PHOENIX (AP)—Arizona can still win the close ones, too.
The Diamondbacks stretched their winning streak to six games on Wednesday with a 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Eric Byrnes hit a go-ahead, two-run single in the seventh-inning off Hiroki Kuroda and Micah Owings (2-0) allowed three runs and seven hits in seven innings as the Diamondbacks finished a three-game sweep of the Dodgers.
“We’ve been scoring some runs and getting some early leads,” Arizona manager Bob Melvin said. “Today, a little bit different. They got the lead early on and had some momentum, then we got the big hit.”
All six victories in the streak have come against NL West foes. Arizona swept three at Colorado before their home-opening series against Los Angeles.
The Diamondbacks used power hitting to beat the Dodgers 9-3 and 10-5 in the series’ first two games. This time, Arizona looked like the team that went 32-20 in one-run games a year ago.
“It’s a scrappy team that happens to be able to hit some home runs, too,” Byrnes said. “I know we hit a lot of home runs in those first two games, but I think the greatest thing about this team is we can win games in different fashions.”
Brandon Lyon, who had blown his prior two save chances, retired the side in order in the ninth for his second save, although he got a scare when Blake Dewitt flied out to the left field wall.
Byrnes, who went 3-for-5, ended Kuroda’s afternoon with a two-out, bases-loaded single that brought in the tying and go-ahead runs in the sixth. Byrnes’ hit came on Kuroda’s first pitch.
“Amazing stuff,” Byrnes said of the Japanese pitcher. “But the one thing we tried to take advantage of was how many strikes that he was throwing. I know in my approach I wasn’t going to wait around.”
Kuroda called the pitch to Byrnes his biggest mistake of the day.
“Although I allowed too many hits today, there weren’t many hits I thought that really got the sweet spot of the bat,” Kuroda said through an interpreter.
In his first start of the season, Arizona’s Augie Ojeda matched his career best with three hits, one a double.
Kuroda (1-1), in his second start since coming to the Dodgers from Japan, gave up four runs—two earned—and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings.
James Loney helped make up for his earlier error at first base with his first home run of the season, a solo shot that barely cleared the fence in right field, evading Justin Upton’s glove, to give the Dodgers a 3-2 lead in the sixth. Loney extended his hitting streak to a career-best nine games.
With his relief corps a bit worn down, Melvin said the team needed the seven solid innings from Owings, who started the streak with a win in Colorado.
“I thought he was pretty sharp,” Melvin said. “There were times when he might not have the command that he did in Colorado, but boy, to give seven innings there when our bullpen was not full up down there, those guys know it.”
Los Angeles manager Joe Torre said that it’s important that his struggling young hitters not lose confidence.
“Whether it’s a child you have in your house or someone that you hire to do your lawn, there’s something about youngsters that they lack a little patience,” Torre said. “They get a little anxious to where they overdo sometimes. I’d rather have them overdo than not care.”
The Dodgers took their first lead of the series in the second when Juan Pierre doubled to right with a runner on first and Upton threw to second base rather than hitting the cutoff man.
Arizona took advantage of Loney’s throwing error on a potential double-play grounder in the fourth, taking a 2-1 lead on a run-scoring grounder by Reynolds — his major league-leading 13th RBI—and Upton’s run-scoring single. Andre Ethier’s sacrifice fly tied the score in the fifth.
Conor Jackson left with a bruised left hand in the fifth after he was hit by a pitch for the third time in two games. X-rays were negative … Arizona SS Stephen Drew sat out the game with a sore right quadriceps. … Slumping Andruw Jones was not in the starting lineup but came on in a double switch in the sixth. He singled but struck out for the game’s final out.