One day after winning the longest game in the majors this season, the Los Angeles Dodgers will have to recover very quickly.
They return home Monday night to begin a three-game series against the surging Arizona Diamondbacks in a matchup of the NL West’s top two teams.
Los Angeles (15-10) maintained a slim one-half game lead over the Diamondbacks (15-11) after Sunday’s 5-4, 17-inning victory over San Diego. The Dodgers stranded a season-high 15 runners before Wilson Valdez scored the go-ahead run on Brady Clark’s two-out double.
“It was just one of those games,” Clark said after the 4 hour, 55 minute marathon. “It’s huge to get that win right there. You play a game that long, if you don’t win it, you’d have some miserable people.”
Six Dodgers each had two of the teams’ season-high 16 hits. After taking two of three in the weekend series, Los Angeles returns to Dodger Stadium where it has lost four straight games but also is 6-1 in its last seven home games versus the Diamondbacks.
Arizona, meanwhile, is looking to match its season-high six-game winning streak after sweeping three straight from San Francisco. Orlando Hudson hit a tiebreaking two-run double in the seventh inning in Arizona’s 5-4 win Sunday in the series finale.
Four victories during Arizona’s current winning streak have been by one run. They also won six straight from April 5-10.
“We’re doing the little things and coming back with some late comeback wins,” said Hudson, who went 2-for-4 with three RBIs and is batting .340.
Hudson has reached base in all 26 games this year and is hitting .370 in his career against the Dodgers, his best versus any opponent.
Despite its recent surge, Arizona has been outscored 18-9 while losing four straight road games. To try and end that skid, the Diamondbacks will send ace Brandon Webb (1-1, 3.60 ERA) to the mound.
The right-hander is coming off back-to-back no-decisions against San Diego during which he allowed just three earned runs, 13 hits and three walks with 19 strikeouts in 16 innings. He only got three runs of support during that stretch, which included a 3-2 win over the Padres on Wednesday.
The reigning NL Cy Young award winner is 5-3 with a 3.62 ERA in 10 career starts versus the Dodgers, going 3-0 with a 1.59 ERA in his last three appearances against them.
Webb will be opposed by Randy Wolf (3-2, 4.20), who is playing in his 200th career game.
The left-hander has gone six innings in each of five starts this season, but the Dodgers likely will need him to go longer this time. Wolf’s three-start winning streak ended Wednesday after falling 6-4 to San Francisco.
“I thought I was going to be more aggressive, really throw the ball over the plate more and try to stop deep counts,” said Wolf, who threw a season-high 104 pitches.
He allowed a season-high five runs and six hits, including two homers, over six innings and also struck out six. Wolf is 4-1 with a 3.50 ERA in eight career starts versus Arizona and 4-0 with a 2.38 ERA in his last five outings.