homered on reliever Eury De La Rosa’s first pitch of the fifth. Uribe became the eighth player in the majors this season to hit three homers and the first Dodger to do it since Ethier on June 26, 2009, against the Mariners.
“They don’t come too often, but it’s fun from that perspective — to see a guy locked in and square the ball that well,” Ethier said. “His offense has really picked up, especially in the second half. You want to figure out ways to contribute and help this team win and make things successful here. We have a chance to do something pretty special, and I know that’s something he wants to be a part of.”
Coming off a three-game sweep by the Reds that ended with two walk-off losses, the Dodgers began a stretch of seven games in 11 days against the second-place Diamondbacks, who are 12 games off the pace with 19 remaining for both clubs.
“Obviously, they’re the ones chasing us, so I think it’s important for us to put them away, and we have a great chance to distance ourselves from them going head-to-head,” Ethier said. “But at the same time, we needed to get back on our own game. We had a little losing streak on the end of the road trip and had a tough series in Cincinnati, and we needed to figure out how to get back to doing what we need to be doing.”
The D-backs held a nine-game lead over the Dodgers on June 22, when they were last in the division. Since then, the Diamondbacks have gone 31-38 while the Dodgers have gone 53-17.
“It’s not over, but we’ve definitely been looking forward to these two series from a while back,” Gonzalez said. “We knew we could make it happen in these seven games and clinch it, but we still want to clinch it at home. So we came in here not only looking to win today but the next two days as well. It was a great way to get the series started.”
Uribe also beat out an infield single to third base in the seventh against Heath Bell to drive in the Dodgers’ final run, capping his first four-hit game since April 23, 2001, against the Braves.
The 34-year-old third baseman, batting .279 with 10 homers and 44 RBIs, is in the final year of a three-year, $21 million contract he signed as a free agent after helping the Giants win the 2010 World Series title. The previous two seasons combined, he had six homers and 45 RBIs.
Ricky Nolasco (13-9) won his seventh straight decision over eight starts as Los Angeles scored its first seven runs on the long ball and enjoyed its biggest power display in almost seven years. It was the first time the Dodgers hit as many as six home runs in a game since Sept. 18, 2006, when they highlighted a seven-homer barrage with four in a row in the ninth inning against the Padres and won it on a two-run shot in the 10th by Nomar Garciapara.
Nolasco allowed an unearned run and three hits in 6 2/3 innings and struck out six. The right-hander, who pitched eight scoreless innings in each of his previous two starts at Dodger Stadium (against the Red Sox and Cubs), extended his home scoreless streak to 24 1/3 innings before Didi Gregorius hit a two-out RBI double in the fifth.
Martin Prado, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with flu-like symptoms, singled with one out in the second for the D-backs’ only hit through the first four innings.
NOTES: The earliest calendar date the Dodgers have ever clinched a division title was Sept. 20, 1977, in Tommy Lasorda’s first season as manager, when they finished 10 games ahead of the Reds. … Monday was the 48th anniversary of Sandy Koufax’s perfect game against the Cubs, the only perfecto in franchise history. … Nolasco is 3-0 with a 1.25 ERA in three starts against the Diamondbacks this season, including a 2-1 decision with the Marlins on May 19 in Miami. He beat them 6-1 in his Dodgers debut on July 9 at Chase Field. … Nolasco has allowed fewer than two earned runs in 10 of his 12 starts with Los Angeles and is 8-1 with a 2.19 ERA during that stretch. … Arizona RF Gerardo Parra was 0 for 2 against Nolasco and has just one hit in 16 career at-bats against him. … RHP Trevor Cahill, who starts Tuesday night for the Diamondbacks against RHP Edinson Volquez, is 5-0 with a 2.10 ERA in eight career starts against the Dodgers.