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The Los Angeles Dodgers as newly acquired pitcher Ricky Nolasco knows them? They're a pretty good team.
Los Angeles continued its winning ways Tuesday in Nolasco's Dodger-blue debut, beating the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks 6-1 and inching closer to first place themselves. Nolasco, who joined the team after a Saturday trade from the Miami Marlins, pitched seven innings, allowing only four hits and striking out five. The Dodgers are now two and a half games behind the D-backs for the top spot in the NL West.
Helping himself: Nolasco actually helped the Dodgers first with his bat. He hit a second-inning RBI single, one of his two hits in the game. Yasiel who?
After the game, Nolasco, a SoCal native, told MLB.com's Ken Gurnick:
"I haven't been that locked in in a long time, and it worked out great. It was definitely exciting, with a lot of energy and adrenaline going. The guys have been playing great the last two or three weeks, and I just try to come in and go about my business and help the team as much as possible."
Two plunkings, no brawls: That brawl surely still fresh in their minds, the Dodgers and D-backs didn't scuffle again despite brawl stars once again plunking opposing hitters.
D-backs pitcher Ian Kennedy, leveled with the biggest suspension from the June brawl, hit Hanley Ramirez on a first-inning change-up. Then Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario hit Miguel Montero on an 0-2 fastball in the ninth inning with two outs. No commotion, though the benches were warned. After the game, Belisario said:
"It's not over — but that wasn't on purpose," he said. "I don't like the way they keep talking, but it wasn't on purpose.
It's worth noting, however, that the Montero did give Yasiel Puig a "no-no-no" finger wave earlier in the game when they collided (mildly) at home plate and Puig was tagged out.
On the other end of the NL West: The San Francisco Giants continue to be trapped in a rut, though it looked like they might break out of it Tuesday.
A night after playing 16 innings, the Giants and New York Mets combined for 16 runs and 25 hits. No extra innings this time, though they were knotted 5-5 in the eighth inning before the Mets broke things wide open. Daniel Murphy hit a go-ahead sac fly, then Marlon Byrd followed with a grand slam that not only put the Mets comfortably ahead, but the broke the hearts of Giants fans. Final score: Mets 10, Giants 6.
Ready to hear how grave things have gotten for baseball's defending champs? They're now 40-49. Only six teams have more losses than the Giants. Both the Mets and Chicago Cubs have better records than the Giants too. Eek. The defending champs are 3-15 since June 20.
Brewers 2, Reds 0: Wily Peralta hurls a complete game shutout against the Reds, giving up three hits and striking out six. Milwaukee's Logan Schafer provides the offense with a two-run homer.
Padres 2, Rockies 1: Speaking of complete games: Eric Stults throws one for the Padres, giving up four hits and striking out five. Alexi Amarista drives in both San Diego runs.
Red Sox 11, Mariners 8: Jackie Bradley Jr., promoted by the Red Sox earlier in the day, hits a tie-breaking homer in the fifth inning, one of five homers Boston hit.
Cardinals 9, Astros 5: Adam Wainwright improves to 12-5, tying Jordan Zimmermann for the NL lead in Ws.
Cubs 7, Angels 2: The Cubs win their fourth straight as Alfonso Soriano hits two homers.
Rays 4, Twins 1: The Rays win their sixth straight, a streak that has propelled them into second place in the AL East.
Braves 6, Marlins 4: The Uptons lead the Braves to victory — Justin with a homer and two doubles, B.J. with two hits and an RBI.
A's 2, Pirates 1: Story of his life: Dan Straily has an impressive start for the A's and gets sent to Triple-A afterward. He'll be back, they're just giving him more work during the All-Star break. In other happenings: Brandon Moss hits a two-run, difference-making homer for the A's.
Phillies 4, Nats 2: Early-season struggler Cole Hamels looks good for the Phils in the win: eight innings, six hits, one run.
Royals 3, Yankees 1: Billy Butler hits the go-ahead homer for the Royals — his second homer in consecutive games at Yankee Stadium. You see those, Robinson Cano? Yeah, you saw those.
Rangers 8, Orioles 4: Home run count from this game: Adrian Beltre 2, Manny Machado 1, Chris Davis 0.
''That takes people like me, two, maybe three weeks, to get six."
Just a nice night for baseball in San Diego.
• Alfonso Soriano has five home runs in the last four Cubs games, all of which they've won.
• Wily Peralta's complete game shutout is the first for a Brewers pitchers since April 2011. (via @michaelgouvion)
• Pedro Alvarez hit his 23rd home run on Tuesday, the most before the All-Star break for a Pirate since since Willie Stargell in 1973. (via @ESPNStatsInfo)
Related coverage on Yahoo! Sports:
• Yeonis Cespedes fills last spot in Home Run Derby
• Manny Ramirez homers in Triple-A game
• John Rocker: Steroids make baseball a 'better game'
• Photos: Greatest MLB catches of the season
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