Dodgers Drop First of Four Against Diamondbacks, Fall Two Games Out of First Place in NL West

David Peralta hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning and the NL West-leading Arizona Diamondbacks defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-1 on Thursday night in the opener of a pivotal series.

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What a difference one swing for two different teams makes. 

Manny Machado and David Peralta each hit a home run for their respective teams on Thursday night. 

Peralta's homer came with two runners on base, Machado's did not. That was the difference in the game. 

Peralta's three-run home run in the top of the fifth inning proved to be all the firepower the Arizona Diamondbacks would need, and the NL West-leaders defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 3-1, on Thursday night in the opener of a four-game series that could decide the division.

"That was the difference in the game," said Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts. "They hit a three-run homer and we hit a solo homer. We had some opportunities tonight, but couldn't cash in."

The Dodgers left six runners on-base, and went 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position, as they fell two games behind the Diamondbacks for first place in the NL West, and snapped their five-game winning streak.

"These games are huge right now," said Dodgers' starting pitcher Rich Hill following the loss. "Having this loss loom over us moving forward is tough."

Robbie Ray (4-2) gave up one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out nine and walked two to earn his first victory since June 23 at Miami. The left-hander hadn't figured into a decision in seven consecutive starts since July 20, the longest streak in franchise history by a starter.

"He threw the ball well overall," said Manny Machado. "We got a high pitch count against him, but couldn't execute with runners in scoring position but couldn't get that big hit, that key hit." 

Brad Boxberger got the final two outs in the ninth to earn his 31st save in 37 chances. He struck out Taylor and got Yasiel Puig on a called third strike. Taylor struck out four times on the night and the Dodgers struck out a total of 15 times as a team.

Peralta sent his 26th homer into right field on the first pitch from Rich Hill with two outs, giving Arizona a 3-0 lead.

"I made one mistake," said Hill of the pitch to Peralta. "I made a poor decision on dropping down, I should have stayed over the top, but that was the difference in the game."

Hill (6-5) allowed three runs and six hits in five innings. The left-hander struck out seven and walked none.

"I thought Rich had really good stuff," said Roberts. "He got swings and misses and his command was really good. Peralta put a good swing on a ball out over and that was the difference." 

The Dodgers' lone run came on Manny Machado's 33rd homer in the sixth.

"I was just trying to stick to my plan," said Machado. "I was looking for a pitch to hit and they made a mistake and I took advantage of it in that situation." 

Dodgers reliever Caleb Ferguson pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth. After giving up three consecutive one-out singles, he struck out John Ryan Murphy and pinch-hitter Christian Walker lined out to right to end the inning. 

Los Angeles had the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the bottom of the inning, but Matt Kemp grounded into an inning-ending double play with runners on the corners.

"They turned a couple double plays on us," said Roberts. "Matt has always been an RBI guy and has swung the bat well as of late. You have to give him a chance to drive in a run and keep an inning going."

The teams were playing each other for the first time since May 9. Arizona leads the season series 9-4.

TRAINER'S ROOM

D-backs: RHP Shelby Miller (right elbow tightness) will throw to 125 feet early next week. ... OF Jarrod Dyson (right groin strain) is headed to Triple-A Reno for a rehab assignment.

Dodgers: Reinstated RHP Josh Fields (right shoulder inflammation) from 60-day DL.

UP NEXT

RHP Zack Greinke (13-8, 2.93 ERA) goes for the D-backs. He is 3-1 with a 3.09 ERA in his last five starts against his former team. The Dodgers send LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-1, 2.18) to the mound. He is 3-3 with a 3.90 ERA in 12 career starts against Arizona.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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