LOS ANGELES – It might have been Kobe Bryant Day in Los Angeles on Wednesday, but it was Kenley Jansen's night. The Dodgers' close retired the final five batters he faced for his first five-out save of his career and Los Angeles defeated the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 on a day overshadowed by the Black Mamba.
Dodger fans chanted, "Kobe, Kobe, Kobe," throughout the game as the jumbotron played various tributes to L.A's adopted son, including highlights of his final 60-point performance down the straight at Staples Center.
Alex Wood (1-1) put on a show of his own, allowing one-run on four hits with three strikeouts and three walks in seven strong innings, earning his first win of the season, and impressively rebounding from his first outing in San Francisco.
Wood's only blip on the night was a solo home run to Nick Ahmed, but Dodgers "Butter and Egg Man," Adrian Gonzalez, delivered with a solo blast of his own to tie the game in the bottom of the fourth inning.
Back-to-back botched double plays by the Diamondbacks allowed two more Dodger runs to score. With runners at the corners and one out, Chase Utley grounded to Ahmed who tried to turn two, but instead his throw went wild – hitting runner Joc Pederson – allowing Howie Kendrick to score from third.
One batter later, Corey Seager grounded into what appeared to be the inning-ending double play, but Paul Goldschmidt bobbled the return throw at first base and Pederson scored to give L.A. a 3-1 lead.
That was the only offense the Dodgers would need as manager Dave Roberts brought in Kenley Jansen for a rare, five-out save with one-out in the eighth inning.
Jansen retired the next five batters he faced, striking out two, earning his third save of the season.
One day after telling reporters he would not make changes to his bullpen, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, extended his closer another inning, not wanting to lose the lead for the third consecutive game.
Justin Turner was hit by a pitch not once, but twice in the game. After the play, both dugouts began to jaw at each other, prompting home plate umpire Brian Gorman to warn both managers.
Players of the Game:
Adrian Gonzalez: Game-Tying Home Run in the 4th inning.
Nick Ahmed: Second home run in as many games in 3rd inning.
Alex Wood: One run, on five hits, with 3BB and 3SO in 7IP.
Kenley Jansen: Two strikeouts, five outs, third save of the season.
1. Knock on Wood: Alex Wood rebounded from his first outing, with a terrific performance on Wednesday night. Other than the one blip to Nick Ahmed, Wood allowed one run on five hits with three walks in seven innings.
2. No Trust in Bullpen: After the Dodgers bullpen suffered the loss for out of the last five games, manager Dave Roberts did some uncharacteristic things. First, he left Alex Wood in the game past 100 pitches, something he hasn't done with any starter this season. Second, he pulled Pedro Baez walked the second batter he saw and brought in Kenley Jansen for a rare five-out save.
3. Mamba Day: Hundreds of fans in attendance at Chavez Ravine sported Kobe Bryant jerseys. The jumbotron posted a video of Kobe recorded before the season telling Dodger fans, "Make Some Noise!" which sent the pro-Kobe crowd into a frenzy. Meanwhile, a few miles away at Staples Center, Kobe Bryant scored 60 points in the final game of his career, prompting Dodger fans to chant "Kobe, Kobe, Kobe!" at Chavez Ravine.
Diamondbacks (3-6): Robbie Ray takes the mound in the third and final game of the Dodgers Home Opening Series.
Dodgers (5-4): Rookie Ross Stripling chases history as he looks to continue his hitless debut in San Francisco at 7:10PM PST at Dodger Stadium.
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