LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 31: Gerardo Parra #8 of the Arizona Diamondbacks watches his two-run home run to right center field against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the eighth inning of the game at Dodger Stadium on July 31, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Golden/Getty Images)

Diamondbacks Win 6-3 Against Dodgers, Pull Within Two Games Of Giants In NL West

The Diamondbacks won their series against the Dodgers 2-1 after dropping Friday's Game 1. Arizona has won six of its last eight games and are only two games behind the San Francisco Giants in the NL West.

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Diamondbacks Win 6-3 Against Dodgers, Pull Within Two Games Of Giants In NL West

The Arizona Diamondbacks won 6-3 against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. The Diamondbacks took the series 2-1 after dropping Game 1 on Friday night.

Ryan Roberts and Gerardo Parra both hit home runs in the second inning to give the Diamondbacks an early 2-0 lead. The Diamondbacks scored two more runs in the fourth and fifth innings on a Collin Cowgill single and a sacrifice fly by Xavier Nady. Parra hit another home run in the top of the eighth inning to bring Roberts and himself in, and he had three RBIs on the night.

The Dodgers, trailing 6-2 in the bottom of the ninth, did make a run with a couple of hits. J.J. Putz was called in for David Hernandez, and the Diamondbacks came away with a 6-3 victory after allowing just one run.

Joe Saunders (7-8) allowed eight hits but only two runs in a little over seven innings. Saunders has now recorded two straight wins after a two-game losing streak in match-ups against the Milwaukee Brewers and the Dodgers.

The Diamondbacks are now 59-49 on the season and are only two games back of the San Francisco Giants, who took a 9-0 beating against the Cincinnati Reds earlier today. Arizona has won six of its last eight games and are making the NL West race very interesting since the Giants dropped all three of their games against the Reds this weekend. The two clubs open up a pivotal series tomorrow night in San Francisco, with Matt Cain (9-6) set to start opposite of Ian Kennedy (12-3).


Upton-Powered Diamondbacks Rally For Win Over Dodgers, 6-4

The Arizona Diamondbacks have been impressive this season in bouncing back from bad performances. They rally late in games to eat up deficits and they've rarely had an extended streak of playing bad ball. Both traits were on display Saturday night at Chavez Ravine when Justin Upton personified the D-back's resilience by rebounding from a mistake in the outfield Friday to lift his team to a 6-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Upton misplayed a ball in Friday's loss (the error he was originally charged with was reversed) which caused a poor trash can to feel the Wrath of Justin. He wasn't the only one who played poorly in that loss and he wasn't the only who bounced back on Saturday. But right now, with the way Upton is stroking at the plate, this is his world. 

The D-backs' 23-year-old right field soon-to-be-super-star broke the game open with a bases clearing three-run double with two outs in the fifth inning. Arizona went from down one run to the final margin of victory.

Credit also goes to the bullpen who picked up after a typical start you might expect from the fifth guy in your rotation.

Michah Owings wasn't terrible (5 IP, 4 ER) but he clearly wasn't great either. As we've come to expect, the eighth and ninth innings were handled well by David Hernandez and J.J. Putz but the real key to the game (aside from Upton's two-hit, three-RBI night) was the middle innings relief. 

Ryan Cook (.2 IP, 1 H, 1 BB), Bryan Shaw (1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB), and Joe Paterson (.1 IP, 1 H, 0 BB) combined to hold the game for two critical frames to bridge the gap between the starter and the closing tandem of Hernandez and Putz. These middle innings have not been pretty and are the target of GM Kevin Towers in the final hours of the trade deadline.

Justin Upton had this to say after the game about his current 10-game streak, "I feel pretty good about it. (So do we.) We've got a long way to go. Obviously last year I got injured and it wasn't the season I wanted it to be. So my goal right now is to stay healthy and continue to swing the bat."

Since a four-game slump after the All-Star break, Upton is now 21-42 with 19 RBI and six home runs. He has 65 RBI on the season compared to 69 all last year. He's becoming that star right before our eyes this summer.

The rubber game of the series fires off Sunday at 1:10 p.m. PT with Joe Saunders facing Rubby De La Rosa. With the win and a Giants loss to the Reds, the D-backs are three games out of the NL West lead with a three-game series against the Giants starting Monday. 

For more on this game, visit AZ Snake Pit.


LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 30: (L-R) Gerardo Parra #8, Chris Young #24 and Justin Upton #10 of the Arizona Diamondbacks celebrate their teams 6-4 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on July 30, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)


Dodgers Shell Collmenter, Diamondbacks Bullpen, 9-5

The Los Angeles Dodgers showed their offensive prowess against Josh Collmenter and the Arizona bullpen, defeating the Diamondbacks 9-5.

After a four game winning streak, the Diamondbacks have now lost two in a row. 

Ted Lilly pitched five innings for the Dodgers, earning his seventh win of the season. Lilly was pulled after only 84 pitches and could be a trade deadline target for a team desperate to shore up their starting rotation. Although, on the other hand, the Dodgers are watching him carefully for elbow tenderness.

The Diamondbacks were able to make it interesting in the ninth inning, as Cody Ransom and Miguel Montero got on base for Justin Upton. Down four runs in the ninth, it's easy to mail it in, but the D-backs battled against Dodgers closer Javy Guerra.

Upton was unable to deliver, popping up to James Loney to end the game.

With the loss, Collmenter moves to 6-6 on the season. He gave up five runs in just 3.2 innings, pushing his ERA to 3.10 on the season.

Matt Kemp had five RBI for the Dodgers, while Willie Bloomquist, Ryan Roberts, and Upton all homered for the Diamondbacks in a losing effort.

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