Garciaparra clinched his return on Friday night with two home runs to help the Dodgers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 8-7 in Arizona. It was Garciaparra’s first multi-homer game in six years.
The Dodgers took an early lead with three runs in the top of the first inning. However, starting pitcher, Hiroki Kuroda was unable to silence the D-Backs’ bats and gave up four in the first.
He then gave up another two runs in the second, after a score-less at bat by Los Angeles, bringing the score of the game to 6-3.
Garciaparra’s first homer in the game came during the third inning to help the Dodgers come back to within one run of Arizona.
However, the initial relief was cut short, when Jason Johnson made with debut with the Dodgers, replacing Kuroda after only two innings. Johnson gave up a run in the third, allowing the D-Backs to stay ahead, at 7-5. The run was his only allowed run for the three innings he pitched Friday night, and the last for Arizona of the game.
The Dodger bullpen was able to hold Arizona to seven runs for the rest of the game with efforts from Joe Beimel, Brian Falkenborg, Hong-Chih Kuo, Chan Ho Park, Cory Wade, and finally Jonathan Broxton in his closing debut.
Broxton took over the closing spot after Takashi Saito was put in the DL.
The Dodgers tied up the game in the seventh inning, after a sixth-inning home run from Garciaparra, and a third home run of the game from Matt Kemp.
The game proceeded to go into extra innings, when James Loney homered off of Doug Slaten in the eleventh the bring the Dodgers up 8-7.
The game ended after Broxton held the Diamondbacks score-less in the bottom of the eleventh.
Their first win after the All Star Break comes in a decisive series between the top two teams in the NL West. Los Angeles and Arizona are now tied for first in the division and the Dodgers have a chance to finally take the lead in game two of the series, tonight, Jul. 19.