Ricky Nolasco gave up one earned run on four hits while striking out five… (Christian Petersen / Getty…)
PHOENIX — Ricky Nolasco waited his entire life to do what he did Tuesday night. This was what Nolasco used to dream of as a boy playing in the parks of Rialto. This was what he envisioned himself doing when he sat in his loge-level seat at Dodger Stadium.
Nolasco realized his lifelong ambition of pitching for the Dodgers and he hardly could have done it any better. He limited the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks to one run over seven innings and led the Dodgers to a 6-1 victory at Chase Field, where he was cheered on by about 40 family members and friends who drove across the desert.
"I was pretty pumped up," said Nolasco, who was acquired in a trade with the Miami Marlins last week.
BOX SCORE: Dodgers 6, Arizona 1
The Dodgers won for the 14th time in 17 games to cut their deficit to the Diamondbacks to 2 1/2 games — and, intentionally or not, hit one of the players who played a central role in their violent brawl at Dodger Stadium last month.
With two out and the count 0-2 in the ninth inning, Ronald Belisario hit catcher Miguel Montero on the leg. Belisario said last month that the Dodgers' feud with the Diamondbacks wasn't over and pointed to Montero as one of the instigators of the beanball war that broke out on June 11. Belisario continued to say the feud wasn't over after he hit Montero, explaining that because he didn't hit him on purpose, it didn't count as an act of revenge.
"If I'm going to hit somebody, I'm not going to hit somebody on the foot," Belisario said.
Both benches were warned by the umpires.
The game served as a warning to the Diamondbacks, who were 9 1/2 games ahead of the Dodgers less than three weeks ago.
In Nolasco, the Dodgers now have a pitcher capable of stabilizing the back of a rotation headlined by Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu, who will pitch the series finale Wednesday.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers' lineup showed no signs of slowing down, as Adrian Gonzalez drove in three runs. While Hanley Ramirez's career-long hitting streak ended at 19 games, leadoff hitter Carl Crawford got his first hit since returning from the disabled list on Friday. Crawford's bunt single in the fifth inning broke a 0-for-18 spell. Crawford also drew a sixth-inning walk and scored two runs.
Even Nolasco contributed offensively, as he drove in the Dodgers' first run and was two for two with a double.
Nothing would derail the Dodgers, including Diamondbacks starter Ian Kennedy's hitting Ramirez high on the left biceps in the first inning. With the Dodgers believing that Kennedy hit Ramirez accidentally, Nolasco calmly went about business, blanking the Diamondbacks for the first six innings. He gave up his only run in the seventh inning, when Aaron Hill doubled and scored on a single by Martin Prado.
"I haven't been locked in that much in a long time," Nolasco said. "The energy and adrenaline were going."
Nolasco's second-inning single drove in A.J. Ellis. The Dodgers doubled their lead to 2-0 in the fourth inning, when Montero made an errant throw attempting to prevent Andre Ethier from stealing second base. Ethier scurried to third base and scored when Skip Schumaker grounded out to second.
The game blew open in the fifth inning, when center fielder Adam Eaton slipped and dropped a fly ball by Gonzalez with the bases loaded. Two runs scored, increasing the Dodgers' lead to 4-0. Yasiel Puig inexplicably tried to score from first base on the play and was thrown out at home.
Gonzalez drove in two more runs with a bases-loaded single in the sixth.