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Eovaldi wins MLB debut, Dodgers edge Diamondbacks

Aug 7, 2011 - 4:49 AM Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) - Nathan Eovaldi pitched five solid innings in his major league debut to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers to a 5-3 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in the middle test of a three-game set at Chase Field.

Eovaldi (1-0), a 21-year-old right-hander, gave up two runs on four hits while striking out seven and walking two.

"I felt really good and comfortable after that first strike," Eovaldi said. "I was getting ahead of the batter and I felt confident."

Rod Barajas went 3-for-4 with two RBI, Andre Ethier picked up two hits and Juan Rivera added a double for the Dodgers, who have won four of their last five contests.

Joe Saunders (8-9) gave up four runs on eight hits while fanning four and walking one in 5 1/3 innings. He also helped own cause at the plate by going 2-for-2 with a pair of RBI but took the loss nonetheless.

"I just tried to put the bat on the ball and find a hole," Saunders said of his offensive effectiveness. "He throws pretty hard, so I just tried to get the head out and good things happened."

Justin Upton added an RBI double for the Diamondbacks, who have lost the first two games of this series and salted away a chance to move into first place in the NL West as a result of the San Francisco Giants' loss to the Philadelphia Phillies earlier in the day. The D-Backs remain a half-game behind San Francisco.

Los Angeles plated two runs in the sixth to take the lead for good at 4-2. Ethier led off the inning with a single and advanced to second two batters later on a groundout by Rivera. Ethier then came around to score on a single by Aaron Miles. Brad Ziegler, who was acquired from the Oakland Athletics at the trade deadline, entered the game with runners on the corners and one out. Barajas greeted Ziegler with an RBI single up the middle to plate the Dodgers' second run of the frame.

Casey Blake walked and Ethier cued a seeing-eye single to left center to start the Dodger seventh. Blake advanced to third on a flyout by Matt Kemp and scored on a fielder's choice by Rivera to extend the lead to 5-2.

Arizona got a run back in the eighth on a two-out RBI double by Upton to make it a 5-3 contest. Chris Young then came up as the tying run and blasted a ball deep to left, sending the crowd into a frenzy, but he didn't quite get all of it, as the ball landed in the glove of Tony Gwynn Jr. to end the inning.

The D-Backs mounted a threat in the ninth. Ryan Roberts ripped a one-out double into the gap in right-center and advanced to third on a wild pitch by Dodgers reliever Scott Elbert. Paul Goldschmidt grounded out to third and Gerardo Parra grounded out to first to seal the win and give Elbert his second save.

Earlier, Kemp led off the Dodger second inning with a single to left, but was thrown out stealing second. Rivera then ripped a double to right and scored on a single up the middle by Barajas.

The Diamondbacks took a 2-1 lead in the second inning. After the first two hitters of the inning made outs, Roberts walked, Goldschmidt singled to left and Parra walked to load the bases. Saunders then helped his own cause by poking a two-run single to right.

The Dodgers knotted the game at two in the next inning. Eovaldi and Dee Gordon hit back-to-back singles and Blake dropped down a sacrifice bunt to give Los Angeles runners on second and third with one down. Eovaldi then trotted home on an RBI groundout by Ethier.

Game Notes

Upton has hit safely in 16 of his last 17 games...The Dodgers are 4-1 on their current six-game road trip...Eovaldi is the sixth Dodger this season to make his major league debut...The Dodgers are 24-23 against the National League West, while Arizona is 22-21 against its own division.