PHOENIX -- Nathan Eovaldi walked into the Los Angeles Dodgers clubhouse with shaving cream and a huge smile spread across his face.
Eovaldi pitched five solid innings in his major league debut and the Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-3 on Saturday night."In the bullpen I was a little nervous but after that I felt good," said Eovaldi, whose previous highlight this season was pitching in the Double-A Southern League All-Star game in late June. "Once you get to Double-A you can get called up at any time so you have to be prepared."Eovaldi (1-0) allowed two runs and four hits. He struck out seven and walked two for the Dodgers, who have won four of five."He came out early and threw strikes," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "He wasn't too amped up and trying to throw the ball through the catcher's glove. He was fairly calm and for the most part attacked."Eovaldi also notched his first career hit in his first trip to the plate."We were hoping from our standpoint that he would be a little more nervous but it didn't seem to be an issue," Diamondbacks bench coach Alan Trammell said. "He has a good arm. We knew that. But you just hope that first go around he'd get a little bit nervous and then but a couple of guys on base."Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson was under the weather, watched the game from the clubhouse and didn't meet with the media.Scott Elbert pitched the ninth for his second save.Joe Saunders (8-9) had two hits and drove in two for the Diamondbacks, who have dropped three straight.The Dodgers scored twice in the sixth for a 4-2 lead. Andre Ethier singled and was safe when shortstop Willie Bloomquist mishandled a grounder into the hole by Juan Rivera. Aaron Miles hit an RBI single that chased Saunders, and Rod Barajas singled home a run off Brad Ziegler.The Dodgers added another run off Ziegler in the seventh on an RBI groundout by Rivera.Justin Upton hit an RBI double with two outs in the eighth off Matt Guerrier to cut the Dodgers' lead to 5-3 before the right-hander retired Chris Young on a drive to the warning track in left."We are not clicking right now," Trammell said. "It's tough to always come back but give the guys credit. We had the tying run at the plate in the last inning."Los Angeles took a 1-0 lead in the second on Barajas' bloop single just over Bloomquist's extended glove.Eovaldi retired the first five batters he faced before loading the bases in the bottom the second on a hit and a pair of walks. Saunders took advantage, singling to right to give Arizona a 2-1 lead.The Dodgers tied the game in the third when Eovaldi singled and scored on a groundout by Ethier."When you execute your pitch and they grind a whole, whether it's a broken-bat 10-foot hit or a broken bat 90-foot hit, you just have to turn the page as quick as you can," Saunders said. "You did your job but the guy is still on base."
Eovaldi is the sixth Dodgers player to make his major league debut this season. The 21-year-old also is one of six Los Angeles players 25 or younger. ... Arizona C Miguel Montero failed to reach base for the first time in 16 games. ... Dodgers SS Dee Gordon left the game in the bottom of the third after landing awkwardly on his right shoulder while tagging out Kelly Johnson in a rundown. He remained on all fours for a few minutes before walking off the field without assistance and was replaced by Jamey Carroll. Dodgers medical staff ruled out a shoulder separation and said Gordon is day-to-day. "They told me I should have (thrown to Eovaldi covering first) but I play hard, man," Gordon said. "I felt like I could catch him."