PHOENIX -- When the pitcher makes the final out in each of the first two innings, things usually aren't going well for the team on the field.
Arizona Diamondbacks lefty Robbie Ray struck out in the first inning and grounded out in the second or -- who knows? -- Arizona might still be pounding out hits and circling the bases against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Alex Wood had a rough outing and the Diamondbacks overwhelmed the Dodgers 12-4 Friday night at Chase Field.
How it happened: The Dodgers, who have been resting some of their everyday players without admitting it, fielded an ad hoc lineup that included 21-year-old infielders at shortstop and second base and reserve players or minor league journeymen at all three outfield spots. That might work on some nights, but not when the starting pitcher can't make it out of the second inning. Wood (10-10) was coming off his best start as a Dodger -- just three hits allowed over seven shutout innings in San Diego -- but this was something of a disaster.
Arizona scored 10 runs in the first two innings off Wood and reliever Pedro Baez. Welington Castillo hit a majestic, three-run home run. Chris Owings had an RBI triple. Paul Goldschmidt hit a laser line drive into the left-field stands for his 28th home run. Those were just a few of the lowlights for the Dodgers pitching staff on a rough evening.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers -- out of it early -- couldn't take advantage of Ray's wildness. He hit a batter and walked three in the second and third innings combined, but the Dodgers didn't score. The rest of the game was a matter of mopping up.
What it means: A race to keep an eye on is between the Dodgers and New York Mets for home-field advantage in the first round of the playoffs. The Mets gained a game and now trail the Dodgers by just a half-game. The Dodgers lost a game to the San Francisco Giants and now lead by 7½ games with 22 to go.
Notable: The Dodgers were one strike away from being shut out when Justin Ruggiano hit a grand slam off former Dodgers farmhand Allen Webster. ... Not a lot of bright spots in this one, but Corey Seager continues to give glimpses of how good he could one day be. He looked solid playing shortstop, throwing out Yasmany Tomas from shallow left field, and was on base all four times, going 1-for-1 with three walks. ... Howie Kendrick worked out in another simulated game against a minor league pitcher Friday afternoon and appears to be fairly close to returning. He has been out since Aug. 10 with a strained left hamstring. ... Alex Guerrero, who has barely played in recent weeks, looks like he'll miss time with an injury. He had to leave the game in the third inning. He reached on an infield hit but strained his left calf in the process.