Nolasco shines in debut for surging LA Dodgers

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Nolasco shines in debut for surging LA Dodgers

PHOENIX - Ricky Nolasco looked right at home in Dodger blue.

The right-hander made a sparkling debut for surging Los Angeles on Tuesday night, limiting Arizona to four hits in seven innings in a 6-1 victory, the Dodgers’ 14th win in 17 games and third straight overall.

“I was pretty pumped up,” Nolasco said. “I haven’t been that locked in in a long time. It worked out great. I was able to make good pitches. I was definitely excited. The energy and adrenaline was going those first few innings, so it was awesome.”

Nolasco (6-8), acquired Saturday in a trade with the Miami Marlins, also doubled and singled, driving in a run and scoring another.

“It just gives you more confidence when you’re adding it to [Clayton] Kershaw, [Zack] Greinke and [Ryu] Hyun-jin,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “Then to add Ricky, if he can pitch like this, every time you go out there you think you’ve got a good chance to win.”

Adrian Gonzalez drove in three runs for Los Angeles but Hanley Ramirez went 0 for 4, snapping his 19-game hitting streak.

Ian Kennedy (3-5), facing the Dodgers for the first time since serving a 10-game suspension for his role in a bench-clearing brawl a month ago, allowed six runs, five earned, and nine hits in 5 2-3 innings. He hit Ramirez with a pitch in the first inning.

The Dodgers pulled within 2 1/2 games of the NL West-leading Diamondbacks.

Plate umpire Marvin Hudson warned both benches after Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario hit Miguel Montero in the leg with a pitch in the ninth inning. Belisario had warned after the brawl that “it’s not over.”

He repeated that sentiment after the game but insisted he didn’t hit Montero on purpose.

“It’s not over,” Belisario said, “but it wasn’t on purpose.”

So it’s still not over?

“No,” he said.

The Dodgers, who won by the same score in Monday’s series opener, have won 11 of their last 13 against NL West opponents, picking up seven games in the standings since they were a season-worst 9 1/2 out on June 22.

Arizona center fielder Adam Eaton, making his season debut after being activated from the disabled list, stumbled and dropped Gonzalez’s fly ball at the warning track with the bases loaded in the fifth.

Kennedy had made his last seven starts on the road, including the June 11 outing in Los Angeles, where he hit Puig and Greinke with high pitches in a testy game that included a bench-clearing melee. Of the eight suspensions that followed, Kennedy’s was the most severe at 10 games, although he missed just one start.

The Arizona right-hander made things interesting in the first inning Tuesday when he plunked Ramirez in the shoulder. Nothing intentional, Kennedy said.

“Up-and-in change-up slipped out of my hand,” he said.

Mattingly agreed.

“We know that Kennedy’s not trying to hit Hanley,” Mattingly said. “That was a change-up. They were just trying to get in. That’s nothing.”

AP

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