PHOENIX (AP) — Yu Darvish wasn’t always sharp in his second start as a Los Angeles Dodger, but a slow curve ball he introduced toward the end of his outing helped him make it through five innings and get another win.
So did plenty of run support from his new teammates. National League batting average leader Justin Turner and Kike Hernandez drove in a combined five runs, and the Dodgers picked up an 8-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night.
The Dodgers, with two wins in the three-game series with Arizona, have won or tied 18 straight series, not having lost one since June 5-7 against Washington. They have won 15 of their last 17 games.
The Diamondbacks have lost four of five.
“I struggled to throw first-pitch strikes. It was a battle throughout the game,” Darvish said through an interpreter. “I was going maybe too aggressive with my fastball. So (pitching coach Rick) Honeycutt came to me during the game and said hey, let’s go mix it up with slow pitches, and that’s when I threw the curve ball.”
The Dodgers staked Darvish to a three-run lead before he even took the mound. Two singles and a two-out walk to Logan Forsythe brought up Hernandez, who with two strikes pulled a bases-clearing double into the left-field corner.
“The intent when he is in the batter’s box, he’s looking to slug,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said of Hernandez. “He likes the fastball, but for him to stay back on the slider was big, and I think with Kike the average (.224) doesn’t speak to the quality of at-bats and the production that he’s given us.”
Darvish got out of the first two innings with six three-ball counts, and Arizona rallied as his pitch count…
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