LOS ANGELES — Brock Stewart has been everywhere this season, starting way down at Single-A. Now’s he a winning pitcher in the major leagues.
He became the fourth consecutive rookie starter to pick up a win, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 on Wednesday night for their fifth straight victory and a sweep of the three-game series.
“It’s been a whirlwind,” said Stewart, who was hoping someone would give him the game ball afterward. “To get my first win at this level is definitely a special feeling.”
The Dodgers started four consecutive rookies for the second straight week while their battered rotation slowly comes back. Jose De Leon, Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling and Stewart combined to go 4-0 with a 2.82 ERA.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, it was the first time in franchise history that the Dodgers won four straight games with a rookie starter getting the win each time. The last team to do so was Oakland from Sept. 9-12, 2012.
“All those young guys have given us quality starts,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “This is definitely a crash course, a nice immersion in the big leagues.”
From Single-A, Stewart made his way to Double-A and Triple-A before getting called up by the Dodgers. He has a 1.38 ERA in his last three major league games (two starts) since Aug. 14.
Stewart (1-2) allowed one run and five hits in five innings, struck out one and walked two.
“I found out I could pitch without my best stuff,” he said. “That’s definitely a confidence boost.”
Yasiel Puig homered and drove in another run for the Dodgers, who increased their lead in the NL West to a season-high five games over San Francisco, which lost 6-5 at Colorado.
The Dodgers open a 10-game road trip — longest of the season — on Friday against former manager Don Mattingly in Miami, where ace Clayton Kershaw is set to start after missing the last two months because of a herniated disk.
Kenley Jansen pitched the ninth for his 43rd save in 49 chances, leaving him one shy of his career-high set in 2014.
Puig homered with one out in the sixth, extending the Dodgers’ lead to 3-1.
Los Angeles scored the tying and go-ahead runs in the bottom of the first. Corey Seager doubled into the right field corner, bringing home Howie Kendrick who had walked and narrowly avoided getting tagged in a head-first slide at the plate. Puig’s sacrifice fly scored Seager, making it 2-1.
Arizona’s lone run came on Paul Goldschmidt’s RBI double with two outs in the first. The D-backs were outscored 18-5 in the series.
Arizona’s Robbie Ray (7-13) gave up three runs and two hits in six innings. The left-hander struck out 12 and walked four.
“It’s always nice to strike out a lot of guys,” Ray said, “but when you don’t get the win it doesn’t matter.”
Clinging to a 3-1 lead, the Dodgers’ bullpen squelched threats in the seventh and eighth innings.
The D-backs loaded the bases in the seventh. Reliever Jesse Chavez gave up consecutive singles to pinch-hitter Phil Gosselin and Jean Segura before retiring the next two batters. He intentionally walked Goldschmidt and then Grant Dayton came on and struck out pinch-hitter Rickie Weeks Jr. to end the inning.
“Deep breath, just trying to execute pitches,” Dayton said. “It was a huge moment.”
In the eighth, Pedro Baez entered and struck out Yasmany Tomas and Chris Hermann before walking pinch-hitter Mitch Haniger. He needed six pitches to retire Gosselin on a groundout to shortstop.
D-backs: C Welington Castillo was scratched shortly before the game with tightness in his shoulder and was replaced by Hermann.
Dodgers: LHP Scott Kazmir experienced a setback in his rehab start at Triple-A Oklahoma City and left early with neck and ribcage issues. He will return to Los Angeles for further evaluation. He threw 33 pitches and gave up a three-run homer, walked two and hit two batters.
CALLING THE ‘PEN
The Dodgers used eight pitchers, tying a record for a nine-inning game. Three of them faced just one batter each in the sixth, keeping the bullpen phone busy.
“We got, what, 28 guys down there,” Dayton said. “We know it’s going to ring.”
The Dodgers earned their sixth series sweep of the season and first over the D-backs since June 8-10, 2015. They are 38-15 against Arizona since 2014 and won the season series (10-5) for the third straight year.
D-backs: RHP Braden Shipley (3-3, 4.94) starts the opener of a three-game home series against San Francisco. He is 2-0 with a 1.04 ERA in four starts when throwing six-plus innings.
Dodgers: Kershaw (11-2, 1.79) starts Friday for the first time since June 26 after missing two months with mild disk herniation. He allowed a season-high five runs and seven hits in seven innings against Miami at home on April 26 in a 6-3 loss. He struck out 10 and didn’t issue a walk. Kershaw is 5-3 with a 2.40 ERA in 10 career starts against the Marlins.