Diamondbacks 3, Dodgers 2
“It didn’t look like anything was bothering him out there on the mound. That was vintage Curt Schilling,” Arizona manager Bob Brenly said. “He had the little extra on the fastball when he went up high in the strike zone, a devastating split-finger, threw some real good breaking balls. It seemed like he was ahead of every hitter.”
Schilling (8-8) gave up one run on eight hits in seven innings, struck out eight and walked one despite a stiff groin that concerned Brenly more than Schilling’s sore neck.
“I’m a little banged up, but I’m still serviceable right now,” he said. “It’s a big win for us. Believe it or not, we’re still alive. Our season is pretty much riding on every game every day.”
So is the Dodgers’ season. Los Angeles dropped 2 1/2 games behind Florida in the NL wild-card race, and clinched a playoff berth for Atlanta.
“Schilling threw a tremendous game and proof of that is he completely shut down the middle of our order,” Dodgers manager Jim Tracy said. “That hasn’t happened in a couple of weeks.”
Schilling missed a start last week in San Francisco because of a strained neck muscle. He had been winless in his previous four starts since a 2-0 victory over Atlanta on Aug. 17, with two losses and two no-decisions.
“I knew the ball was not going to carry in this park tonight and I tried to use that to my advantage early in the game, throw a lot of fastballs, get them aggressive and then start mixing it up,” he said.
Spivey’s second double of the game gave Arizona a 3-0 lead in the seventh. Steve Finley singled to center and scored when Spivey doubled to center.
The Diamondbacks led 1-0 on Spivey’s RBI double in the third. With two outs, Finley doubled and Spivey followed with a hit that bounced into the center-field seats.
“I wanted to see the ball up a little bit and put a good swing on it,” Spivey said. “I just got good pitches to hit and took advantage of them.”
Alex Cintron led off the fourth with a triple off the center-field wall, and Shea Hillenbrand’s RBI fielder’s choice made it 2-0. Cintron was called safe by umpire Gerry Davis in a close play at the plate.
“It’s frustrating. We’re trying to win every game,” said Shawn Green, who was 1-for-4. “It’s a tough task, especially when you face a guy like Schilling, who’s one of the best pitchers in the game.”
In the seventh, Cesar Izturis was called out by first-base umpire Mark Carlson. Tracy ran onto the field to talk to Carlson, then yanked first base from its moorings and moved it several inches up the line. The crowd of 31,689 roared its approval, while Carlson waited as a ballboy put the base back.
“As it turns out, I was wrong,” said Tracy, ejected for the sixth time this season.
Alex Cora, who led off the inning with a double and moved to third on Izturis’ groundout, scored on Roberts’ RBI single.
Kazuhisa Ishii (9-6) gave up two runs on five hits in five innings, struckout four and walked three.
Dodgers LHP Odalis Perez will miss his start Wednesday because of a broken nail on the middle finger of his pitching hand. Tracy said the team doesn’t want to risk Perez developing a blister, so RHP Edwin Jackson will replace him. … Schilling’s eight strikeouts gave him 2,540 for his career, surpassing Tim Keefe for 23rd on the career list. … Arizona RF Raul Mondesi left in the seventh after re-aggravating a right hip flexor injury that originally occurred Sept. 2. He’s day to day. … The Diamondbacks opened their final road trip of the season. After three games at Dodger Stadium, they’ll play three each at Milwaukee and Colorado before concluding with a three-game homestand against St. Louis. Arizona has yet to be mathematically eliminated from the wild-card race, but the Diamondbacks would need help from other teams to make the playoffs for the fourth time in six years. … Schilling beat the Dodgers for the first time this season. He had a no-decision on April 1, andlost 1-0 on July 27.