While the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers were hoping to inch closer to the NL West title against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Paul Goldschmidt is standing in their way.
Zack Greinke and the slumping Dodgers try to quiet Goldschmidt and the Diamondbacks, who go for a fourth straight win behind Patrick Corbin on Tuesday night.
Manager Don Mattingly's club has followed a remarkable 53-13 stretch by dropping nine of 12, including its last four by a 29-9 score. Los Angeles (86-64) saw its woes continue in Monday's opener, falling 2-1 while going 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
Sitting 9 1/2 games ahead of Arizona (76-73) with 12 to play, the Dodgers' magic number to clinch the division remains four.
"The last (12 games) are basically gone so they don't concern me at all," Mattingly said. "I can't get those back even if I wanted to waste energy on trying to figure out what happened to those (12). It really goes into what I always think about September. It's hard to win games and I don't care who you are."
Goldschmidt provided all of Arizona's offense with a two-run homer in the first inning. The first baseman, leading the NL with 116 RBIs and tied for first with 33 homers, is 13 for 24 with two homers and nine RBIs during a six-game hitting streak.
Goldschmidt is batting .377 with five homers and 18 RBIs in 16 games versus Los Angeles this year.
"To do what he's done from an RBI standpoint and a home run standpoint, and with the other things he does - great defense, great base runner - he's one of the more underrated complete players in all of baseball," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said.
Goldschmidt, though, is 1 for 7 against Greinke (14-3, 2.74 ERA), who is 6-0 with a 1.58 ERA in his last nine starts. The right-hander threw six innings of one-run ball in Thursday's 3-2, 10-inning win over San Francisco.
"Lately I haven't made a lot of mistakes, that's the key," he told MLB's official website. "I've been getting out of jams, no big innings. Just small stuff."
While Greinke entered this season 0-3 with a 7.90 ERA against the Diamondbacks, he's held them to a combined two runs in two starts spanning 14 innings. He pitched seven scoreless innings in a 6-1 victory at Chase Field on July 8.
Los Angeles is 20-5 with Greinke on the mound.
Corbin (14-6, 2.92) had posted a 7.85 ERA and received a combined three runs of support during a career-worst three-start losing streak before bouncing back Wednesday in a 4-1 win at Dodger Stadium.
"I don't think there was a need to panic or anything," said Corbin, who surrendered one run in 6 1-3 innings. "I feel fine and I just want to see how it is to go a full season, get as many innings as I can and try to build off it for next year."
Corbin improved to 3-0 with a 1.93 ERA in his last four matchups versus Los Angeles. Adrian Gonzalez and Matt Kemp are a combined 2 for 14 in their matchups.
"He's an exciting young pitcher," Ellis said. "It's always fun to compete against him because you know he's going to come at you with his best stuff."
Kemp was activated off the 15-day disabled list Monday after missing 63 of the previous 64 games due to injury. The two-time All-Star came on as a pinch hitter but struck out to end the game with runners on second and third.
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