Paul Goldschmidt was once again the hero of the Arizona Diamondbacks as he rocketed a tie-breaking, two-run homer in the ninth inning of last night's game against the Los Angeles Dodgers to secure a 5-3 win for his team.
It was Goldy's seventh home run this season and came off a 3-2 slider from L.A. closer Brandon League that became a soaring moonshot into the left-center seats at Dodgers Stadium and scored Gerardo Parra.
The victory gave the Diamondbacks (18-15) their second straight win and allowed them to keep apace with the San Francisco Giants and Colorado Rockies in three-team horserace in the National League West that's likely to take place all season.
It was a nip-and-tuck contest leading up to Goldschmidt's game-winning jack. The D-backs generated single runs in the first (via a Parra double and a Goldschmidt sacrifice grounder) and second innings (from an Eric Chavez double and Jason Kubel RBI single) off L.A. starter Josh Beckett.
The Dodgers did the same, as Arizona's Brandon McCarthy gave up a total of five hits in the opening frames, including an RBI single to Andre Ethier in the first and a Nick Punto homer in the second, to knot things up at 2-2.
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The D-backs gained a one-run lead in the fifth after Didi Gregorius drilled a single off Beckett, Goldschmidt was walked, and Chavez hammered a line-drive RBI single to left center. It lasted two innings until the seventh when McCarthy walked Skip Schumaker and gave up a double to Punto and tied it 3-3, thus killing off a potential second win of the season for the beleaguered Arizona starting pitcher.
Reliever David Hernandez ultimately earned the victory while Heath Bell got the save in the bottom of the ninth as D-backs closer J.J. Putz left the game, reportedly due to "elbow stiffness" after walking the first Dodgers batter he faced.
It's likely that, for better or for worse, Bell will remain in the closers spot for the finale of Arizona's three-game series with L.A. tonight at Chavez Ravine. The D-backs will go for the sweep with Wade Miley (2-1, 3.06 ERA) on the mound. It might be a big pitching duel as the Dodgers are sending out Clayton Kershaw (3-2, 1.66). Tune into Fox Sports Arizona or KTAR 620 AM to follow along with all the action. First pitch: 7:10 p.m. More info: www.dbacks.com.