Albert Pujols hit a two-run home run and Will Smith added a go-ahead solo shot in the seventh inning as the host Los Angeles Dodgers earned a 3-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday to complete a four-game series sweep.
David Price made his first start for the Dodgers, going two scoreless innings to open a bullpen game. Six other pitchers appeared in the victory, the Dodgers’ eighth of a just-completed nine-game homestand.
It was Pujols’ first home run with the Dodgers in his fourth game after joining the club Monday. He has six home runs this season, including his total from the Los Angeles Angels, and has 668 in his career, 28 behind Alex Rodriguez for fourth place all time.
Right-hander Merrill Kelly (2-5) had a career-high 12 strikeouts over seven innings for the Diamondbacks, and Eduardo Escobar hit a two-run home run. Arizona has lost five consecutive games and eight of its past nine.
Pujols has helped the Dodgers go 4-0 since putting on his new uniform, delivering an RBI single in Monday’s series opener before his two-run home run with Smith aboard in the second inning Thursday.
Escobar tied the score 2-2 in the sixth inning when he hit a two-run home run to center field off Dodgers right-hander Joe Kelly with Ketel Marte on base. It was Escobar’s 11th home run of the season and his second two-run home run in two games.
The Dodgers moved back on top in the seventh when Smith hit a home run down the left field line, his fifth of the season and second of the series. The Los Angeles catcher also caught the speedy Tim Locastro stealing in the eighth inning, just the second time in 32 attempts Locastro has been thrown out in his career.
Dodgers right-hander Jimmy Nelson followed Price with five strikeouts over two scoreless innings, and Alex Vesia, Kelly, Victor Gonzalez, Blake Treinen and Kenley Jansen also pitched.
Gonzalez (1-0) went 1 1/3 scoreless innings to earn the victory, and Jansen pitched the ninth inning for his 10th save and his third of the series. Dodgers pitchers combined for 14 strikeouts.
–Field Level Media