Wood builds sturdy bridge to Jansen

Starter lasts seven-plus frames, closer gets five outs

Wood builds sturdy bridge to Jansen

LOS ANGELES -- Except for one out from Pedro Baez, Dodgers manager Dave Roberts cut out the middle men Wednesday night.

Starter Alex Wood took a lead into the eighth inning and Kenley Jansen was extended for the first five-out save of his career in the Dodgers' 3-1 win over the D-backs.

Wood rebounded nicely from his wobbly start in San Francisco, at one point retiring 11 consecutive batters, and was given a lead on a pair of botched double-play balls by the D-backs' infield. That broke a tie created by solo home runs from Adrian Gonzalez of the Dodgers (first of the year) and Arizona's Nick Ahmed, his second in as many games.

"I thought my command was a lot better my first outing, but that's baseball," said Wood. "I settled in there tonight in the later innings."

With the Dodgers' bullpen already in a slump, Roberts said using Jansen in the eighth inning has been a plan since the offseason.

"I think that it started from this winter talking about Kenley being open to going one-plus, and he's been on board," Roberts said. "Talked to him again this afternoon about it in the weight room, and he reiterated whatever it takes to win a baseball game. Where he's at, he's pitched two of the first seven games, he's feeling strong, so it made sense in the way [Wood] threw the baseball. I had [Baez] up earlier, so once somebody got on base, I wanted to go to [Baez]. He gets an out, another guy gets on base, and I was ready to have Kenley go five outs. I didn't want him to six outs, five I felt more comfortable."

Jansen records the save

Jansen, in his free-agent year, said he had no hesitation.

"[Roberts is] not going to do anything crazy to burn me out, so I'm cool with it," Jansen said. "Especially in this situation, I can pick my guys up and help them get on track, so when I go down they can pick me up."

Jansen said because he needed only 18 pitches, he would be fine to pitch again on Thursday.

Yasmani Grandal, catching his first game since coming off the disabled list, said Wood's sinker induced multiple ground balls in the early innings and he shifted to rely on breaking balls later to keep D-backs hitters off-balance.

Most notably, Wood got slugger Paul Goldschmidt to ground sharply into a force out in the first inning, he walked with two outs in the third inning and bounced out in the sixth before Jansen got him on a fly out in the eighth.

"I was pretty happy with that," said Grandal. "He's the one guy you don't want to get beat by. Each at-bat, we executed. The ground ball in the first inning was huge, and we went from there."

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.