LOS ANGELES, Calif – Robbie Ray has always pitched well in his starts at Dodger stadium, and it continued on monday night in the first game of series in front of 407,192 fans in attendance.
Ray was effective and did not allow a hit or a base runner until the sixth inning when Logan Forsythe singled for the first hit of the game for Los Angeles.
The night was special for Ray as he set a new career high in strikeouts with 14, in a dominant performance. His line on the night, 7.2 innings, scattering just three hits. No runs or walks, on 107 pitches. “I stuck to my game plan. Me and Herrmann were on the same page all night. No walks and just get ahead of guys, make them uncomfortable and not falling into hitters counts,” said Ray.
On pitching well at Dodger stadium, Ray replied with, “It’s a good mound. Great atmosphere and obviously it’s the Dodgers. You’re facing a really good team. Good lineup so you know you got to bring your best.”
Ray also set a major league record with four games or more with a 10 plus strikeout performance against the Dodgers in a season. Also, Ray has recorded 53 strikeouts against the Dodgers this season. Only Christy Mathewson with the New York Giants had more with 58 in the 1908 season.
In Arizona franchise history only Randy Johnson has struck out more Dodgers in a game than Ray did tonight. Johnson had 15 versus Los Angeles on August 31, 2004.
Offensively, Arizona was led by J.D. Martinez who hit four home runs on the night giving him 18 with the Diamondbacks and 34 overall. His previous high in a game was three home runs which he accomplished on June 21, 2015, against the New York Yankees.
Martinez is the 18th player, and 16th in the modern day era of MLB history to have hit four home runs in a game, and second this season. The first was Cincinnati Reds Scooter Gennett against the St. Louis Cardinals on June 6, 2017. “Blessing. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s one of those things where you work real hard. You kind of find that perfect swing and one of those days where everything just lines up. Today, I felt like was one of those days. I felt like I was seeing the ball well. I was swinging and was hitting them,” said Martinez.
Manager Torey Lovullo on Martinez’s offensive night “It was really unreal. We were part of history today. You can’t believe it after it keeps happening. Second. Third and finally the fourth time. It was amazing. JD works as hard as any body at his swing, perfecting his craft and deserves that moment. You have to give him some credit as it was against a pitcher he didn’t know. He got a pitch and he drove it. He did his job. Those are special moments every player looks for. An unbelievable day for J.D.Martinez.”
Arizona (80-58) had three players with a multi-hit game. Adam Rosales, who was filing in for Paul Goldschmidt was 2-for-4 on the night with his 7th home run of the season. Jake lamb was also 2-for-4.
Brandon Drury chipped in offensively for Arizona with a home run, his 12th of the season. He has hit safely in his last six games hitting .304 (7-for-23) with four runs, two doubles, triple and two home runs along with six RBI.
Lovullo on Ray, “His stuff was coming out very crisp. He’s been prepaid, ready and doing his job ever since he returned from his injury. Every time he takes the mound I think he wants to have outings like this. The fastball command on both sides of the plate. A number of strikes and the breaking ball you can see it was swing and miss. Robbie did a great job. He kept a very offensive team in check once again and helped us play the way we want to play.”
The Diamondbacks offense smashed a total of six home runs on the night tying a Dodger Stadium record by a visiting team. This was first accomplished by the Reds on August 2, 2001.
Los Angeles (92-45) could only muster up a total of three hits on the night. Two of them were by Forsythe who has reached base safely in 10 of 12 games against Arizona this season. He’s batting .316 (12-for-38) with seven runs, two doubles, a home run and five RBI during that span.
Prior to the game, Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts said, “Ray has had our number. We need to find a way to unlock the code. Tonight is the right night to figure it out.” As seen be the performance of Ray, once again it was Ray who tamed the best team in baseball for the second time in consecutive starts.
Next up is game two of the series. Arizona will send Zack Greinke (16-6) to the mound, as the Diamondbacks look to win their fifth series in a row.