Sports

Christian Walker extends home run tear at Dodger Stadium, helps Diamondbacks beat Dodgers 9-3

LOS ANGELES — Christian Walker extended his tear at Dodger Stadium on Thursday night, homering in his first two at-bats for his 18th and 19th home runs in 42 career games at the ballpark, and the Arizona Diamondbacks beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 9-3.

Joc Pederson drew boos from the sellout crowd of 52,320 when he went deep against his old team in the first, just before Walker blasted a 435-foot shot to center field off rookie Landon Knack (1-2) with two outs.

Walker had two strikes in the third when he hammered a two-run shot to left with two outs, extending Arizona’s lead to 4-0. The 33-year-old slugger has homered in five consecutive games at the stadium and gone deep nine times this season against Dodgers pitching.

He’s from the same Norristown, Pennsylvania, hometown as late Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda. Walker was drafted by the Dodgers in 2009, but didn’t sign and instead played for the University of South Carolina, where he helped the Gamecocks win the College World Series in 2010 and 2011.

Walker drew his first intentional walk of the series with two outs in the fifth. He was retired on a broken-bat groundout in the seventh. He drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases in the ninth with two outs.

Justin Martinez (3-0) got the win with three innings of relief.

The D-backs scored 14 consecutive runs between the third inning of their 12-4 victory Wednesday — the Dodgers’ biggest loss of the season — and third inning Thursday.

The Dodgers cut the deficit to 4-3 in the fourth on Kiké Hernández’s bases-loaded RBI groundout and Austin Barnes’ two-run single.

Dodgers stars Shohei Ohtani and Freddie Freeman struck out three times each as the team’s NL West lead dropped to 6 1/2 games over San Diego after dropping two of three to Arizona.

The D-backs tacked on four more runs in the with two outs in the ninth. Lourdes Gurriel Jr. had a two-run single and Gabriel Moreno followed with a two-run double, both on broken-bat hits that made it 7-3.

Arizona third baseman Eugenio Suárez was ejected in the middle of the eighth. He went 0 for 4, with called third strikes in the fourth and eighth innings. The second time he yelled and swung his bat while staring at home plate umpire Stu Scheurwater, who tossed him. Suárez had to be led off the field by bench coach Jeff Banister.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Dodgers: RF Jason Heyward left the game with left knee pain in the top of the third after a leaping attempt on Pederson’s homer in the first. … LHP Clayton Kershaw (shoulder) threw a 30-pitch bullpen session. Next up is a simulated game possibly this weekend. … 3B Max Muncy (oblique) is still sore and isn’t expected back until well after the All-Star break. “It’s been a lot slower process than we hoped,” manager Dave Roberts said. “The longer he’s out, the harder it is.”

UP NEXT

Diamondbacks: RHP Slade Cecconi (2-6, 5.81 ERA) starts Friday at San Diego in the opener of a three-game series.

Dodgers: RHP Tyler Glasnow (8-5, 3.23) starts Friday against visiting Milwaukee in a matchup of division leaders.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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