LA drops 5th straight, takes first sweep of year

LA drops 5th straight, takes first sweep of year

PHOENIX -- It took a full five months before the Dodgers were swept in a three-game series as the D-backs ended August with an 8-1 win on Thursday afternoon to complete the sweep of Los Angeles at Chase Field.

The D-backs' offense continued its roll of late, collecting 10 hits and grabbing an early lead that they would not relinquish in recording their seventh straight victory, which matches their longest streak of the season. Arizona had not swept the Dodgers at Chase Field since 2008.

"I just think everything is contagious," D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. "When a team is playing well, when things are moving in a very positive direction, there's a ton of energy and pitchers take it from there. I thought it was a really, really positive game for us in a lot of different areas, and we won a series and we did a good job."

Greinke's strong home start

The support made a winner of Zack Greinke, who allowed one run on four hits over six innings while becoming the first 16-game winner in the Majors. Dodgers right-hander Kenta Maeda (12-6) lasted just three innings and allowed seven runs on eight hits, including homers by Chris Iannetta and A.J. Pollock.

"A lot of mislocated pitches and they took advantage of all of them," said Maeda. "My sliders didn't break as much as I'd hoped. I was trying to stop the losing streak, but unfortunately it didn't work out that way. I didn't execute and I didn't perform."

The win increased the D-backs' lead to 3 1/2 games over the Rockies in the race for the top National League Wild Card spot. The two teams will meet in a crucial three-game series in Denver this weekend. The Dodgers, who have now lost five straight games, still hold a commanding 16-game lead over the D-backs in the NL West.

"It's time to feel this, enjoy it, embrace it, and once we get on the plane, let's lock it down and get ready for a very tough Colorado series," Lovullo said. "That's going to be my message to the guys."

• Catalyst Goldy reaches another benchmark

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Goldy starts it: First baseman Paul Goldschmidt got the D-backs on the board in the first with a two-run double down the left-field line that scored Gregor Blanco and Jake Lamb. Over the three-game series, the D-backs outscored the Dodgers, 10-0, in the opening frame.

Goldschmidt's two-run double

"With their team, I guess you never really feel too comfortable," Greinke said of the Dodgers. "They've come from behind plenty of times."

Top two: Adrian Gonzalez's RBI double cut the Arizona lead to 2-1 in the top of the second, but the D-backs quickly regained control in the bottom half with an RBI double by Blanco and a two-run homer by Iannetta. Blanco and Iannetta combined to go 4-for-6 with two doubles, a homer, two walks, three RBIs and three runs scored out of the top two spots in the lineup.

Iannetta's two-run blast

"He's just a tough hitter overall," Lovullo said of Iannetta. "He understands where he's at at the plate and what his strengths are and he's always prepared."

IMPACT ON BOTH SIDES OF THE BALL
Pollock went deep in the third, and he also contributed in the field with two outstanding catches. The first came in the top of the inning, when he leaped and caught a ball against the wall in center to take a run-scoring hit away from Cody Bellinger.

Pollock does it all vs. Dodgers

Pollock's second grab came when the game was already in hand, as he dove to rob Yasiel Puig of an extra-base hit in the ninth.

"That's A.J., though," Lovullo said. "He's going to do that no matter what the score is, what the situation is, what the inning is. He's a premier center fielder."

WHAT'S NEXT
Dodgers: Friday's series opener in San Diego is the long-awaited return of ace Clayton Kershaw, who starts the 7:10 p.m. PT game at Petco Park. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he hopes to get five innings or 75 pitches from Kershaw, who hasn't pitched since July 23 because of a lower back strain. The lefty is 16-6 with a 2.00 ERA in his career against the Padres.

D-backs: Arizona opens a six-game road trip Friday at 5:40 p.m. MST in Colorado with Taijuan Walker on the mound. Walker has been outstanding in his last two starts, going 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA. He has made four career starts against the Rockies and is 1-1 with a 2.77 ERA.

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Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers for MLB.com since 2001.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.