Diamondbacks 2, Dodgers 0
LOS ANGELES (AP)—The Arizona Diamondbacks have been playing desperate baseball for quite a while, trying to claw back into contention in the NL West. Now they find themselves hanging on to a shred of hope—and a minor miracle that appears unlikely.
Brandon Webb allowed two hits over seven innings, Chad Tracy hit a two-run homer in the eighth for his third game-winning hit in as many games, and the Diamondbacks beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-0 on Tuesday night.
Arizona remained five games behind first-place San Diego in the NL West with five to play, following the Padres’ 9-6 win over San Francisco. One more Arizona loss or San Diego win will end the Diamondbacks’ playoff hopes.
“It’s not a fun way to play,” said Tracy, who had a walkoff RBI single in the 10th inning in Sunday ‘s 4-3 win over the Padres and a three-run double in Saturday night’s 8-5 victory. “Right now there’s a lot of pressure, and we’ve got to depend on other teams to help us out. That’s not a good way to do it. We left ourselves in a bad position coming down the stretch, and now it’s unfortunate that we didn’t get things going until it was seemingly too late.”
Tracy’s career-high 25th homer, which followed a two-out double by Luis Gonzalez, helped the Diamondbacks notch their sixth straight victory over Los Angeles. The Dodgers have lost 11 of 16 to Arizona this season after winning last year’s season series 16-3. That was their highest win total against any team since going 16-2 against San Diego in 1974.
Diamondbacks, who set a franchise record last season with 111 losses, improved to 73-84 and have a three-game lead over the fourth-place Dodgers in the NL West with five games to play. Los Angeles hasn’t finished lower than third since 1993.
“Those were big double plays,” Webb said. “Jeff Kent was coming up next, and it’s good to have nobody on base whenever he’s up. It was a pitcher’s duel for a while, and I was just trying to keep them off the board—because the way the game was going, there weren’t going to be too many runs scored either way.”
Webb is 3-0 with a 1.52 ERA in his last four starts. He was 5-11 with a 4.15 ERA in his previous 19 outings, after going 6-0 in his first nine starts this season.
Tim Worrell pitched a perfect eighth and Jose Valverde did likewise in the ninth to earn his 12th save and complete the two-hitter. Valverde has not allowed an earned run in 13 2-3 innings over his last 12 appearances.
Jeff Weaver (14-11) allowed two runs and five hits over eight innings. This was his final start of the year—unless the NL West race between San Diego and San Francisco goes down to Sunday’s regular-season finale. Then the right-hander would find himself in an unusual position for a Dodgers pitcher— trying to help the archrival Giants by beating the Padres.
“Despite how we’re ending up, it would be a lot of fun to have the chance to knock somebody out of the playoffs along with us,” Weaver said. “So if it lines up where I’m out there, I’ll be ready and trying to win the game and make someone else’s offseason miserable.”
Arizona stranded runners at third base in the fourth and seventh innings. Weaver retired Troy Glaus on a line drive to center fielder Jason Repko to end the fourth, and escaped the other jam when Royce Clayton struck out and Chris Snyder hit a soft liner to third base.
Tracy is 8-for-18 lifetime against Weaver. … Perhaps the most damaging loss for the Dodgers last winter was Adrian Beltre, who signed with Seattle as a free agent after hitting .334 with 121 RBIs and a major league-leading 48 homers. His replacements at 3B this season—Jose Valentin, Olmedo Saenz, Mike Edwards, Robles, Antonio Perez, Manny Aybar and Norihiro Nakamura—have hit a combined .262 with 10 homers and 59 RBIs when playing third. … Glaus was 0-for-2 against Weaver, and is 2-for-31 lifetime against him. … This six-game trip to Los Angeles and San Francisco will mark the first time in the Diamondbacks’ 8-year history that they will finish the regular season on the road.
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