PHOENIX (AP) — Freddie Freeman had three more hits and started the game-winning double play in the ninth with a heads up defensive moment.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are rolling right now, and nobody personifies that more than the team’s All-Star first baseman.
Mookie Betts added two hits and two RBIs, Julio Urías threw six quality innings and the Dodgers held on in the ninth inning to beat the fading Arizona Diamondbacks 5-4 on Tuesday night.
The Dodgers have won seven of their past eight games, including three straight, despite nearly blowing a 4-0 lead.
The D-backs have lost seven straight and fell to 57-57 for the season. It’s the first time Arizona has been at .500 since April 7, when the team was 4-4.
Trailing 5-2 entering the ninth, the D-backs nearly pulled out a comeback. Geraldo Perdomo started the action with a one-out walk and then scored on a triple down the right-field line by Alek Thomas. Ketel Marte followed with an RBI single that cut the margin to 5-4.
All-Star rookie Corbin Carroll was up next and hit a chopper down the first-base line to Freeman, who wheeled and fired to Amed Rosario for the second out. Rosario then hit Freeman with the return throw for the final out. The Dodgers were helped by the fact that the speedy Carroll didn’t immediately take off for first because he thought the ball was foul.
“I knew it was close to being fair or foul,” Freeman said. “But I’ve got to play until he calls it foul. I caught it, threw it, let him make the call, and glad it was fair.”
Said Carroll: “There’s no excuse for it. Got to run hard out of the box. Taking you through my mindset, I thought the initial bounce was foul. That’s kind of what I saw.”
Evan Phillips earned his 15th save in 17 chances.
The Dodgers looked as if they might cruise to the victory early on. They pushed their lead to 4-0 in the fifth after back-to-back RBI doubles from Betts and Freeman and a sacrifice fly by Max Muncy.
Betts extended his hitting streak to 15 games. He finished with two hits and two RBIs.
Freeman is 20 of 38 (.526) over his last nine games, boosting his batting average to .343 for the season. He also has an MLB-leading 41 doubles.
“I’ve been seeing the ball really well,” Freeman said. “Just got to ride this streak as long as I can.”
Arizona started its comeback in the eighth, cutting the margin to 4-2 on back-to-back, one-out RBI singles by Tommy Pham and Christian Walker. Brusdar Graterol struck out Lourdes Gurriel Jr. and retired Jace Peterson on a flyout to end the threat.
Betts provided what proved to be a much-needed insurance run with an RBI single in the ninth.
The Diamondbacks are just 7-23 over their past 30 games — an extended freefall that has seriously damaged the team’s playoff hopes. Arizona was in first place of the NL West on July 8, but has fallen to third over the past four weeks, 10 games behind the surging Dodgers.
One silver lining for the D-backs is they’re still just two games back in the NL wild-card race.
Arizona’s offense has largely disappeared over the past two weeks. The D-backs haven’t scored more than four runs in a game since July 26.
They couldn’t do much of anything against Urías (9-6), who gave up four hits, struck out five and walked one. The left-hander has thrown 14 straight scoreless innings dating to July 25.
“Just feeling like myself, feeling my presence on the mound,” Urias said through a translator. “Being able to use all three pitches, navigate through the lineup, and making adjustments during the game, that’s where I want to be.”
Arizona rookie Brandon Pfaadt (0-6) is still looking for his first big league win. The right-hander threw 4 2/3 innings, giving up four runs and six hits. He has a 7.11 ERA in 10 starts.
Dodgers left fielder David Peralta appeared to rob former teammate Carson Kelly of a two-run homer in the fifth, leaping above the left-field wall to snag the ball before it landed in the front row of the stands.
Peralta played the first 8 1/2 seasons of his career with the D-backs before being dealt to the Rays at the trade deadline last season.
Dodgers: J.D. Martinez was scratched from the lineup with left groin and hamstring tightness.
The two-game series wraps up on Wednesday. The D-backs will send RHP Merrill Kelly (9-5, 3.21 ERA) to the mound while the Dodgers counter with RHP Bobby Miller (6-2, 4.26 ERA).
AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb
Copyright © 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.