Dodgers' pitchers solve Goldschmidt puzzle

Stripling, bullpen combine to blank D-backs' pesky first baseman

Dodgers' pitchers solve Goldschmidt puzzle

LOS ANGELES -- One batter into Thursday night's game and rookie Ross Stripling's no-hit career was over, but he'll settle for his role in hanging on 0-fer on Dodgers tormentor Paul Goldschmidt.

"He's got a presence in the box," Stripling said of facing Goldschmidt, after his second no-decision turned into a 5-2 Dodgers win over Arizona.

"He looks even bigger, just something about him. If you don't put the pitch exactly where you want it, he's such a mistake hitter that he's almost guaranteed to punish you. Not letting him do damage is obviously a key to having a good outing."

After Stripling's six innings, relievers J.P. Howell and Yimi Garcia bounced back from their rugged weekend in San Francisco with scoreless single innings each, Howell fanning a pair and getting credit for the win, Garcia finishing Goldschmidt's 0-for-4 with a called strike three.

"I know that I still have confidence in him," manager Dave Roberts said of Howell. "You look at the guys he had to face tonight (Jake Lamb, Chris Herrmann and Robbie Ray), it was lined up perfect for him. He went out there and did what J.P. Howell's done his entire career."

Roberts on comeback win

Garcia said the only adjustment he made was mental.

"I was more aggressive inside," said Garcia. "When I throw outside too much, the hitters get comfortable, so I worked on coming in and opening up the outside of the plate."

"That's the best Yimi has looked this year, even in Spring Training," said catcher A.J. Ellis. "His ball had a lot of life."

Closer Kenley Jansen followed up his five-out save of Wednesday night with a conventional 1-2-3 ninth as the Dodgers won the rubber game of the three-game series.

Jansen gets the save

"That was Kenley's inning no matter what," said Roberts. "It was a five-out save, but it was only 18 pitches. I talked to him today and he said he was great, he was ready to go. We hadn't seen Yimi for three, four days, so it was nice to give him an inning. I thought he threw the ball well."

Howell, who halved his ERA to 27.00, didn't face Goldschmidt, who drove in two runs in Arizona's lone win, but went 0-for-7 with a walk in the two D-backs losses.

"That guy has dominated us more than any player I've ever seen," said Howell. "You don't feel like you shut him down, you just keep him in control and not give him situations where you have to feed him something he can drive, because we've seen what he does."

Instead, it was the Dodgers offense, stymied for six scoreless innings by Arizona starter Ray, that strung four consecutive hits off Arizona's bullpen in a five-run seventh inning. It started with Trayce Thompson's leadoff single, included an RBI pinch-single by Justin Turner, a two-run go-ahead double by Kiké Hernandez and RBI singles from Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez.

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