Two Arizona fans wanted to give Abreu the ball he had hit for his first major league homer—a solo shot that lifted the Dodgers to a 6-5 victory over the Diamondbacks in 10 innings Tuesday night.
In exchange for his home run ball, Abreu traded an autographed ball and one of teammate Ramon Martinez’ bats. Abreu, a rookie, doesn’t have enough bats to give away one of his own.
“It’s going to be a souvenir in my house,” Abreu said through an interpreter. “It brings me a lot of joy. I’m just going to keep it there.”
Abreu hit a 1-1 changeup from Doug Slaten (3-1) into the left field seats with two outs in the 10th.
“I left it over the plate, up,” Slaten said. “It was right out there on a tee for him. He took advantage of it.”
With the victory, the Dodgers took over first place in the tightly contested NL West, a half-game ahead of Arizona and San Diego. The Dodgers beat the Diamondbacks for the sixth time in seven games.
“Arizona is a balanced team,” said closer Takashi Saito, who pitched the 10th for his 21st save in 22 chances. “They don’t have many weaknesses, so tough games like today are always going to be the case.”
Despite the results to date, the Diamondbacks don’t believe the Dodgers have their number.
“We know we’re just as good as they are, and we know we can beat them,” said Mark Reynolds, who hit one of three Arizona homers. “It just comes down to a key hit here, a key hit there. We just didn’t do it tonight.”
In his first start as the Dodgers’ regular first baseman, Loney fell a triple shy of the cycle and drove in three runs. Loney hit a two-run homer in the second, an RBI double in the fourth and a single in the eighth.
“I’m just hitting them in the right spots,” Loney said. “Definitely, when there are opportunities presented, you want to cash in.”
Garciaparra started at third for the first time since 2005, when he was with the Chicago Cubs. He was 0-for-5 and struck out with the bases loaded in the ninth inning. Garciaparra is 4-for-23 on the Dodgers’ 10-game road trip.
“Right now, he’s having a tough time, but he will get through it,” Little said.
The Dodgers tied it in the second on a two-run homer by Loney, his third in 12 games since he was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas.
Young hit his 11th homer in the second to give the Diamondbacks a 3-2 lead.
Loney added an RBI double in the fourth, when the Dodgers scored three times to take a 5-3 lead. Starter Chad Billingsley drove in the other two runs with a double to the wall in right center field.
In the bottom of the inning, Reynolds hit a two-run homer to left, his fifth in 35 games since he was recalled from Double-A Mobile.
That made it 5-5, and that score stood until the 10th. The Diamondbacks didn’t put another runner in scoring position after the fourth.
“Obviously, it’s a tough game to lose, especially the way we started out scoring some runs,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “We had some energy early, put some runs on the board. They had one more.”
Gonzalez gave up five runs on six hits, walking two and striking out two.
Garciaparra played in his 1,265th game—and his 35th at third base. … Byrnes’ leadoff homer was his third this year and the seventh of his career. … Gonzalez is expected to go to the bullpen when Randy Johnson returns to the rotation on Thursday.