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Goldschmidt, D-backs keep Dodgers from clinching

The SportsXchange

PHOENIX -- Kirk Gibson is not into lobbying, but he cannot help himself when it comes National League MVP candidate Paul Goldschmidt.

"We were on ESPN tonight, and I wanted 'Goldy' to have a good game, selfishly," the Diamondbacks manager said after Goldschmidt's two-run home run gave Arizona an early cushion in a 9-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Wednesday.

"I know they are talking about other very good candidates," Gibson said. "We're certainly biased here. He proves it day in and day out. He's everything you could want. He's certainly deserving of a Most Valuable Player. We'll just keep jamming him down their throat."

Goldschmidt's homer, his third in four games, was his NL-leading 34th. He fell behind 0-2 in the count against Dodgers spot starter Stephen Fife (4-4) before homering to right-center field on the 10th pitch of the at-bat.

"He hung a breaking ball. Fortunately I was able to hit it hard and get it out of there," said Goldschmidt, who leads the NL with 118 RBIs.

Brandon McCarthy (5-9) gave up three runs in six-plus innings, and the D-backs kept the Dodgers (87-65) from clinching the NL West title and their first playoff appearance since 2009.

"You just don't want them to do it on your home field and have to sit there and know that that's going on," McCarthy said. "So if you can get them out of here without having to see it, then all the better."

Yasiel Puig had a single, a double and his 17th home run for the Dodgers, who can still clinch the title with a victory in the final game of the series Thursday afternoon.

"We are sitting where we are at, and we like where we are at," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "It is one game at a time. Tonight was a frustrating game, but other than that, I am not really frustrated."

Adam Eaton had two hits and drove in three runs. His two-run single capped a five-run eighth inning for the D-backs (77-74), who have won four of their last five.

Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez had two hits and an RBI before being ejected with two outs in the sixth inning while arguing a play at the plate.

Gonzalez was tossed while standing on second base after Michael Young was thrown out at the plate on Gonzalez's double to left-center field for the second out of the sixth inning. The ruling kept the D-backs' lead at 4-2. Replays appeared to show Young had his hand on the plate before being tagged.

"I got to second base and I could see clearly that he was safe," Gonzalez said. "I was yelling, but I pretty much said, 'Do your job.' We are fine. Win tomorrow, if not we will win two in San Diego."

Los Angeles catcher Tim Federowicz doubled home a run in the seventh inning to make it 4-3 and hit a solo homer run in the ninth. Young had two hits.

Aaron Hill had two hits and an RBI, and A.J. Pollock added two hits and a run for Arizona.

The D-backs had a 4-0 lead after three innings, but Puig's 422-foot home run and Gonzalez's run-scoring single made it 4-2 in the fourth.

After Federowicz's double made it 4-3 in the seventh, reliever Joe Thatcher got Scott Van Slyke to hit into an inning-ending double play with runners on first and third.

NOTES: Dodgers SS Hanley Ramirez was given a scheduled day off Wednesday, Mattingly said. Ramirez could be rested again Thursday as part of a plan to keep him fresh. "Hanley is going to play a day, off a few days, kind of try to keep him sharp. Whatever we have to do to get him right," Mattingly said. Ramirez singled, walked three times and scored three runs Tuesday after missing the previous four games with back soreness. ... LHP Patrick Corbin will make his final two scheduled starts this season. Gibson ended speculation that Corbin (14-7) could be shut down after reaching a career-high 199 innings in a 9-3 loss Tuesday, when he lasted only two innings. ... Dodgers LF Carl Crawford (back) made his first start since Thursday, and he went 1-for-3. He had only two pinch-hit appearances since that start. ... Fife made his first start since Aug. 4 after the Dodgers decided to push LHP Clayton Kershaw's next start back to Saturday. Fife allowed four runs in 2 1/3 innings.
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