09/03/09 1:56 AM ET
Scherzer deals D-backs past Dodgers
Righty gives 7 2/3 solid innings, does his part on offense
By Steve Gilbert / MLB.com
The D-backs right-hander did damage with his arm, his bat and his legs as the D-backs beat the Dodgers, 4-1, at Dodger Stadium.
Arizona has now won six of its past seven games.
On the mound, Scherzer allowed just one run while going 7 2/3 innings, matching the longest outing of his career.
"He really managed things, his emotions his adrenaline," D-backs manager A.J. Hinch said. "He threw a lot of strikes, he had a pretty electric fastball at times, he mixed in enough secondary pitches, got the outs. He really was in control of the game."
At the plate, Scherzer was able to collect a two-out, fifth-inning single against Chad Billingsley, fouling off a pair of two-strike pitches along the way.
"I was just trying to hang in there and not strike out," Scherzer said. "And finally on 3-2 you knew he was going to come with a heater with the pitcher up, and so I just tried to get out in front and got it through the hole."
What may have been the key, was the work Scherzer did on the bases after the hit.
With Scherzer on first and Alex Romero on third, Stephen Drew hit a grounder into the hole at short. Scherzer was running hard on the play, so Rafael Furcal had to throw quickly to second and the ball got past Orlando Hudson allowing a run to score and prolonging the inning.
"His hustle to second was probably the key to the inning," Hinch said.
"I saw the ball was in the hole and I knew I had a chance to beat the throw," Scherzer said.
Up until the fifth, it looked as though it might be Billingsley that was going to walk away with a win.
The right-hander retired the first 13 batters he faced before Miguel Montero doubled with one out in the fifth.
That brought Brandon Allen to the plate. The slugging first baseman was robbed of a potential homer Tuesday night when right fielder Andre Ethier leaped at the wall and snagged his deep drive to help preserve a Dodgers win.
This time, Allen made sure Ethier couldn't repeat the feat when he blasted Billingsley's first pitch 10 rows into the right-field bleachers.
The D-backs then went on to capitalize on Scherzer's hit and Furcal's error to tack on two more runs and take a 4-0 lead.
"We were able to nickel-and-dime a little bit, a couple of infield hits and then obviously the error to continue the inning," Hinch said.
Scherzer went for the jugular after the rally as he retired the Dodgers in order in the bottom of the fifth on just five pitches.
"When you put those runs up on the board, that's a big point in the game," Scherzer said. "Once you throw runs up, make sure you go back out there and do your job and throw a zero up."
Scherzer (9-8) looked like he might be on his way to his first career complete game until he ran into some trouble in the eighth.
With one out in the frame, Scherzer issued his first walk of the night and then Furcal beat out a drag bunt to put runners at first and second.
Ethier followed by lining a hard shot right at Allen at first to bring Manny Ramirez to plate.
With most of the 45,076 on their feet imploring Ramirez to come through, he singled up the middle to score one and Hinch decided that Scherzer's night was done.
"When you lose a battle with Manny in a big at-bat, you sink a lot of energy into that one at-bat, so I felt it was time to go get him after that," Hinch said. "Up to that point, I thought he was going to finish the inning."
Esmerling Vasquez came in and retired Matt Kemp to end the inning and Juan Gutierrez pitched the ninth to pick up his second save in as many chances since taking over the closer's role following an injury to Chad Qualls.
Steve Gilbert is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.