video thumbnail

ARI@LAD: Nolasco fans six, holds D-backs to one run

The Dodgers can win their first National League West division title in four years with a win over the D-backs Thursday at Chase Field.

Ricky Nolasco will start for Los Angeles, which last won the NL West in 2009. With a victory, the Dodgers would be the first team in the Majors to clinch its division.

In addition to a chance to get the Dodgers to the postseason for the 18th time since the franchise moved to L.A., Nolasco is looking to bounce back from his shortest start in over two years. He recorded just four outs and was charged with seven runs on Saturday against the Giants.

Nolasco has beaten the D-backs twice since joining the Dodgers in a July trade with the Marlins. The right-hander fired seven innings of one-run ball July 9 in Arizona in his Dodgers debut, and allowed one unearned run over 6 2/3 innings Sept. 9 at Dodger Stadium.

The NL West title would complete a dramatic reversal for the Dodgers, who trailed the D-backs by as many as 9 1/2 games and were at the bottom of the division at the start of July.

D-backs manager Kirk Gibson cited the Dodgers' pitching staff as one of the reasons for the club's turnaround, but also praised manager Don Mattingly for keeping the team together during a rough start to the season.

"Donny has done a good job, too," Gibson said. "He held it together when everyone was calling for drastic changes. He hung in there well."

The D-backs, who spoiled the Dodgers' chance to clinch the division Wednesday night with a 9-4 victory, will turn to Wade Miley in the finale. Miley is 10-10 with a 3.70 ERA in 30 starts this season, and the D-backs have won each of his two starts against the Dodgers.

Dodgers: Hanley unlikely to play
Hanley Ramirez is unlikely to play in Thursday's series finale, according to Mattingly. The shortstop did not play Wednesday, one day after returning to the lineup following a four-game layoff because of lower back pain. Mattingly said it was "just part of the plan" for Ramirez to skip Wednesday's game.

"I don't think anybody feels Hanley's 100 percent," Mattingly said. "He's good today. He's a little sore body-wise and he's not playing. The key for us is to get him sharp."

Meanwhile, Andre Ethier remains sidelined with a sprained left ankle. The outfielder has not played since coming out of Friday's game and continues to use a walking boot when he's not at the ballpark.

D-backs: Goldschmidt not slowing down
Paul Goldschmidt has appeared in all but two of Arizona's 151 games this year, but the first baseman doesn't appear to be easing up heading into the final 11 games of the regular season.

Goldschmidt has three homers and nine RBIs over his past four games, including a two-run shot Wednesday.

"He's actually pretty fresh for as many games as he has played," Gibson said. "He has been our most consistent guy, he has been our most dangerous guy and he wants to play. He's a pretty good player, in fact, you might say he's the Most Valuable Player. I could argue that."

Goldschmidt leads the NL with 34 homers, 118 RBIs, .556 slugging percentage, .962 OPS and 310 total bases.

Worth noting
• Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis is 10-for-20 in his career against Miley, with one double and four homers.

MLB.com Comments