LOS ANGELES (AP)While many elite teams added talent at the trade deadline, the Los Angeles Dodgers largely stood still on top. The major league leaders are supremely confident in their own pitchers and hitters to take them deep into October.
For instance, Julio Urias realized the Dodgers’ decision not to trade for a starter was a vote of confidence in him – and he pitched that way Tuesday night in yet another win for streaking LA.
Chris Taylor drove in a season-high four runs and Urias tossed six innings of four-hit ball in a 6-3 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Taylor, AJ Pollock and Max Muncy had two hits apiece as Los Angeles opened a six-game homestand with its third straight victory. The Dodgers (27-10) calmly kept rolling toward their eighth straight NL West title and another playoff appearance with their 16th win in 19 games.
And though they didn’t homer in their September opener after setting an NL record with 57 long balls in August, the Dodgers still took the first step toward maintaining their season-long streak of never losing a series.
”Our offense is really clicking, obviously, (with) what we did last month,” Taylor said. ”Our starting pitching has been outstanding, and then the bullpen has probably been the biggest difference that sets us apart.”
Taylor drew a bases-loaded walk in the first, and he broke out of a quiet stretch with an RBI double in the third inning and a two-run double in the sixth. It was the veteran’s first multi-RBI game since Aug. 1, when he hit a three-run homer in Phoenix.
Carson Kelly’s early homer was the only big hit off Urias (3-0), who got five strikeouts and allowed no walks to earn his first victory since Aug. 13.
”I just kept working hard, and that led me to have a good outing,” he said through a translator.
Urias has bounced from the rotation to the bullpen throughout his five-year career as a former teenage phenom who never quite locked down a bigger job, but the Dodgers are counting on him this fall.
”We’ve said from the beginning that we see Julio as a starter, and this was his time this season,” manager Dave Roberts said. ”I hope that he knows that we have a lot of confidence in him, and today he pitched like that. There was no need for us to look for another starter.”
Nick Ahmed added a two-out, two-run homer in the ninth for the last-place Diamondbacks, who have lost 11 of 12.
”It seems to be the same theme and the same conversation over the past 11 games,” manager Torey Lovullo said. ”You lose 10 of them, things aren’t going your way. But there’s fight in the dugout. There’s a belief that we’re going to go out and execute a game plan and get the job done.”
After Scott Alexander faltered in the ninth, Kenley Jansen struck out Daulton Varsho for his 10th save, sharing the major league lead. He also left Kelly in the on-deck circle at the stadium where he has hit four homers in the last two seasons.
Alex Young (1-2) yielded six hits and two earned runs over five innings in his fourth start of the season for Arizona.
While the Dodgers stayed the same, the Diamondbacks opened a seven-game trip following a flurry of trades triggered by the 1-10 slump that endangered their playoff hopes. Arizona moved starter Robbie Ray, closer Archie Bradley, outfielder Starling Marte and left-hander Andrew Chafin for a total of seven players, mostly prospects.
”We’ve got to maintain our focus,” Lovullo said. ”We’ve got to continue to believe that good things are going to happen with the right work habits and the preparation. These are grinding times right now.”
Alex Wood got two strikeouts while pitching a hitless eighth inning in just his second appearance of the season for the Dodgers. The left-hander was activated from the injured list earlier Tuesday after missing 30 games with shoulder inflammation.
CARSON LOVES LA
Kelly’s success in Chavez Ravine is uncanny: In three different games at Dodger Stadium last year, Kelly had a 13th-inning RBI double, a ninth-inning homer off Jansen, and his first career multi-homer game, which included an 11th-inning shot off Urias.
Kelly’s four homers in seven career games at Los Angeles are the same number he has hit in 65 games at Chase Field.
Diamondbacks: RHP Taylor Widener went on the injured list with a rib cage strain. He last pitched on Friday.
Dodgers: OF Cody Bellinger didn’t play after developing a sore lateral muscle before the game in the batting cage. He’ll go through his pregame workout Wednesday before deciding whether to play. … 3B Justin Turner went on the injured list with a strained left hamstring, while 3B Edwin Rios came off the IL and drove in a run with a sacrifice fly. Turner will be out until at least Sept. 8.
Walker Buehler (1-0, 4.32 ERA) returns for the Dodgers after missing one turn with a blister, while Arizona’s Zac Gallen (1-0, 2.09 ERA) will try to add to his major league record of 22 starts to begin a career with three earned runs allowed or fewer.
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