Diamondbacks Belt 16 Hits, Trounce Dodgers in Easter Hit Parade

Josh Rojas and Geraldo Perdomo exchanging high-fives in the Diamondbacks victory over the Dodgers
(Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)

Diamondbacks 11, Dodgers 6

PHOENIX, Apr. 9 — Every Arizona Diamondbacks starter notched at least one hit, belting 16 total in an 11–6 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers Easter Sunday afternoon. Josh Rojas went 3-for-5 with two runs out of the leadoff spot in the victory.

The Dodgers opened the scoring in the top of the first off Ryne Nelson. Left fielder Mookie Betts led off with a single to left. Two batters later, left fielder David Peralta looped a one-out double to the left-field corner that landed inches fair. Betts, running the whole way, scored on what would have been a close play had the throw been on target. Designated hitter J.D. Martinez followed with a grounder to short. Diamondbacks shortstop Nick Ahmed threw to third, turning Peralta around. Peralta got back before the throw, making everyone safe. Third baseman Max Muncy walked to load the bases, prompting a mound visit from pitching coach Brent Strom. It seemed to work, as second baseman Miguel Vargas struck out before center fielder James Outman popped a side-retiring fly to shallow center on the first pitch.

The Diamondbacks responded immediately off Michael Grove. Third baseman Josh Rojas lined a lead-off single to right-center. He stole second as second baseman Geraldo Perdomo fanned. This brought up designated hitter Pavin Smith, who doubled him home on a shot to left. After first baseman Christian Walker lined softly to short, left fielder Corbin Carroll roped a single to center, scoring Smith. On the throw home, Carroll tried to take second. He beat the throw, but after the slide, he popped up off the bag with shortstop Miguel Rojas holding the tag on him, ending the inning with the Diamondbacks ahead, 2–1.

Dodgers Tie It Up, but Diamondbacks Retake Lead

Nelson pitched a 1–2–3 top of the second. Right fielder Jake McCarthy led off the bottom half with a hustle double to center after baiting a slow throw. Two batters later, with McCarthy running, Ahmed grounded to short. This put McCarthy on third for catcher Jose Herrera, who drove Ahmed in with a bloop single to shallow left, making the score 3–1). With Herrera going on a 3–2 pitch, Rojas bounced a single through the hole into right, putting Herrera on third and prompting a mound visit from pitching coach Mark Prior. Perdomo followed with an unassisted groundout to first, ending the inning with the Diamondbacks holding a 3–1 lead.

The Dodgers narrowed the gap in the top of the third. Freeman singled to center and advanced on wild pitch to Peralta, who struck out looking. Martinez tripled to left-center, scoring Freeman, on a high fly that landed inches out of the reach of Thomas. Muncy walked, putting runners on the corners for Vargas. He plated Martinez with a sacrifice fly to center, tying the game at three.

The game did not remain tied for long. Smith flied to left before Walker doubled to right and Carroll whiffed. McCarthy walked, putting runners on first and second for Thomas. His single to right scored Walker and advanced McCarthy to third. After Thomas stole second, Ahmed singled to right, scoring both McCarthy and Thomas. When Herrera fanned to end the inning, the Diamondbacks held a 6–3 lead.

Blowing It Open as Nelson Gets into Groove

Another three-up, three-down inning came in the top of the fourth, but the bottom half brought more scoring. Rojas singled to center and advanced to third on a Perdomo single to right. Smith doubled to right, scoring both runners. Two batters later, McCarthy poked a two-out single to left off new pitcher Caleb Ferguson, scoring Smith. When Thomas grounded to short, the inning ended with the Diamondbacks leading, 9–3.

Nelson pitched another 1–2–3 inning in the top of the fifth. The bottom of the fifth saw more scoring and some fireworks. Ahmed and Herrera hit consecutive singles to right before Rojas struck out looking. A double steal put the runners on second and third, and they scored when Perdomo — the batter when they stole the bases — singled to right.

