Walker, D-backs beat Dodgers after Hill exits with blister

April 17, 2017
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Sunday, April 16, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Rich Hill throws to the plate during the first inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Sunday, April 16, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Dodgers were hoping Rich Hill would put his blister problems behind him Sunday. Those hopes burst in the third inning, though, and Taijuan Walker and the Diamondbacks were ready to take advantage.

Walker pitched five solid innings and Arizona beat Los Angeles 3-1 after Hill re-aggravated a blister on his left middle finger.

Hill (1-1) was activated from the 10-day disabled list before this start after missing time with the blister, but he made it only three innings and 54 pitches before leaving. The left-hander allowed two runs, five hits and two walks and struck out two.

“We don’t know right now what the situation is, (disabled list) or not,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “I think we’ll make that decision (Monday). He’s frustrated. I think we all share that sentiment.”

Chris Iannetta hit a solo homer off Hill in the third inning, and five batters later, Hill walked Jake Lamb with the bases loaded for a 2-0 Arizona lead. Paul Goldschmidt singled in another run in the seventh inning.

Hill was upset when he arrived in the dugout after the third and went straight to the clubhouse. He returned to the mound to start the fourth inning, but Roberts and a trainer met him there for a long conversation before he was pulled.

Last year, Hill was traded from Oakland to the Dodgers in August when he already had a blister issue on the same finger. He signed a $48 million, three-year free agent deal in the offseason with Los Angeles, and there were no issues in spring training this season. Now, though, the blister has reared its ugly head again.

Hill said he noticed the blister had opened while swinging on-deck in the second inning. He pitched the third with the popped blister, but said it isn’t as bad as last year when it “completely broke open and was bleeding, raw skin.”

The Dodgers had eight pitchers in the bullpen Sunday in case Hill’s blister flared up, and they used five of them to finish the game.

“Every time he takes the mound, the uncertainty is tough on everybody,” Roberts said. “It’s tough on the team. It’s tough on the ’pen. And I know Rich understands that. (We tried to) give it time, ample time, which we thought 10 days was enough, but apparently it wasn’t. We have to revisit those conversations.”

Walker (2-1) struck out seven and allowed a run, four hits and a walk. Fernando Rodney pitched the ninth for his fourth save.

Walker loaded the bases in the first inning by walking Yasmani Grandal, but he struck out Joc Pederson to end the inning.

Archie Bradley followed Walker with 2 2/3 scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk. Bradley has thrown 9 1/3 scoreless innings to open the season, his first as a full-time reliever.

Yasiel Puig had an RBI double to left field in the fourth inning.


Walker had a fine outing, but Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo hit for him in the fifth with the bases loaded.

“He pitched very well. His last inning was his best inning,” Lovullo said. “Unfortunately, he got a little back tightness. Nothing alarming. Just one of those things where we didn’t want it to escalate. Because of the situation as well, we thought it was the right move to take him out of the game.”

Walker said he expects to make his next scheduled start.


Diamondbacks: LHP Steve Hathaway (left shoulder inflammation) will throw Monday. ... RHP Jake Barrett (right shoulder inflammation) was expected to play light catch Sunday.

Dodgers: INF Logan Forsythe (hamstring) was available to pinch hit and is expected back in the lineup Monday.


Diamondbacks: Arizona closes out a four-game set in Los Angeles with LHP Robbie Ray (1-0, 2.19 ERA) on the mound. Ray got his first win of the season against the Giants last time out behind 6 2/3 shutout innings. He also walked five but worked his way out of the jams. He’s struck out 14 in two starts.

Dodgers: RHP Brandon McCarthy (2-0, 1.50 ERA) has been fantastic in both of his starts, including six scoreless innings against the Cubs in Chicago. He threw six innings and allowed just two runs in his season debut. The previous two years, he made just one start following Tommy John surgery.


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