By Jon Weisman
Frankly, I’m not convinced Ross Stripling didn’t do himself a solid by allowing a single to Arizona leadoff batter Jean Segura tonight.
If he weren’t going to have another no-hit performance to match his MLB debut a week ago, it was probably best to get the tension and suspense out of the way immediately. And with the next batter, Socrates Brito, grounding into a double play. Stripling got Segura out of the way nearly as fast.
Paul Goldschmidt then grounded out himself, and Stripling was on his way to another strong start.
The 26-year-old rookie pitched four shutout innings, gave up single runs in the fifth and sixth, and left with his head held high. He has a 2.03 ERA and 0.75 WHIP, 13 1/3 innings into his big-league career.
What Stripling doesn’t have is a win, though the night ended happily for Stripling and the Dodgers just the same.
After J.P. Howell relieved Stripling and pitched a perfect top of the seventh, the Dodgers rolled a five, turning a 2-0 deficit into a 5-2 victory — a victory, it should be noted, that moved them back into a first-place tie in the National League West with weekend opponent San Francisco.
Trayce Thompson (OPSing 1.063 as a Dodger) started the rally with a single, and Austin Barnes worked a full-count walk with one out. Justin Turner came off the bench to deliver his 16th pinch-hit as a Dodger in 48 at-bats for one RBI, and then Kiké Hernandez (8 for 20 in the young season) doubled home the tying and lead runs. RBI singles by Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez inflated the cushion.
The Dodgers not only won the final two games of the three-game series with Arizona, they held Goldschmidt to a homer and a walk in 13 plate appearances, which deserves its own kind of trophy.