Dodgers 11, Diamondbacks 0
Ishii pitched his first career one-hitter, Alex Cora capped a six-run first inning with a three-run homer and the Los Angeles Dodgers routed the Arizona Diamondbacks 11-0 Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory.
Ishii, who has not allowed an earned run in six of his 10 career starts against the Diamondbacks, retired his first 12 batters before giving up a leadoff walk in the fifth to Luis Gonzalez and a line single to left field by Shea Hillenbrand.
“I just wanted to go as long as I could to give the relievers some rest,” Ishii said through an interpreter.
Gonzalez and Hillenbrand both advanced on a two-out wild pitch, but Juan Brito grounded out to third. No one else reached base against Ishii, who threw a no-hitter in Japan in 1997 for the Yakult Swallows.
“It’s not a matter of overpowering anybody when you throw a one-hitter or a no-hitter. I’ve seen guys who aren’t overpowering do that,” Hillenbrand said. “Kaz Ishii is a quality pitcher and he knows the type of pitcher he is. He has been having great success against us.”
Ishii (10-4) went the distance for the second time in 72 starts, recording his second shutout and improving his career record against Arizona to 6-1. Three of his wins this season have come against the Diamondbacks.
“He threw a lot of strikes tonight. And when he throws strikes, he’s very effective—especially against us,” Steve Finley said. “He got the big lead and he just went right after us.”
Ishii struck out five and walked one. He was coming off his shortest outing of the season, a 7-3 loss at Anaheim in which he gave up seven runs over three innings.
“The difference in this start was determination, probably,” pitching coach Jim Colborn said. “The quality of his form was the same, I thought. His delivery was OK in the last game, too, so that wasn’t the problem. He just came out feeling his way against the Angels, and you can’t do that. You’ve got to come out aggressive.”
Ishii’s other shutout was a four-hit, 9-0 victory over San Francisco on April 25 at Dodger Stadium.
The one-hitter was the second against Arizona this season, the other coming June 25 at Detroit on a combined effort by Jason Johnson and Ugueth Urbina. The Dodgers had one other one-hitter this year, when Wilson Alvarez and Guillermo Mota teamed up for a 4-0 win at Pittsburgh on May 7.
“There are some good hitters in that lineup, but Kaz was in complete control,” Dodgers outfielder Dave Roberts said. “He’s 10-4 for a reason. He’s got great stuff. Sometimes he might lose focus, but tonight he was dead set on going after the hitters.”
Jayson Werth and Jason Grabowski hit consecutive homers in the fifth inning and Shawn Green had a pair of RBI singles, helping the Dodgers complete their first three-game sweep of the Diamondbacks since September 2000.
Arizona has lost 16 of 18 and nine straight on the road, one short of the team record that was set last season.
Knuckleballer Steve Sparks walked two batters in the first with two outs after not walking a batter in his last two starts—a span of 9 1-3 innings. Both batters scored as the Dodgers batted around.
Green followed a walk to Adrian Beltre with an opposite-field RBI single that drove in Paul Lo Duca. Grabowski followed a walk to Werth with a two-run single, and Cora capped the rally with a drive into the right-field pavilion for his career-high sixth home run.
“You don’t go out there expecting to pitch like that. It’s disappointing,” Sparks said. “My biggest problem was making the ball move. It was pretty flat.”
Sparks (3-5) pitched 4 1-3 innings and allowed nine runs on eight hits, including a two-run homer by Werth that chased the right-hander. StephenRandolph came in and gave up Grabowski’s sixth home run for a 10-0 cushion.
Hillenbrand has hit in a career-high 11 straight. … Beltre left in the sixth inning because of a strained right quadriceps and was replaced at 3B by Jose Hernandez. The injury was not announced until after the game. … The Diamondbacks are 1-5 since Al Pedrique replaced Bob Brenly as manager. … Arizona RF Danny Bautista didn’t start for the second straight game because of a back strain. … Switch-hitting CF Milton Bradley, experiencing stiffness in his right shoulder, didn’t start against Sparks because, as manager Jim Tracyexplained, Bradley only bats right-handed against knuckleball pitchers.