LOS ANGELES (AP) The Dodgers’ season series with the Arizona Diamondbacks went just swimmingly for the defending NL West champions.
Adrian Gonzalez hit a pair of three-run homers to reach 100 RBIs for the seventh time, and Los Angeles capped a three-game sweep of the downtrodden Diamondbacks with a 7-2 victory Sunday after being held hitless by Trevor Cahill for more than five innings.
Los Angeles won 15 of the 19 meetings against manager Kirk Gibson’s injury-ravaged club, which still harbors resentment over the way the Dodgers celebrated clinching the division title last season by romping around in the swimming pool at Chase Field after the obligatory clubhouse champagne ritual.
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”We don’t really buy into that. For us, it’s just about winning games,” Gonzalez said. ”They’re a team that we were able to handle pretty well this year. Obviously, we have really good pitching and these guys do a really good job of preparing for their hitters.”
Los Angeles increased its lead in the NL West to three games over San Francisco, which lost 6-1 at Detroit later.
It is the fifth time since the start of divisional play in 1969 that the Dodgers defeated a team 15 or more times in one season. They were 16-3 against Arizona in 2004, 16-2 against San Diego in 1974, 15-2 against Atlanta in 1973 and 15-4 against Colorado in 2006.
”Sometimes you have those years when you play well against a team, and this year it’s the Diamondbacks,” said Matt Kemp, who homered and threw out a runner at the plate to complete a double play with the bases loaded in the second.
Cahill (3-11) yielded three runs, two hits and four walks in 5 2-3 innings. The right-hander went 0-4 in four starts against the Dodgers this season, allowing 20 earned runs in 17 innings.
”This is a terrible series we’ve had against these guys this year,” Gibson said. ”We’ve had years where we’ve had their number, but Gonzalez and Kemp both hit our pitching good this year and did a lot of damage.”
Zack Greinke (14-8) gave up two runs and six hits before he was lifted for a pinch-hitter during Los Angeles’ three-run sixth. The division-leading Dodgers now have three pitchers with at least 14 wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 1977-78, when they had four in both years.
Greinke, the 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, is 5-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his last six starts against Arizona.
Dee Gordon slapped Cahill’s 68th pitch of the game, a sinker down and away, inside the left-field line for an opposite-field double that broke up the no-hit bid with one out in the sixth. Hanley Ramirez walked on four pitches and Gonzalez smacked a 3-1 delivery over the center-field fence.
”I’m looking for the same pitch, every pitch from him – fastball middle-in, and stay up the middle,” Gonzalez said. ”He missed some barrels earlier with all that movement he had on his pitches. But for us, it was more about just staying with our game plan and trying to hit strikes.”
Gonzalez, whose six RBIs tied a career high, made it 6-2 in the seventh against Oliver Perez with his 22nd homer. That gave the four-time All-Star 31 homers and 101 RBIs against the Diamondbacks, more than any other active player.
Kemp homered on Perez’s next pitch, and the left-hander then plunked Andre Ethier with a slider – resulting in a warning to both benches by plate umpire Scott Barry. That was followed by some extracurricular chirping by Dodgers manager Don Mattingly and ace Clayton Kershaw, leading to the ejections of both.
DOWN IN THE ORDER
Dodgers CF Yasiel Puig, whose average has dipped from .323 on Aug. 3 to .293 – his lowest since April 30 – was 0 for 2 with a walk after getting dropped to seventh in the lineup for the first time in his two-year career.
”Who do you want the extra at-bat going to? Right now, that’s not necessarily Yasiel,” Mattingly said. ”Yas is probably hitting where he should be hitting right now. I think it’s a place where you’re not putting extra pressure on him.”
Dodgers: Kershaw (17-3, 1.70 ERA) faces San Diego on Monday night in the opener of a three-game series. The two-time NL Cy Young Award winner has a chance to become the first Dodgers starter to finish with an ERA under 2.00 in consecutive seasons since Sandy Koufax (1963-64). Kershaw is 14-1 with a 1.21 ERA and six complete games over his last 17 starts, including a no-hitter.
Diamondbacks: Wade Miley (7-10, 4.18 ERA) makes his 100th big league start Tuesday night at San Francisco as the Diamondbacks begin a stretch of nine games in which they will face the Giants six times. Arizona trails the season series 8-5.