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Surging Dodgers eye sweep of NL West-leading D'backs

9:56 AM, Jul 10, 2013   |    comments
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(Sports Network) - The Los Angeles Dodgers can move up another rung in the NL West ladder Wednesday when they shoot for a three-game sweep of the division- leading Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

The Dodgers have matriculated their way up the NL West standings with 14 wins in their last 17 games and sit 2 1/2 games in back of the Diamondbacks. Los Angeles has registered back-to-back 6-1 wins over Arizona and on Tuesday Ricky Nolasco made his debut on the mound.

Acquired in a recent trade with Miami, Nolasco delivered seven innings of one- run ball, struck out five and did not walk a batter. The right-hander also added two hits, an RBI and a run scored at the plate.

"It's amazing. These guys have been playing great these last two, three weeks," Nolasco said. "Just to be a part of this is a huge privilege."

Adrian Gonzalez drove in three runs and Skip Schumaker went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored for L.A., which is 11-2 in the last 13 games against division foes and has won five straight series. The Dodgers are 6-2 on their nine-game road trip and look to get back to .500 Wednesday.

Hanley Ramirez was 0-for-4 and saw his career-high 19-game hitting streak come to a halt in the recent win. He batted .486 with a .525 on-base percentage since the streak started and had 18 RBI during the run.

Dodgers rookie lefty Hyun-Jin Ryu takes the mound Wednesday and has won four of his last five decisions, including Friday's 10-2 pounding at San Francisco. He allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings and pushed his record to 7-3 in 17 starts with a 2.82 earned run average.

Ryu is 1-0 with a 4.50 ERA in two starts against Arizona.

The D'backs hope to pad their lead in the NL West and salvage this series with the Dodgers. It won't be easy for an Arizona club that has lost two straight since winning five in a row.

Ian Kennedy tried to even this set on the mound, but he was reached for six runs -- five earned -- and nine hits in 5 2/3 innings. Martin Prado was credited with the lone RBI for Arizona, which had five hits to L.A.'s 10 and struck out six times as a team.

"We didn't swing the bats well and weren't able to make any adjustments," Arizona manager Kirk Gibson said. "We can't swing at a pitch that is not in the zone, not a good pitch."

D'backs center fielder Adam Eaton was activated off the disabled list to make his season debut and was 0-for-4. Eaton played for the first time since last Sept. 29 versus the Chicago Cubs and was bothered by a strained elbow.

"Definitely feels like Opening Day," Eaton said before the game. "A well- deserved Opening Day."

Arizona opened this 10-game homestand with a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies and will also host Milwaukee for four games.

Tyler Skaggs will make his fifth start of the season Wednesday for the D'backs and had his best outing of the season Friday in a 5-0 win over Colorado. He struck out five and walked one batter in eight shutout innings while scattering three hits. The effort pushed him to 2-1 with a 3.65 ERA.

The left-handed Skaggs faced the Dodgers for the first time last Sept. 1 in a 2-1 loss and did not factor in the outcome. He pitched well and allowed one run in five innings before Matt Albers blew a 1-1 score.

The Diamondbacks have still won seven of 11 from the Dodgers this season.

The Sports Network

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