Daniel Descalso has played a major role as the Diamondbacks have thrived without projected middle-of-the-order bats Jake Lamb and Steven Souza Jr. Descalso’s two-run triple drove in the go-ahead runs in a 4-3 victory over the Dodgers in the second contest of a four-game series Tuesday.
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Arizona (21-8) has won seven of eight against the Dodgers this season and 13 of the last 14 regular-season games. The Dodgers swept the Diamondbacks in the NL Division Series en route to the World Series last year.
“When somebody gets hurt, nobody is going to feel sorry for us,” Descalso said. “It’s next man up.
“You accept that challenge and take it in stride. We are just trying to go out there and compete and give ourselves a chance to win games.”
The D-backs are the first NL team since the 1907 Chicago Cubs to win their first nine series, and with a victory in either of the final two games against the Dodgers, Arizona will become only the second team in major league history to win their first 10 series. Detroit (1978) and Seattle (2001) won their first nine series, the American League record.
“When you are talking about something that historical, it means you are a good team, right?” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said.
“At the end of the year if it means something that we did this at the beginning of the year, I’ll look back at it and think about it a little bit differently. But we have a long way to go. We have a really, really long way to go. I love our April, but I want it to happen in May, June, July, August, September and October.
“We are taking the approach there is no end zone. We are running and grinding up yardage and there is no end in sight for us. That’s the mindset this team is taking.”
Clayton Kershaw pitched well Tuesday, giving up two runs — both on bases-empty homers — in six innings, but the Dodgers had only four hits. Cody Bellinger’s two-run homer in the third was the last of their four hits.
The Dodgers (12-17) have lost four in a row and seven of their last eight while attempting to play through the loss of Justin Turner and now Corey Seager, who was told Monday he will need season-ending Tommy John surgery. Turner will not go out on a rehab assignment until next week at the earliest, manager Dave Roberts said. Yasiel Puig and Rich Hill also are on the disabled list.
Chris Taylor played shortstop in place of Seager for the second straight game Tuesday, and Roberts said Taylor will remain the regular there, although Enrique Hernandez could start Wednesday. Roberts does not want to platoon at shortstop and would rather play matchups in the outfield.
“(Seager) makes our team that much deeper and better,” Roberts said. “Now it calls for more mixing and matching. The one thing about our roster, we do have the pieces to sort of mix and match where a lot of teams can’t overcome an injury like that.
“We’ve had to do it before and we’ll do it again.”
Godley (4-1, 3.81 ERA) has split his two starts against the Dodgers this season, winning at Chase Field in the fifth game of the season and losing in Dodger Stadium 12 days later. Godley gave up one run in his first two starts, including that victory against the Dodgers, but has given up 12 runs (11 earned) in 14 1/3 innings in his last three appearances.
Godley is 2-2 with a 3.79 ERA in 10 career appearances (six starts) against the Dodgers. Both victories came at Chase Field.
Ryu (3-0, 2.22 ERA) lasted only 3 2/3 innings in his one start against the Diamondbacks this season, when he gave up three runs on five hits and five walks in 3 2/3 innings of a game that Arizona won in 15 innings.
Ryu, who leads Dodgers players with a 1.0 WAR as calculated by baseball-reference.com, is 3-3 with a 3.98 ERA in 11 career starts against the Diamondbacks. He has had limited effectiveness at Chase Field, where he is 2-2 with a 5.08 ERA in six starts.