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ARI@LAD: Parra goes back-to-back with Roberts

LOS ANGLES -- Joe Saunders continued his run of solid pitching as he helped lead the D-backs past the Dodgers, 6-3, on Sunday afternoon in front of 43,935 at Dodger Stadium.

"Joe was great," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He was in total command. It was what the team needed."

The win, combined with the Giants' loss to the Reds, pulled the D-backs to within two games of first place in the National League West one day before the two teams open a three-game set at AT&T Park.

Saunders (8-8) scattered eight hits and allowed just two runs over 7 2/3 innings.

"I was keeping the ball down and mixing speeds," Saunders said. "I thought I pitched inside well today. I didn't really miss out over the plate except for one pitch. Other than that, I got some key ground-ball outs, the defense was awesome behind me again and we swung the bats."

More impressively, Saunders did not allow a walk for the first time since Oct. 2, 2010, his final start of the season. That start was also at Dodger Stadium.

Saunders has now won four of his last five decisions.

"Just trying to be consistent," he said. "Just trying to give us a chance every time. That's my whole thing. I know it's boring, but that's my whole gig. It kind of makes up for the start [to the season] that I had."

The D-backs took a 2-0 lead in the second inning with a pair of solo home runs off Dodgers starter Rubby De La Rosa. The back-to-back homers by Ryan Roberts and Gerardo Parra marked the third time the D-backs have hit consecutive homers this year.

Arizona added a run in the fourth when rookie outfielder Collin Cowgill's single to center scored Parra. It was Cowgill's first career RBI.

The Dodgers finally got on the board in the fourth when Dioner Navarro hit a solo homer to make the score 3-1.

A sacrifice fly by Xavier Nady in the fifth gave the D-backs a little breathing room, and Parra gave them even more with his second homer of the game in the eighth.

"Big day for him," Gibson said of Parra. "He's been working on that stuff, he's more selective. When he gets balls into his nitro zone he can drive the ball. Earlier this year he would try to force everything to the left side of the diamond, but now he's starting to look and understand what they're trying to do to him and make them pay, which he did today. It was huge for us."

The Dodgers made things interesting in the eighth and ninth innings, scoring a run in each. But J.J. Putz was able to secure his 24th save by getting Andre Ethier, who had four hits, to fly out to right field to end the game.

The D-backs have won four of their last five games at Dodger Stadium. Comments