LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers didn't necessarily hit the ball hard in the first inning against Daniel Hudson.
But in the end, the two runs they were able to push across in that inning were the difference as the Dodgers avoided a sweep with a 3-2 win over the D-backs in an emotionally charged game Wednesday night.
The loss, combined with a win by the Giants, cut Arizona's lead in the National League West to 7 1/2 games. The D-backs' magic number remained at six games. The D-backs also remained tied with the Brewers for the second-best record in the NL and home-field advantage in the NL Division Series.
Of the four hits the Dodgers came up with in the first inning, one was an infield single, another a bunt hit and yet another ticked off the glove off shortstop Willie Bloomquist.
"It's baseball," said Hudson, who fell to 16-10. "They get two runs somehow on [three] infield singles. Stuff happens. I'm just trying to keep the damage to a minimum in that first inning, and I knew once I did that I'd be able to get into a rhythm and coast from there."
That he did.
Hudson allowed just a single in the second inning and two walks after that before he departed following the seventh inning.
"There's something about that first inning this year, I just seem to get a little unlucky, can't find it," Hudson said. "And then you finally get out of it and then you go out there and just get locked in. It just stinks that that was the difference in the game in the first inning. I can't do anything about it, just have to go get them next time."
Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw rolled through the first five innings allowing just a third-inning double to Gerardo Parra.
"He's good," D-backs manager Kirk Gibson said. "He's got really good stuff. Very sharp, he's got good velocity, curveball, slider, changeup and he knows what he's doing with it. You can't take anything away from him at all."
The NL Cy Young Award candidate saw his night come to an abrupt end when he was ejected after hitting Parra with a pitch to lead off the sixth.
Parra had been the center of some bad blood the night before when, after Hong-Chih Kuo threw a pitch over his head, he stopped and posed after hitting a home run later in the at-bat. The Dodgers, including Kershaw, yelled at Parra from the dugout as he rounded the bases.
"Oh, yeah, like I say, I'm ready for everything," Parra said when asked if he thought Kershaw was going to hit him.
Kershaw said he did not throw at Parra intentionally.
"The first at-bat I threw him all away and he hit a double," Kershaw said. "The next at-bat, I've got to pitch him in. It's unfortunate."
Dodgers manager Don Mattingly was ejected for arguing Kershaw's ejection with home-plate umpire Bill Welke.
Hudson said a message delivered by Major League Baseball pregame had him uncomfortable with throwing too far inside.
"We were told that if they thought there was any intent that we would be ejected and there would be some suspensions," Hudson said. "I don't think Clayton did anything on purpose. A pitch just got away from him and unfortunately it was to the wrong guy, the guy who was in the middle of everything [Tuesday]."
Kershaw's ejection seemed like it would work to the D-backs' advantage.
"You kind of hope from a pitcher's perspective maybe this will get our offense clicking a little bit," Hudson said. "But their bullpen did a good job of coming in and really shutting us down."
Josh Lindblom, Nathan Eovaldi and Kenley Jansen combined to hold the D-backs to single runs in the eighth and ninth innings while striking out eight. Overall, the D-backs fanned 13 times.
Kershaw earned his 19th win, tying him with Arizona's Ian Kennedy atop the NL.
"Their guys shut us down," Gibson said of the Dodger's bullpen. "They did a good job, give them credit, tip you hat and move on."