The Diamondbacks will try to even up the series after having their bats silenced on Tuesday night by ace Clayton Kershaw. But today's challenge doesn't get much easier. Alex Wood, another lefty, has been every bit as effective as Kershaw through the first three months of the 2017 season.
The D-backs have the third best record in the majors at 52-32, but even at that pace, they are losing ground to the Dodgers (56-29). L.A. is 21-4 since June 6, 13-1 in their last 14 games at Dodgers Stadium and 34-11 overall at home.
They have a major-league-leading run differential of plus 154, followed by Houston (+136) and Arizona (+109).
Dodgers starting pitcher Alex Wood (9-0, 1.83 ERA)
Wood began the season in L.A.'s bullpen, but he's been so effective since being inserted into a starting role that he's there to stay. He has limited opposing hitters to a .178 average and struck out 87 in 73 2/3 innings.
One consolation for the D-backs is that they were responsible for Wood's worst outing of the season on April 21 in Phoenix, knocking him around for seven hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings. Wood escaped with no decision, but the D-backs went on to win 13-5 after scoring nine times off the Dodgers' bullpen in the eighth inning.
Wood's last start came against the Padres on Friday. He limited them to two hits and one run over six innings in a 10-4 victory. He is 3-3 with a 3.60 ERA in 10 career appearances against the D-backs (six starts).
On a lesser scale, Godley's season has been similar to Wood's. He failed to make the opening-day roster but got his chance to audition for a starting role following Shelby Miller's injury, and he's been so effective that he's held the job for good.
He's had a quality start in eight of his 10 outings and is limiting opponents to a .191 batting average, which ranks fifth among all starters. In his last four starts, he's given up just 13 hits in 26 1/3 innings, and he's yet to surrender more than three runs in any start this season.
Godley was the losing pitcher in his last start, giving up two hits and three runs in a 4-3 loss to the Cardinals last Wednesday. He's only career start against the Dodgers was July 29, 2016. He left without a decision in a 9-7 loss, giving three runs and four hits in six innings.
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A.J. is A-OK
A.J. Pollock returned to the top of the D-backs lineup on Tuesday after seven weeks on the disabled list with a strained groin. He went 1 for 4 with a double in the eighth inning. Pollock was a big part of the D-backs' offense against Wood earlier this season in Phoenix, hitting a leadoff home run and later adding a double against the Dodgers' starter.
Manager Torey Lovullo said he checked with Pollock late in Tuesday's game to see how he felt: "I said, 'Look, there's a chance we might score four runs and go into extra innings. Can you continue playing all the way through?' He said he felt great, so that's a good sign."
Yasmany Tomas had a setback last week in his recovery from a groin injury that has kept him sidelined since June 3, but Daniel Descalso has filled in admirably while getting a majority of the starts in left field. Descalso accounted for all of the D-backs' runs in Tuesday's loss with a three-run homer in the ninth inning off L.A. closer Kenley Jansen. Descalso is 16 for 47 (.340) with three doubles, two triples and 11 RBIs over the past 12 games.
Paul Goldschmidt had a ninth-inning double on Tuesday, but he's due for a bigger breakout after going just 6 for 35 with one home run and two RBI in his last 10 games. Goldschmidt has two home runs in 14 career at-bats against Wood and has 14 home runs and a .328 career average in 50 games at Dodger Stadium.
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Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, who entered play Wednesday leading in the NL Final Vote for the All-Star Game next week in Miami, had a single, a home run and two RBI in Tuesday's win to raise his batting average to a major-league leading .384. He also leads the majors in on-base percentage at .472 and is fourth in WAR at 3.9 -- trailing Aaron Judge, Goldschmidt and Mookie Betts.
Turner has homered in three of his last four games. He's hitting .402 with a .647 slugging percentage in games at Dodger Stadium. If that's good enough to earn his first All-Star appearance at age 32, so be it, but he says that's secondary.
"The goal is to play well every night and do things to try and help your team win," Turner said.