LOS ANGELES -- Passed over on All-Star Selection Sunday, unbeaten Dodgers pitcher Alex Wood responded on Wednesday night by continuing his first half for the ages, striking out 10 in seven scoreless innings of a 1-0 win over the D-backs at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers - who have won 22 of their last 26 and are off to their best start since 1977 -- scored in the second inning off tough-luck loser Zack Godley (3-3) on a one-out single by Chris Taylor and an RBI double by Yasmani Grandal.
"I don't know how often you get two 50-plus-win teams in the first half in the same division playing against each other, so it felt a little bigger tonight," said Wood, who allowed three hits. "Tensions were a little bit higher, especially in a 1-0 ballgame. You have to focus and bear down. They were close to kind of breaking through, but fortunately we were able to make some pitches and hold them where they were."
Wood (1.67 ERA) is the first Dodgers pitcher to begin a season 10-0 since reliever Ed Roebuck in 1962 and the first starter since Don Newcombe in 1955 (both Wood and Newcombe had one win in relief).
The Dodgers have a season-high 4 1/2-game lead over the D-backs in the National League West as Arizona tries to avoid a sweep Thursday.
"I think every game matters for us," D-backs outfielder Gregor Blanco said. "We're not seeing how far or close we are in the standings. We're not even worried about it. We're just trying to win series. I know now we lost this series, but we can come back tomorrow and hopefully take one win out of three here. Where we are in the standings doesn't really matter. We have a lot of season left and anything can happen."
With his 13th start, Wood has the longest streak of starts to open a Dodgers season without a loss since Rick Rhoden (19) in 1976. The club hopes he is added to the All-Star team to replace Clayton Kershaw, who is starting for the Dodgers on Sunday and won't pitch in the All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.
"One day at a time," Wood said of a possible All-Star berth. "I would feel very honored if it happened, very humbled, something you dream of as a kid. Hard to even kind of fathom right now."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Back on track:Kenley Jansen, who allowed a three-run homer to Daniel Descalso Tuesday night to turn a two-out save into a nailbiter, came on to earn his 20th save, the sixth consecutive season he's done so. An inning earlier, Pedro Baez walked pinch-hitter A.J. Pollock leading off and after ball-one to Blanco, manager Dave Roberts went to the mound. Baez struck out two of the next three batters.
"It was just more of, slowing it down," said Roberts. "I thought things were starting to speed up a little bit, I wanted to get ahead of it, and just wanted to reassure to have a little bit of clarity. He was receptive, he responded."
K isn't always for Kershaw:Ketel Marte led off the top of the fourth inning with a walk and, after strikeouts by Paul Goldschmidt and Chris Owings, was doubled to third by Jake Lamb. But Wood escaped by getting Brandon Drury to swing through a curve for strike three. Drury has 13 strikeouts in his last 10 games. Two innings later, with two out and two on, Wood fanned Lamb to preserve his shutout.
"I thought we did a pretty good job in that inning, but their defense took care of it, and even with the few mistakes he made in the game we weren't able to accomplish what we wanted," Blanco said. More >>
"Even to be mentioned in the same breath as him is pretty cool." -- Wood, on being compared to Kershaw by Roberts
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Dodgers are 14-1 in their last 15 home games.
WHAT'S NEXT D-backs: The D-backs close out the three-game series with the Dodgers on Thursday night at 7:10 p.m. MST with Robbie Ray on the mound. In five career starts at Dodger Stadium, Ray is 1-2 with a 2.32 ERA.
Dodgers:Rich Hill gets the start in Thursday night's 7:10 p.m. PT series finale and he's coming off his best start this year, tossing seven scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts against San Diego. Hill came off the disabled list to face Arizona on April 16, lasted only three innings in a 3-1 loss.