Gold standard: Slugger's homer lifts D-backs

Goldschmidt crushes two-run shot in ninth against last-place Dodgers

Gold standard: Slugger's homer lifts D-backs

LOS ANGELES -- Paul Goldschmidt was not sure the ball was going to leave the park, so as he left the batter's box, he gave it some encouragement.

"I knew I hit it well, but it's not one of those where you're 100 percent sure, so I was kind of watching it and talking to myself and saying, 'C'mon, c'mon' or something like that," Goldschmidt said.

The ball did indeed clear the wall for a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning as the D-backs beat the Dodgers, 5-3, on Tuesday night at Dodger Stadium.

The win was the second in a row for the D-backs, who will go for the sweep of the series Wednesday night. Arizona has now won 14 of its last 17 games against Los Angeles.

It was the second straight night Goldschmidt went deep and continued his dominance of Dodgers pitchers. In 20 at-bats against them this year, Goldschmidt has nine hits with a double, two homers and seven RBIs.

In 50 career at-bats at Dodger Stadium, Goldschmidt is hitting .380 with four homers and 12 RBIs.

Why does he always seem to hit well at the ballpark?

"I wouldn't say always. I've had plenty of struggles here," he said, "but obviously a game like today and yesterday, it was nice to have some success and get some wins."

With the game tied at 3, one out and a runner on first in the ninth, Goldschmidt fell behind 1-2 to Dodgers closer Brandon League.

Goldschmidt worked the count full and fouled off five pitches before hitting the 11th pitch of the at-bat into the seats in left-center to give the D-backs a 5-3 lead.

"Once we got to 3-2, it was five fastballs, I think, and I'm just trying to fight," Goldschmidt said. "He's got that really good slider and split finger, so trying to make sure in case he threw that to stay back a little bit. I was able to get that last one and get it up in the air enough."

League fell to 0-2 on the year.

"Tonight, leadoff walk, I got that one out and my whole plan was just to get Goldschmidt to ground into the double play," League said. "But it's a prime example of what happens when you throw a good hitter a [bad] pitch."

There was still plenty of intrigue after the Goldschmidt home run.

Closer J.J. Putz came on to try and finish things up, but after throwing four straight balls to walk Nick Punto to start the inning, he was forced to leave the game with elbow stiffness.

The D-backs turned to setup man Heath Bell, who had been warming up the inning before and Bell managed to retire the next three hitters in order to pick up his second save of the year.

"I've done that in the past, so it's not like it's totally out of the box," said Bell, who now has 155 saves.

Prior to the homer, the game was a back-and-forth exchange, with the teams exchanging runs in each of the first two innings.

Gerardo Parra led off the game for the D-backs with a double and came around to score on Goldschmidt's grounder to second.

The Dodgers tied it in the bottom half when after retiring the first two hitters, Arizona starter Brandon McCarthy gave up three consecutive singles, with the final one being an RBI grounder back up the middle by Andre Ethier.

Eric Chavez led off the second with a double to left-center and came around to score later on Jason Kubel's single to left as Arizona took a 2-1 lead

Punto tied things up in the bottom of the second with a solo homer to right.

The D-backs grabbed a 3-2 lead in the fifth when Chavez singled home Didi Gregorius.

The Dodgers tied things up in the seventh when Punto's double drove in Skip Schumaker.

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for Read his blog, Inside the D-backs, and follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.