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September 13, 2011

Arizona closing within NL West crown

by @ 7:11 pm. Filed under 2011 Dodgers

LOS ANGELES — Lucky number 7.  That is the Arizona Diamondbacks magic number as they enter play with Los Angeles Tuesday evening.  The division-leaders are 17-3 since August 23, playing the best baseball than any other team in the National League.  Both Arizona and Milwaukee are tied, 86-62, for the next team to get home-field advantage in the divisional series behind the Philadelphia Phillies (94-50).

The race for the NL West is all but over, with the next countdown Arizona fans can do is the amount of games they may need to overtake the Brewers for a playoff series with the Atlanta Braves at Chase Field.  Monday’s 7-2 victory over the Dodgers was a step in the right direction.

As the number five starter, Joe Saunders gave a great effort in helping his D-backs win, going seven-innings, allowing two runs on four-hits.

For a majority of the game, Arizona trailed as it appeared their bats would be silenced.  But again, they lit up just one inning as they used that to defeat the Dodgers.

Matt Kemp’s solo home run in the first gave Los Angeles a 1-0 lead till Arizona piled on five in the sixth.

Willie Bloomquist led-off with a single and scored on Aaron Hill’s RBI-double to left.  Justin Upton was then intentionally walked and with Paul Goldschmidt batting, Hill stole third, giving Goldschmidt runners at the corners with one out.  Easily enough, Goldschmidt singled on a grounder to left, allowing Hill to come home for the lead-changing score as Arizona grabbed a 2-1 lead.

Following the Goldschmidt RBI-single, Chris Young took a walk, loading the bases with still one out.  Ryan Roberts single kept the lineup moving and the bases loaded as Gerardo Parra’s two run single concluded the five run rout of Los Angeles.

Trailing by four, Jerry Sands RBI-single was a nice stat for him, but it was not enough to crawl back in this one as the NL West leaders seem determined to keep winning, following each loss with a win or two.

Para extended the D-backs lead further as his two run double gave Arizona a five run lead and Saunders 11th win of the season.

With the Dodgers threatening in the ninth with the bases loaded and two outs, manager Kirk Gibson was not going to lose this one, sending out J. J. Putz for the one out save opportunity.  He succeeded for his 39-save.  He has the odds in his favor to be a 40+ save man in the majors, something to be respected coast-to-coast.

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