PHOENIX (AP)With one big swing in extra innings, rookie Gavin Lux provided a reminder about why he’s such a valued prospect.
The 22-year-old hit two homers, including a three-run shot in the 10th inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied from four runs down to beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 10-9 on Tuesday night.
In the action-packed 10th, A.J. Pollock started on second base and advanced to third on Cody Bellinger’s flyball to left. Max Muncy was intentionally walked and Pollock scored on an error by Eduardo Escobar, who mishandled Chris Taylor’s grounder.
Lux followed with a towering homer that landed deep in the right-field seats and made it 10-6. It was his first multihomer game in the big leagues.
”Any time you help the team win it’s always good,” Lux said. ”Just going up there, looking to have a good at-bat, trying to help any way I can. I got a pretty good pitch to hit.”
It was a bit of a surprise when Lux didn’t make the Dodgers’ opening day roster after a stint in the big leagues in 2019. He was called up two weeks ago and had a slow start, but Tuesday was proof that his bat can have an impact.
”He’s playing much more like himself, more free and easy,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said.
Arizona nearly fought back in the bottom of the frame. Christian Walker hit a two-run homer to make it 10-8 and David Peralta’s single brought home Escobar for a 10-9 margin. Kenley Jansen (3-0) struck out rookie Wyatt Mathisen to end the 4-hour, 25-minute game.
The Dodgers bounced back from two straight losses and improved to 31-12 for the season. The disappointing Diamondbacks lost for the 17th time in 19 games.
Arizona built a 6-2 lead after six innings but the Dodgers fought back in the seventh to even the score. Edwin Rios had a two-run double during the rally and Mookie Betts brought home the tying run on a one-out single up the middle. The Dodgers would have taken the lead, but D-backs shortstop Josh Rojas snagged a sharp grounder as he was dragging a foot across second and then threw to first for the double play.
The D-backs had a chance to win in the ninth before Tim Locastro’s baserunning blunder. The speedy outfielder walked and then stole second with two outs. Catcher Austin Barnes’ throw bounced into the outfield and Locastro easily took third before trying to score when Bellinger lobbed the ball back to the infield. He was thrown out easily.
”I saw him lob it in there and I was trying to be aggressive and help the team win the baseball game and it didn’t work out,” Locastro said.
Dodgers All-Star pitcher Walker Buehler looked dominant early in his second start since his return from the injured list because of a blister on his right hand. He retired the first seven hitters he faced, slicing through the D-backs lineup with a fastball that touched 101 mph.
But Diamondbacks rookie Daulton Varsho snapped that streak by lifting a high fly ball down the left-field line that banged against the foul pole as it barely cleared the fence for a homer and tied the game at 1-all.
From there, Buehler’s night unraveled quickly. Locastro and Josh Rojas hit one-out singles and Ketel Marte reached first on a throwing error by Lux on a play that scored Locastro. Christian Walker followed with a fielder’s choice that scored Rojas, and Calhoun finished the rally with a two-run homer that pushed the Diamondbacks ahead 5-1.
Suddenly, Buehler was out of the game. He lasted just 2 2/3 innings and gave up five runs, though only two were earned. More worrisome for the Dodgers is the pitcher’s blister issue might be a lingering problem – he was seen on TV picking at his right index finger in the dugout.
Buehler refused to blame his problems on the blister situation, saying he has to ”learn how to deal with it and execute.”
”I feel good physically, I just didn’t make pitches,” Buehler said.
The Dodgers jumped ahead 1-0 in the second inning when Lux hit an opposite-field homer that just cleared the left-field fence. It was his first homer of the season.
Yoan Lopez (0-1) took the loss, giving up four runs, including three earned, in one inning. It was another tough loss for the D-backs in a season that’s been full of them.
”We’ve got to go out and make something happen,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. ”We’ve got to make it turn around. It’s extremely frustrating. I know you guys can see it on my face right now. I can’t fake it. I’m not a faker at all. I’m wearing it and the players are wearing it. We’ve got to find a way to make it turn around tomorrow.”
PEDERSON OUT, SBORZ IN
Los Angeles outfielder Joc Pederson was placed on the paternity list and replaced on the roster by right-handed pitcher Josh Sborz. The 26-year-old has appeared in eight big-league games with the Dodgers, including one earlier this season.
The 28-year-old Pederson has played in 34 games this season. He’s batting .184 with six homers and 12 RBIs.
Dodgers: LHP Clayton Kershaw (5-1, 1.50 ERA) takes the mound for Los Angeles. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is in the running for a fourth after six excellent starts to begin the abbreviated season.
Diamondbacks: RHP Taylor Clarke (1-0, 2.96) has pitched fairly well since joining the team’s injury-depleted starting rotation. This will be his fourth start of the season.
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