LOS ANGELES – – Rookie Miguel Vargas drove in the starting gun with an infield single in a five-run eighth inning, and the Los Angeles Dodgers rallied 6-5 past the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday for their 44th comeback win in to score the MLB’s first game of a double header.
“We did everything we could to give them the game and they gave us extra outs,” said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts.
The Dodgers, with the best record in the majors at 103-44, won their fifth straight game. Los Angeles shortstop Trea Turner retired in the fifth after being hit in the side by a ball that bounced off a runner’s helmet. Turner was removed as a precaution and was set to start the nightcap.
After stranding 12 runners through seven innings and managing just one seven-hit run, the Dodgers batted around in the eighth and rebounded from a 5-1 deficit.
“There’s a lot of life in this club,” said Justin Turner, who had three hits. “It wasn’t just sexy three-run homers. It wore bats down.”
Austin Barnes chased Caleb Smith with a two-run homer that drew the Dodgers to 5-3. Pinch hitter Will Smith singled with loaded bases to make it 5-4.
“He takes good bats all the time and hadn’t had really good results all season but I think if you look at the quality of the ABs he’s put together over the past two months, some big swings, big shots and makes basically doing a hell of a job behind the plate with our pitching staff,” Turner said. “Great work from Barnsie in getting us through this.”
Los Angeles finished the game in third place with Trayce Thompson’s infield single before 22-year-old Vargas, playing his ninth game in the major leagues, came through with his second strike of the inning against Joe Mantiply. He started the rally with a leadoff single.
“When you go from playing in the minor leagues every day, you move up the ranks and you kind of get put into a role position, you also have to learn how to do that,” Turner said of Vargas. “He was great, he was positive.”
Vargas made a skillful catch on Ketel Marte in the fifth, going left and then flipping right while battling the sun before turning and grabbing the ball.
“He gets wet feet. He’s a spontaneous learner,” Roberts said of Vargas.
Ryan Pepiot (3-0) won by three innings of relief. Chris Martin pitched the ninth to earn his second save.
Christian Walker hit his 35th home run and Daulton Varsho also scored for Arizona, who lost for the 20th time in 21 games at Dodger Stadium.
Kevin Ginkel (1:1) took the defeat.
Arizona starter Zach Davies allowed one run and five hits in three innings. He hit three and walked two.
The D-Backs took a 2-1 lead when Varsho’s homer led the third. In the second game, they drew Cooper Hummel 1-1 with a two-out double from Cooper Hummel.
Arizona extended their lead over Varsho’s RBI single to 3-1 in the fourth.
The D-Backs made it 5-1 in the fifth. Walker homered Dodgers starters Michael Grove and Alek Thomas through singles, and Josh Rojas found Vargas’ shot from left field.
Vargas’ shot for the third caught Thomas’s helmet as he went into base and the ball rebounded, hitting Turner in the side. Turner left the game soon after.
Grove gave up five runs and nine hits in five innings. The right-hander hit seven and walked one.
D-Backs: RHP Drey Jameson (1-0, 0.00 ERA) makes his second career start in Game 2 of the doubleheader. He won his MLB debut with seven scoreless innings against San Diego last week.
Dodgers: LHP Tyler Anderson (15-3, 2.62) was left off the paternity list after missing three games to start Game 2. He leads the team in pitched innings (161 2/3) and strikeouts (119). Anderson’s wife gave birth to a son named Tucker last weekend.