Pujols HR, Dodgers send Diamondbacks to 17th straight loss

Sports

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Albert Pujols (55) celebrates with Justin Turner after hitting a three-run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the third inning during a baseball game, Sunday, June 20, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)

PHOENIX (AP) — Albert Pujols hit a three-run homer and passed Mel Ott for 14th on the career runs list, and the Los Angeles Dodgers extended the Arizona Diamondbacks’ losing streak to 17 games with a 9-8 victory Sunday.

Arizona trailed 9-2 before rallying with six runs in the eighth, when Josh Reddick, Christian Walker and Ketel Marte had run-scoring hits. Josh Rojas’ inning-ending groundout against Victor Gonzalez stranded runners at the corners.

Kenley Jansen pitched a perfect ninth for his 18th save in 20 chances as Los Angeles won its sixth in a row.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was glad to get out of the desert with the sweep.

“Until that eighth there were a lot of positives,” Roberts said.

Arizona is approaching the longest losing streak of the wild card era, 19 games by the Kansas City Royals in 2005.

The Diamondbacks are a major league-worst 20-53 heading into a three-game home series against Milwaukee. Then they go to San Diego, trying to stop a major league record road losing streak that has stretched to 23 games.

Arizona is on the longest losing streak in team history and has lost 30 of 32 overall and 40 of 45.

“Maybe we can build off that eighth inning,” said Reddick, who had three hits and three RBIs. “We went against one of the best teams in the league and got back in it. Just stay with that, come back (Monday) and switch gears on a new ballclub.”

Pujols’ 673rd home run put Los Angeles ahead 4-0 against Alex Young (2-5) and raised his total to 1,860 runs, one more than Ott from 1926-47 for the New York Giants. Next up is Tris Speaker with 1,882.

The 41-year-old Pujols has 11 home runs this season and trails only Barry Bonds (762), Hank Aaron (755), Babe Ruth (714) and Alex Rodriguez (696) on the career list.

Garrett Cleavinger (2-3) got four outs in relief of Tony Gonsolin, who gave up one run and three hits in 3 2/3 innings in his third start after a stint on the injured list caused by right shoulder inflammation.

Los Angeles played in front of a crowd of 31,661 that featured many loud Dodgers fans. Los Angeles has won 10 of 12.

A.J. Pollock had three hits, including a pair of doubles, and three RBIs. The former Diamondback outfielder sympathizes with his former team’s plight.

“You wouldn’t wish that on anyone,” he said. “They’re playing hard.”

BACK IN THE BIGS

INF Josh VanMeter took the roster spot vacated when RHP Kevin Ginkel was returned to the minors. “We wanted Kevin to get back into rhythm with consistent work,” manager Torey Lovullo said. VanMeter started at second on Sunday, batting leadoff, and later moved to third. Those are the positions where Lovullo said VanMeter will see the most playing time.

MILESTONE

Corbin Martin relieved Young and allowed four runs in 3 2/3 innings. Martin singled off Cleavinger for his first professional hit; he had been 0 for 5.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Diamondbacks: C Gary Varsho was recalled from Triple-A Reno, one day C Carson Kelly broke a wrist. … Lovullo said Kelly will get a CT scan on Monday and then the team will project how long he will be out.

UP NEXT

Dodgers: LHP Julio Urías (9-2) starts Monday night at San Diego and RHP Yu Darvish (6-2) in the opener of a three-game series.

Diamondbacks: RHP Merrill Kelly (2-7) starts for Arizona and LHP Brett Anderson (2-4) for the Brewers.

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