Dodgers sweep D'backs, head to second straight NLCS

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Dodgers sweep D'backs, head to second straight NLCS

BOX SCORE

PHOENIX -- Led by a big Japanese right-hander and a rookie from just down the road, the Los Angeles Dodgers are headed back to the NL Championship Series.

Cody Bellinger homered, drove in two runs and flipped over a dugout railing to steal an out for a dominant Yu Darvish, helping the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 3-1 Monday night to finish a three-game sweep in their NL Division Series.

Darvish, acquired from Texas in a trade deadline deal, struck out seven over five innings to outpitch Arizona's Zack Greinke and earn the righty his first postseason victory in three tries.

Four Los Angeles relievers combined to preserve a three-hitter. Kenley Jansen worked around a single by David Peralta for a three-out save, striking out Paul Goldschmidt to end it. Only four batters reached base all night for the Diamondbacks, including Daniel Descalso with a homer.

The Dodgers, who won 104 games for the best record in baseball and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, face the winner of the Nationals-Cubs series in the NLCS. Los Angeles lost there to World Series champion Chicago last year.

Bellinger - from nearby Chandler, Arizona - hit his homer in the fifth, then made a daring catch to end the bottom of the inning. The rookie first baseman fell into the Dodgers dugout as he snagged Jeff Mathis' popup, nearly dropping into the lap of manager Dave Roberts.

The 22-year-old Bellinger is the youngest Dodger ever to homer in the postseason - he's 75 days younger than Corey Seager was when he set the mark last fall. He was just 1 for 12 with five strikeouts in his first postseason before hitting Greinke's 3-1 pitch over the wall in left for a 2-0 lead.

Bellinger also brought home Chris Taylor with a groundout in the first inning, and Austin Barnes chased Greinke with a leadoff homer in the sixth.

After Ketel Marte's first-inning bunt single, Darvish sent down 13 in a row before Descalso hit his second homer of the series. The two-out shot barely cleared the right-field fence over Yasiel Puig's glove to cut the lead to 2-1.

Darvish left after hitting pinch-hitter Christian Walker in the bill of his helmet to begin the sixth.

Greinke - the ex-Dodger signed to a $206.5 million, six-year contract by Arizona before the 2016 season - gave up three runs and four hits in five-plus innings. He struggled with his command, walking a season-high five and throwing 103 pitches through five innings. Greinke faced 3-2 counts against five of his first eight batters and was at 54 pitches through two innings.

The Dodgers tinkered with Darvish's mechanics after the trade, and he was masterful through most of the night, mixing a 98 mph fastball with his deep repertoire of offspeed pitches. He allowed two hits and didn't walk any over 74 pitches.

Arizona won its last six regular-season games against the Dodgers, but Los Angeles dominated its NL West rival when it mattered most, sweeping an opponent in the postseason for the first time since the 2009 NLDS against St. Louis.

UP NEXT:
Diamondbacks: Open next season at home against Colorado on March 29.

Dodgers: Face either the Washington Nationals or Chicago Cubs in the National League Championship Series.

D'backs, Prieto fined for Apple Watch use in NL Wild Card Game

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USATSI

D'backs, Prieto fined for Apple Watch use in NL Wild Card Game

Major League Baseball has completed its inquiry into the matter of the watch worn by Arizona Diamondbacks coach/interpreter Ariel Prieto in the dugout during the National League Wild Card Game on Wednesday night at Chase Field.  The inquiry was conducted by MLB’s Department of Investigations, and the findings were submitted to Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr.

MLB forensically examined Mr. Prieto’s Apple Watch and his cell phone and interviewed Mr. Prieto.  MLB found no evidence that Mr. Prieto used the Apple Watch or cell phone for any purpose in the dugout, nor any baseball-related communication on either device, during Wednesday’s game.  

Despite these findings, Mr. Prieto violated MLB’s on-field regulation by having this device in the dugout.  As a result, Mr. Prieto and the D-backs have each been fined an undisclosed amount.  The amount of the fines will in turn be donated by the Office of the Commissioner to hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

MLB media services
 

D'backs: Coach wearing Apple Watch in dugout 'an honest mistake'

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USATSI

D'backs: Coach wearing Apple Watch in dugout 'an honest mistake'

LOS ANGELES — Arizona Diamondbacks coach Ariel Prieto has apologized and said it was a mistake for him to wear an Apple Watch in the dugout during the NL wild-card game against Colorado.

Major League Baseball spokesman Michael Teevan said the commissioner’s office is looking into the matter. Last month, the Boston Red Sox were fined by MLB for using an Apple Watch to relay signs to hitters.

Arizona opens the NL Division Series on Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Prieto said Thursday that he didn’t use the watch for any illicit purpose and it was on “airplane mode” during the game on Wednesday night. That setting shuts off any of the watch’s communication abilities.

The former big league pitcher is an extra coach who also serves as interpreter for the Diamondbacks. He said he knows having the phone during the game violated MLB’s rules. He said he apologized to manager Torey Lovullo and volunteered to turn the phone over to MLB officials.

“It was just an honest mistake,” Lovullo said. “We asked, found out, and talked to Ariel, and that’s what he told us. And in no way did it impact the game, and in no way is it going to impact the game tomorrow. It’s just not something we do or believe in.”

The Diamondbacks beat Colorado 11-8 Wednesday night and Prieto was shown wearing the watch during the game’s telecast.