Corbin leads D-backs to sweep in return to bigs

Corbin leads D-backs to sweep in return to bigs

Corbin leads D-backs to sweep in return to bigs
LOS ANGELES -- Patrick Corbin struggled a bit with his mechanics and command Wednesday afternoon.

But if those are the kind of results the left-hander gets when that happens, the D-backs will take it every time.

Corbin combined with three relievers on a two-hit shutout as the D-backs beat the Dodgers, 4-0, on Wednesday afternoon to complete a three-game sweep at Dodger Stadium.

It was a complete shift in momentum for the two teams. The Dodgers came into the series fresh off a sweep of the Giants in San Francisco to grab a share of the National League West lead.

Meanwhile, the D-backs were coming off a lackluster split of a four-game series with the slumping Mets.

Three days later, the D-backs are just 1 1/2 games behind the second-place Dodgers.

"Guys are emotionally feeling great [after sweeping San Francisco], so the series scared me from the very beginning when I looked at the schedule," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly.

While the Dodgers looked to put this series behind them as quickly as possible, D-backs manager Kirk Gibson called his team together after the game briefly to "affirm the feeling" of the sweep.

"When things are tough, you want to be able to reflect back to a good point," Gibson said. "It's like if your computer gets a virus, you take it back to a good point, right? That's how you fix it. We came in here knowing they were going to be tough and on a roll. We pitched very well, we swung the bats very well, we hit a couple of home runs virtually every game, so our guys are coming together. It's very nice, it's a good feeling. They've worked hard to fight their way through and get here."

The win was the sixth in a row for the D-backs over the Dodgers. It was their first sweep at Dodger Stadium since 2007, and Arizona is 9-3 in its last 12 games there.

Corbin was called up from Triple-A Reno on Wednesday as the team shifted Josh Collmenter from the rotation to the bullpen.

It is the third stint in the big leagues this year for Corbin (3-4), and the left-hander continues to look more and more comfortable. On Wednesday, he held the Dodgers to just two hits and a pair of walks while fanning five in six innings.

Despite the impressive result, Corbin, Gibson and catcher Miguel Montero said that the rookie had to overcome some early troubles.

Corbin retired the first two hitters in each of the first three innings, but in the first and second innings the next two hitters reached, and he hit the third batter in the third inning. Montero went out to the mound a couple of times to try to help him settle in.

"Early on, he was probably a little excited, too, being back again and trying too hard," Montero said. "Actually, the last two innings I think is when he was the best. He just kind of settled in and was making good quality pitches."

After allowing a leadoff walk to Jerry Hairston in the fourth, Corbin and relievers Brad Ziegler, David Hernandez and J.J. Putz combined to retire the next 17 hitters in a row to close things out.

For Corbin, it was a matter of not rushing out and flying open.

"I came out kind of frustrated with my mechanics a little bit, leaving the ball up early in the game," Corbin said. "Kind of settled down, Miggy came out and just told me to stay back and I was able to locate all my pitches later in the game."

The D-backs gave Corbin a lead to work with in the second inning, thanks to some heads-up baserunning from Paul Goldschmidt.

Goldschmidt led off the inning with a single to center off Stephen Fife, and Justin Upton followed by popping up a bunt behind the plate. Catcher A.J. Ellis made a nice diving catch to record the out, but Goldschmidt alertly tagged up on the play and advanced to second.

Because of that, Goldschmidt was able to score when Montero then singled to center.

A home run by Chris Johnson in the fourth, his second in three games since joining the D-backs, gave Arizona a 2-0 lead.

The D-backs tacked on some insurance runs in the eighth, when Montero hit a two-run homer to put the D-backs up, 4-0.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.