Albert Pujols delivers in debut as Los Angeles Dodgers defeat Diamondbacks

May 17, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Albert Pujols (55) singles in the third inning to drive in a run against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Dodger Stadium. It was Pujols’ first game as a Dodger after signing a contract earlier in the day. Mandatory Credit: Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Walker Buehler gave up one hit over seven scoreless innings and Albert Pujols drove in the eventual game-winning run in his debut with his new team as the host Los Angeles Dodgers earned a 3-1 victory Monday against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Will Smith hit a home run for the Dodgers, who have won five of their last six games after a rough stretch when they lost 15 of 20.

Madison Bumgarner went four innings for the Diamondbacks, giving up two runs with four walks and left amid speculation that he was injured. After the game, manager Torey Lovullo announced that Bumgarner had a “left adductor spasm.”

Arizona has now lost five of its last six games, while dropping the opener of a four-game series and seven-game road trip.

Pujols was designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Angels on May 6 and officially signed with the Dodgers earlier Monday, getting the start at first base while batting in the cleanup spot.

Pujols flew out to left-center field against Bumgarner (4-3) in his first Dodgers at-bat in the first inning before he sent an RBI single to center field in the third that gave the Dodgers a 2-0 lead.

The Dodgers already had the early lead at that point when Smith hit a home run to left field in the second inning, his fourth of the season.

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Buehler (2-0) gave up just an infield single in the first inning to go along with four walks and seven strikeouts. He walked the bases loaded with one out in the fourth inning but then retired the last 11 batters he faced. His victory came after five consecutive no-decisions.

After the Diamondbacks scored a run in the eighth inning on an Eduardo Escobar single that glanced off the glove of Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux, Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen recorded the last four outs for his eighth save.

Lux got the run back with an RBI single in the eighth inning.

Bumgarner’s four walks came after he gave up just two combined in his last five starts. He entered off one of the best five-start runs of his decorated career when he posted a 0.90 ERA over his previous 30 innings with a .152 opponents’ on-base percentage.

–Field Level Media