Puig, Pederson Power Dodgers 7-4 Over Diamondbacks

Dodgers defeat Diamondbacks 7-4 in desert finale.

The Dodgers’ young sluggers flipped the power switch Sunday and the Los Angeles defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 7-4 in the valley of the sun.

Young guns, Yasiel Puig, Joc Pederson and Alex Guerrero each hit their first home runs of the season as Los Angeles avoided the three-game sweep in the rubber match of the series.

Zack Greinke was dominant for the Dodgers as he picked up his first win of the season. Greinke went seven strong innings surrendering no runs on five scattered hits. He fanned seven in the contest.

“I thought Zack was really what we needed today,” said Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.

In his first ever start at third base, Guerrero also hit his first career home run as a big leaguer. The Cuban sensation hit a single, double and a two-run blast in the victory. Guerrero knocked in four runs and will get plenty of playing time at the hot corner with injuries to Dodgers third basemen Juan Uribe and Justin Turner.

“He’s been hitting since all last spring, all last year – he can hit,” said Mattingly of Guerrero. “Our biggest fear was defensively, how he looked last year, but he’s been good all through spring.”

Puig and Pederson hit their first round trippers of 2015 off Diamondbacks pitchers Josh Collmenter and A.J. Schugel. For Pederson it was also his first major league home run. Collmenter (0-1) allowed three runs on nine hits over five innings in the loss.

Greinke (1-0) has been terrific in two starts for LA on the season. Surprisingly, through one week of play, It’s been Greinke who has looked more like the ace of the staff after reining NL Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw was roughed up to the tune of six runs on 10 hits a night earlier.

“I tried to make good pitches and make the other team adjust,” said Greinke. “That was the plan, to kind of mix it up.”

For the second consecutive start, Grienke was almost done in by the bullpen. After allowing just one run on two hits in his opening night start against the Padres, the bullpen blew up, allowing six runs over the final three innings and Grienke got the no-decision.

On Sunday, Greinke left with his team up 5-0 but watched as the Diamondbacks loaded the bases off of Chris Hatcher who also gave up four runs in Greinke’s last start. A.J. Pollock hit a three-run double off of Hatcher and Jorden Pacheco hit an RBI single before Mattingly brought in Joel Peralta with two outs and a runner on second to get the last out and earn the save.

Dodger killer, Paul Goldshmidt, went 0 four 4 with two strikeouts in the loss.

Game Notes:
The Diamondbacks placed catcher Gerald Laird on the 15-day disabled list with back spasms. Brandon McCarthy is set to make his second start of the season in Los Angeles on Monday when the Dodgers take on the Seattle Mariners night at 7:10PM. 

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