In first start, Nolasco leads Dodgers to win

The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- Ricky Nolasco called it a privilege to be playing with the Los Angeles Dodgers these days, but after his debut Tuesday they could say the same.

Nolasco gave up one run in seven innings in his first start since joining the Dodgers last Saturday, using his breaking ball to dominate the Arizona hitters in a 6-1 victory at Chase Field.

"I was pretty pumped up. I haven't been that locked in in a long time. I was able to make good pitches. I was definitely excited. The energy and adrenalin was going those first few innings, so it was awesome," said Nolasco, a Los Angeles native who was obtained from Miami for three minor-leaguers Saturday.

"It's amazing. These guys have been playing great these last two or three weeks. I'm just trying to come in and quietly go about my business and just contribute to the team as much as possible."

Nolasco (6-8) also singled, doubled, drove in a run and scored another. He struck out five and did not issue a walk as Los Angeles (44-45) won for the 14th time in its last 17 games.

Adrian Gonzalez had a hit and drove in three runs, and Andre Ethier and Skip Schumaker had two hits apiece.

Gonzalez singled in the Dodgers' final two runs for a 6-0 lead in the sixth inning, and he was credited with a sacrifice fly in the fifth, when his bases-loaded fly ball was dropped for an error as two runs scored.

"We're playing good," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "Things are kind of going our way right now, but it's really starting with starting pitching. Our pitching's been good and we've been able to put a few runs up."

Martin Prado singled in Aaron Hill with two outs in the seventh inning for the D-backs' only run, as Nolasco almost matched Zack Greinke, who gave up two hits in seven scoreless innings of a 6-1 victory in the series opener Monday.

Los Angeles has gained six games on the division-leading D-backs since the teams last met June 12. Arizona (47-43) has lost two in a row after a season-high five-game winning streak.

Ian Kennedy (3-5) gave up nine hits and five earned runs in 5 2/3 innings while making his first home start since May 15. He is 0-2 with a 6.48 ERA in his last six starts.

"All of the above," he said. "Getting to two strikes and not putting them away. Left a couple of changeups up. Fastballs over the plate. It was poor execution."

Hanley Ramirez's career-high 19-game hitting streak ended when he went 0-for-4.

Kennedy, who triggered a benches-clearing brawl when he hit Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke in the left shoulder June 11, hit Ramirez in the left shoulder with two outs and a runner on first base in the first inning. Ramirez walked to first, neither bench stirred and no warning was issued.

"We know that Kennedy's not trying to hit Hanley," Mattingly said. "That was a changeup. They were just trying to get in. That's nothing."

Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario hit Miguel Montero with an 0-2 pitch in the right leg with two outs in the ninth inning. Home plate umpire Marvin Hudson warned both benches, but there were no incidents.

Nolasco's two-out single in the second inning drove in the first run, after A.J. Ellis and Skip Schumaker opened the second inning with singles.

Andre Either singled, stole second, went to third on catcher Miguel Montero's throwing error and scored on Schumaker's infield grounder for a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning.

Arizona center fielder Adam Eaton, playing in his first game of the season after suffering an elbow injury in spring training, lost his footing and dropped Gonzalez's fly ball to the warning track with the bases loaded in the fifth. That permitted two runs to score as the Dodgers took a 4-0 lead.

NOTES: Dodgers CF Matt Kemp received positive news after an MRI in Los Angeles on Tuesday morning, Mattingly said. "His shoulder was fine, as far as the surgery and all that. It was the A/C joint. So that was good news. It's just a matter of letting it all calm down." Mattingly said Kemp is unlikely to need a rehab assignment and should return from the disabled list when eligible July 21. Kemp underwent surgery to repair a torn left labrum on Oct. 5. ... Arizona 3B Eric Chavez was scratched from the starting lineup with hip soreness. Martin Prado, scheduled to start in left field, was moved to third base, and Jason Kubel started in left. ... The Diamondbacks and the Dodgers will open the 2014 season in Sydney on March 22-23. The dates were announced at a press conference Tuesday. The D-backs will be the home team in both games.
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