Arizona won for the sixth time in seven games with a 2-0 victory on Tuesday. The Diamondbacks remained five games behind first-place San Diego with five games left.
“We’re fortunate to be in this position, even if it’s kind of a stretch, but we were saying the same thing last week,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “We know if we lose, we take care of ourselves. We just need to win.”
Brandon Webb yielded two hits over seven innings and Chad Tracy snapped a scoreless tie with a two-run homer in the eighth inning Tuesday as the Diamondbacks extended their winning streak over the Dodgers to six games. Arizona improved to 6-1 at Dodger Stadium this season.
Dustin Nippert makes his third career start for Arizona. Nippert has not started since Sept. 16.
“I’ve thrown one full side (session) and two little half sides to stay as fresh as I could be,” Nippert said. “It’s (tough), I’ve never had to do it before. It’s the first time I’ve been bumped from a start. With days off, you get a little antsy, but you work through it.”
The 24-year-old right-hander gave up five runs and four hits over 4 2-3 innings in his last outing, a 6-5 loss to Colorado. Nippert was recalled from Double-A Tennessee on Sept. 3 after going 8-3 with a Southern League-leading 2.38 ERA in 18 starts for the Smokies.
The Dodgers will also send a rookie to the mound in D.J. Houlton, who is trying to win consecutive starts for the first time since June 22-27. Houlton yielded two runs and four hits over six innings in a 4-3 victory over Pittsburgh last Friday.
“I just threw the majority of my pitches for strikes, instead of the last couple times I was out there struggling,” Houlton said. “I was just going after them with all my pitches.”
The 26-year-old right-hander is making his second career start against Arizona. Houlton lasted just two innings and was tagged for six runs and six hits over two innings in a 10-3 loss on July 3.
Los Angeles has scored just 15 runs during its six-game slide against Arizona.