Wednesday night's game between these two teams had a disturbingly familiar feel for the Diamondbacks (64-49), who suffered their fourth one-run loss to the Dodgers in the last five meetings between the two teams. The Dodgers (80-33) rallied for two runs in the seventh off Arizona ace Zack Greinke to win for the 45th time in the last 53 games.
Now the D-backs turn to rookie Anthony Banda to try to secure a series victory. Banda will be making his third major league start, and his counterpart will be one of baseball's most accomplished pitchers in Yu Darvish, who was acquired by the Dodgers from Texas at the trade deadline.
"All these games are extremely important," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "I know these guys are feeling that. We embrace that. Anthony understands that very well. We know he is a young pitcher. To get him up there and pitch in these types of games in a meaningful environment is going to be priceless for his development."
D-backs starting pitcher Anthony Banda (1-1, 3.86)
While matching up against Darvish is a tall order, it's not that different from Banda's start last Friday in San Francisco. In that one, the opposing pitcher was another perennial All-Star in Giants' left-hander Madison Bumgarner. Banda emerged from that one with his first major-league victory, limiting the Giants to three hits (all infield singles) and one run over six innings in a 2-1 Arizona win. He struck out seven and walked four.
"It's downhill fastballs to both sides of the plate," Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said. "Confidence, knowing that he can throw all three pitches at any time. There was a mound presence. There was an ease to his game plan. Adjustments were good. It wasn't a perfect outing, but he made pitches when he had to and got out of situations when he had to."
Darvish struggled for much of the season in Texas, but he was at his best in his Dodgers debut last Friday. He gave up three hits and striking out 10 in seven scoreless innings in a 6-0 victory over the Mets.
"That's the guy we expected to get," Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "But again, it's one start. The stuff is elite, and for Yu just to be comfortable and to be with his teammates and to learn the National League more and to learn our catchers, it is only going to be better. I know that he's excited to be here, and we're excited to have him."
Darvish has made two career starts against the Diamondbacks, both in 2013, and struck out 14 batters each time. He pitched seven shutout innings and gave up five hits in a 7-1 victory at Texas and gave up four runs and five hits over 7 2/3 innings in a 5-4 loss at Chase Field.
Noah K. MurrayNoah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports
Wednesday's 3-2 loss was another frustrating night at the plate for the D-backs.
They are 2 for 15 with runners in scoring position in the series and 17 for 99 (.172) over their past 12 games overall. In the last five games vs. the Dodgers, they are 4 for 29 (.138), which explains in large part the four one-run losses in those five games. (The Dodgers are 8 for 38 in the same five games.)
The D-backs were 18-8 in one-run games through July 2 but 2-11 since then. The Dodgers are 20-10 in one-run decisions.
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Carrying the load
Paul Goldsdchmidt's home run on Wednesday was his 26th against the Dodgers in 107 career games -- most of any active player. He has 85 RBI against L.A., also tops among active players. Goldschmidt is 22 for 53 (.415) with five home runs and 17 RBI since J.D. Martinez returned to the D-backs' lineup.
Ketel Marte has a nine-game hitting streak (12 for 31).
Jake Lamb was hitless on Wednesday, but he has six home runs and 13 RBI in 11 games vs. the Dodgers this season.