PHOENIX (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers split their four-game series with Arizona and, the way things had been going for them, it felt a lot better than that.
Arizona reliever Jorge De La Rosa threw a pair of run-scoring wild pitches during an eighth-inning rally that sent the Dodgers over the Diamondbacks 5-2 Thursday.
A day earlier, Los Angeles won 2-1.
“After what the last eight days have been like, leading into yesterday, it was as big a two wins as you could have at the end of April and in to May,” Dodgers starter Alex Wood said. “It definitely felt good.”
Los Angeles, the reigning National League champion, had lost seven of eight overall before winning the last two in the desert and still are seven games behind the first-place Diamondbacks in the NL West.
The Dodgers scored four times in the eighth and handed Arizona its first two-game losing streak this year. The four-game split ended the Diamondbacks’ string of nine straight series victories to start the season, the longest in the National League since the Chicago Cubs did it in 1907.
Arizona manager Torey Lovullo was realistic about the situation.
“As sure as I’m sitting here right now I knew that we were probably going to lose two in a row at some point this year,” he said. “So it’s OK. Tomorrow’s another day.”
Ketel Marte’s RBI single put the Diamondbacks up 2-1 in the sixth, but the Arizona bullpen faltered in the eighth.
Fernando Salas (3-2) walked Chris Taylor and gave up singles to pinch hitter Chase Utley and Matt Kemp to load the bases with no outs. Cody Bellinger’s sacrifice fly tied it, and De La Rosa relieved Salas.
A balk by De La Rosa moved the runners up and Austin Barnes — who earlier homered off Patrick Corbin — was walked intentionally to load the bases. With Kyle Farmer at the plate, De La Rosa threw two wild pitches, one of them deflecting off the catcher all the way to the third baseman, and each allowed a run to score.
“He threw me two curveballs or sliders in the dirt. Those are the ones that got away,” Farmer said. “Luckily they got far enough away that those runs could score.”
Farmer’s RBI single boosted the lead to 5-2.
J.T. Chargois (1-0) pitched a scoreless seventh to get the victory. Kenley Jansen earned his fifth save with a perfect ninth.
Corbin and Wood were locked in a 1-1 game until Arizona took the lead in the sixth.
The Dodgers bullpen, which had struggled mightily, was strong for the second straight game.
“I think that the last couple of days was indicative obviously of more of what we expected from our guys,” Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said. “I think the confidence is starting to come together so hopefully we can continue to build on that.”
Dodgers: Roberts said 2B Logan Forsythe (right shoulder inflammation) is expected to go on a rehab assignment this weekend. … RHP Rich Hill (finger infection) threw an abbreviated bullpen session and is scheduled to come off the DL and start against San Diego on Sunday in Monterrey, Mexico.
Roberts said Hyun-Jin Ryu has a severe groin strain that will sideline him sometime past the All-Star break. Ryu was hurt in the second inning of Los Angeles’ 2-0 victory on Wednesday night. Walker Buehler, the 23-year-old top pitching prospect of the Dodgers, is “the logical choice” to take Ryu’s spot in the rotation, Roberts said.
Right fielder Steven Souza Jr. made his Arizona Diamondback and season debut after being sidelined since spring training with a strained right pectoral muscle. He was 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
Dodgers: Los Angeles heads south of the border for a three-game series against San Diego in Monterrey, Mexico. RHP Walker Buehler (1-0, 1.80 ERA) is expected to be called up from to make the start Friday night. LH Joey Lucchesi (3-1, 2.78) goes for the Padres.
Diamondbacks: RH Kris Medlen will come up from Triple-A Reno to take injured Robbie Ray’s scheduled start Friday night’s series opener against Houston, his first big league appearance in two seasons. RH Gerrit Cole (2-1, 1.73) starts for Houston.