PHOENIX — — Injuries have slowed the career trajectory of one-time phenom Dustin May.
But with every blazing fastball the lanky redhead throws these days, it’s clear the talent is still there.
May threw six dominant innings, Freddie Freeman hit a solo homer and the Los Angeles Dodgers won 5-2 in the home opener for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Thursday night.
“Dustin was really good,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He came out really chuckin’ it. There was some triple digits, the command was good.”
May (1-0) gave up one run on just two hits, striking out five and walking two.
The 25-year-old — whose fastball occasionally hits 100 mph — threw seven scoreless innings against the D-backs last week in the season’s opening series. The former top prospect had Tommy John surgery in 2021, which briefly derailed his career, but looks like he could be one of L.A.’s best pitchers this season.
May said he’s not chasing anyone else’s expectations because he sets a high bar for himself.
“I really don’t care what people think,” May said. “I’m going to go out, do what I’m going to do, and it’s going to be good, or it’s going to be bad. It has nothing to do with what people think about me.”
The Dodgers jumped on top 1-0 in the second on Chris Taylor‘s two-out single that brought home Max Muncy, who led off the inning with a walk.
Los Angeles pushed ahead 3-0 in the third. Freeman, who got on base with a one-out double, scored after a throwing error by D-backs shortstop Geraldo Perdomo. J.D. Martinez added an RBI single.
Evan Phillips threw the ninth for his second save.
It was another tough outing against the Dodgers for D-backs righty Merrill Kelly (0-1), who gave up four runs over 5 2/3 innings, walking four and striking out four. He fell to 0-10 against the division rival and has a 5.70 ERA against them in 14 career starts.
D-backs third baseman Josh Rojas ripped an RBI double in the sixth that cut the Dodgers’ margin to 4-1 but Freeman responded in the seventh with his solo blast, which was his first homer of the season.
The Dodgers scored all five runs with two outs.
“I think we’re just a bunch of grinders,” Freeman said. “Guys who just grind out at-bats. We don’t take pitches off.”
Rojas just missed a game-tying, three-run homer in the seventh. The ball was deep enough, but drifted slightly to the right of the right-field foul pole.
D-backs right fielder Jake McCarthy had two hits, including a triple. Arizona came into the game with a .224 batting average over the first week and had just five hits on Thursday.
“We’ve got to find a way to win these types of games and beat these types of pitchers,” D-backs manager Torey Lovullo said. “I believe in our hitters enough that we can go out there and execute against anybody. We’ve got to believe that, deep in our heart.
“I thought we had some opportunities, but we played catch-up from the very beginning.”
The D-backs hosted 48,034 fans, which was the first sellout at Chase Field since 2019.
Phoenix police officer Tyler Moldovan threw out the ceremonial first pitch to a huge ovation.
Moldovan was shot multiple times while responding to reports of vehicles driving erratically on Sept. 14, 2021. He spent a month on life support and more than six months in the hospital before coming home in June 2022.
Diamondbacks: LHP Madison Bumgarner expects to make his next start on Friday against the Dodgers. The veteran had a rough first outing in Los Angeles and went back to Phoenix early to check for a potential injury.
The Dodgers send LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 1.50 ERA) to the mound on Friday night. He’ll go against Bumgarner (0-1, 11.25).
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