Pederson powers Dodgers closer to postseason

Pederson powers Dodgers closer to postseason

PHOENIX -- Joc Pederson launched a mammoth two-run homer over the Chase Field swimming pool and the Dodgers edged closer to postseason entry Saturday night with a 6-2 win over the D-backs. The Dodgers' magic number over the Giants in the division is 10 and eight over St. Louis for a postseason berth.

Pederson's homer was estimated by Statcast™ at 463 feet, farthest by a Dodger this year, with an exit velocity of 109.9 mph. Seven of his 23 homers this year are against Arizona. Winning pitcher Brock Stewart (2-2), named a day earlier to start on nine days' rest, allowed two runs in five innings in the 64th game started by a Dodgers rookie pitcher this year.

"It started with Brock," said Dodgers manager Dave Roberts. "He gave us five innings and kept us in the game and gave us a chance to win, and that says a lot about him setting the tone. We got a big home run from Joc, three hits from Josh Reddick. I think the quality of at-bats continues getting better."

Joc's blast is longest by a Dodger this season

Losing pitcher Shelby Miller (2-12) is 0-8 at home this year. Arizona scored on solo home runs by Jean Segura in the first inning and Welington Castillo in the fourth. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen remained overpowering despite some wrist stiffness, striking out the side in the ninth inning.

Janson won't be slowed by stiff wrist

"I thought the home run by Pederson, obviously the pitch was down and just missed location, just by a little bit, but he hit it well," D-backs manager Chip Hale said. "After that, I thought [Miller] rebounded back and pitched well. He used all his pitches more tonight."

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Toles collector: Left fielder Andrew Toles showed off his throwing arm in the bottom of the fourth inning with the Dodgers leading, 4-2, when his perfect throw nabbed Yasmany Tomas trying to score from second base on Mitch Haniger's sharp single with the pitcher on deck.

"For Andrew to make such a strong throw, it was a huge play in the game," said Roberts.

Toles nabs Tomas

Segura's strength: Segura hit his third leadoff homer in five games, and his seventh of the season, in the bottom of the first. It only landed a Statcast-projected 341 feet away, leaving the bat with an exit velocity of 88.3 mph. It was the third-softest home run hit in MLB this season.

"I'm not really trying to do it," Segura said. "My approach is to go out there, find a good pitch to hit, not trying to hit a home run. But at that point, if it's across the plate, you have to take it." More

Segura's leadoff home run

The great Chase: Chase Utley doubled home an insurance run in the seventh inning, his second double of the game. He is 7-for-13 with four doubles in the series after his average had dipped to a season-low .246.

"With Chase, you've got to look deeper than the numbers," said Roberts. "For me, he wasn't getting his hits, but I still felt the at-bat quality was good. He squared balls up, but wasn't having any luck. For him to get rewarded was deserved. Chase is a guy I trust."

Utley's RBI double

Miller's struggles continue: Miller lost for the third time in four starts since being recalled from Triple-A Reno. The right-hander has never won at Chase Field and is winless in 10 home starts this season. He has allowed at least four earned runs in each of his last three starts. Much like his last outing, Miller struggled the second time through the opponent's order, allowing three runs in the fourth.

"I thought I made some good pitches," Miller said. "Kind of got into some tough situations, just had one bad inning, and it got carried away there."

Miller fans Stewart

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Corey Seager's two hits gave him 181, setting a Los Angeles Dodgers rookie record for hits, previously held by Steve Sax (1982). The franchise record is 206 by Johnny Frederick in 1929.

"It's another cool one, but kind of has to get put on the back burner until the offseason while we still have to keep winning games," said Seager.

Seager sets LA Dodger record

WHAT'S NEXT
Dodgers: Jose De Leon gets this 1:10 p.m. PT start in the finale of the 10-game trip. He is 2-for-2 in MLB starts with a 0.91 WHIP, while beating the Padres and Yankees. It will be the 65th game started by a rookie this year for the Dodgers.

D-backs: Robbie Ray takes the mound for the D-backs in the series finale on Sunday at 1:10 p.m. MST. Ray (8-13, 4.55) became one of just four pitchers in franchise history to record a 200-strikeout season last time out when he beat the Rockies on Tuesday, allowing four runs over five innings with seven strikeouts.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Ken Gurnick has covered the Dodgers since 1989 and for MLB.com since 2001.

Jake Rill is a reporter for MLB.com based in Phoenix.

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