The future was on display for the Dodgers on Saturday night at Chase Field in Phoenix, as they beat the Diamondbacks 5-3 for their fourth win in five games. Nathan Eovaldi, all of 21 years old, pitched five strong innings to get the win in his major league debut. Meanwhile, 23-year old shortstop Dee Gordon left the game in the third inning with a shoulder injury, though it doesn't appear to be serious.
Eovaldi's calling card is his fastball, and he used it to his advantage tonight, with seven strikeouts in his five innings of work. Eovaldi threw 51 fastballs per MLB Gameday, averaging 94.5 MPH, hitting 97 once. Eovaldi allowed two runs on four hits, and was removed for a pinch hitter after throwing just 77 pitches as the Dodgers were rallying in the top of the sixth inning.
"He's fairly calm for his first outing," manager Don Mattingly said of Eovaldi after the game. "For the most part, he attacked. It didn't look like he was scared to throw the ball over the plate and go after hitters. His stuff is pretty good...I thought he handled himself well."
Eovaldi added a single and run scored at the plate. He is just the fourth Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher ever to score a run in his major league debut.
The Dodgers plated two runs in that sixth inning to take the lead. Rod Barajas had an RBI single in that frame, one of three hits on the night for the catcher, who has seven hits in his last 12 at-bats. Andre Ethier added two hits for the Dodgers for the second straight night.
With closer Javy Guerra and Mike MacDougal both unavailable out of the bullpen Saturday after extended outings on Friday, Scott Elbert assumed ninth inning duties. Elbert allowed a double, but no runs, retiring the D-Backs in the ninth for his second save of the season.
As for Gordon, the Dodgers announced that there was no separation or dislocation in his right shoulder, and that he is day-to-day. Gordon will be reevaluated on Sunday, when Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers go for the sweep, against Ian Kennedy and the Diamondbacks.
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