This ended Ferguson’s day and brought in Shelby Miller. He walked both Smith and Walker to load the bases. When the count ran to 2–0 on Carroll, Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes stood to argue with plate umpire Lance Barrett. After getting back in his crouch, Barnes continued jawing, and Barrett tossed him. Will Smith replaced Barnes. Carroll ultimately struck out looking before McCarthy flied to left, ending the inning with the Diamondbacks leading, 11–3.

Carlos Vargas and Phil Bickford pitched a scoreless seventh for the Diamondbacks and Dodgers, respectively. Newly called-up Peter Solomon had a rough eighth inning, coughing up two runs on a walk, a double, and a triple. A scoreless bottom of the eighth by Bickford sent the game to the ninth with the Diamondbacks holding an 11–5 lead. The Dodgers scored another consolation run in the top of the ninth, finalizing the score at 11–6.

Postgame Reflections

Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo expressed his pleasure with the team’s performance, especially early. In series-ending Sunday day games, his teams always try to “make statements” early on in the game. “That ensures that you’re ready to play a baseball game,” he explained. “I thought we did a really good job of that. Despite falling behind 1–0, we played engaged baseball. Had so many quality at-bats. We had hustle plays, stolen bases, good defensive plays. (Ryne Nelson) gave us a quality start — it was a really good win for us today. Obviously, winning three out of four is a big moment for us. But I want (the players) to enjoy it. Want them to go home with their family, friends, and loved ones to celebrate Easter, and then turn the page quickly. We have another quality team coming in here.”

Lovullo called this series a “good measuring stick,” especially after playing eight game against the Dodgers and two against the Padres. He had the team focused on “showing the two teams we played inside of our league that we’re ready to play some baseball.”

“Firm Believer in Momentum”

The Diamondbacks stole five bases against the Dodgers Sunday, running their season total to an NL-leading 17. This style of play, along with taking the extra base on hits, seems to be frustrating opponents. “I think the hitter at the plate senses that,” Lovullo pointed out. When playing the Diamondbacks, “you need to maintain your composure. Have to be able to stop us on the bases, eliminate those distractions, and make pitches. You could see what our game plan was today. It’s obvious. We felt like there was an opportunity for us, and we put a lot of pressure on their starting pitcher. I’m a firm believer in momentum. Once that tide starts, we have to take advantage of that, and we did today.”

Looking Ahead

Nelson (1–0) got the win after notching the first quality start by a Diamondback in 2023. Grove (0–1) took the loss. The Diamondbacks (6–4) will turn their attention to the NL Central-leading Milwaukee Brewers (7–2), who come to Phoenix for a three-game set with the Diamondbacks from Monday to Wednesday. Wade Miley (1–0, 0.00) will start for the Brewers against Diamondbacks right-hander Zac Gallen (0–1, 7.59) with first pitch at 6:40 pm Arizona Time.

To keep the momentum going against the Brewers, Lovullo said the Diamondbacks need to “just do what we do best. Play our game, not worry about anything about the Milwaukee Brewers. We know they’re a quality team. They’re run by a very good manager, and they’re going to be fundamentally sound. We have to be what we are, play our style of baseball. We’ve been doing a lot of good things. But there’s no time for complacency. We have to make sure we crank it up again tomorrow.”

The Dodgers (5–5), meanwhile, head to the Bay Area for a three-gamer against the San Francisco Giants (4–5). Dodgers lefty Julio Urias (2–0, 1.50) will face Giants righty Logan Webb (0–2, 6.55), with first pitch at 6:45 pm Pacific.

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Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan M. Thompson, Editor-in-chief

Evan is the owner and sole contributor of Thompson Talks, a website discussing the Big Four North American Pro Sports as well as soccer. He also is a credentialed member of the Colorado Rockies press corps. His first and biggest love is baseball.

Evan lives in Gilbert, Arizona and loves history, especially of sports. He is the treasurer for the Hemond Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) and also is a USSF and AIA soccer referee. He released his first book, Volume I of A Complete History of the Major League Baseball Playoffs, in October of 2021.

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