PHOENIX -- Celebrating his 102nd birthday at the ballpark, Si Goldstein got a tour of Arizona's clubhouse and was wheeled up to the training room, where he was introduced to Diamondbacks rookie Cody Ransom.
"You're the guy?!" Goldstein screamed as he shook Ransom's hand. "All right! Great job!"
He's got that right.
Ransom had a game to remember during a rare start in his hometown, making numerous plays in the hole at shortstop and hitting his first career homer off All-Star Clayton Kershaw, a two-run shot in the seventh inning that helped the Arizona Diamondbacks rally for a 4-3 win over the Los Angeles Dodgers and avoid a three-game sweep Sunday.
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"It would have been a pretty big deal even if it wasn't at home," said Ransom, who was born in nearby Mesa and attended high school and college in Arizona. "But I'm sure I'll be hearing a lot from family and friends."
Unable to make up ground on NL West-leading San Francisco thanks to a three-game losing streak, the Diamondbacks had the kind of game that has characterized their season.
Kelly Johnson got them started off well with a two-run homer to the pool deck in right-center off Kershaw and Ian Kennedy (14-3) pitched seven effective innings to win his sixth straight start. David Hernandez, back in his setup role, did his job in the eighth and J.J Putz worked a perfect ninth for his 26th save.
Ransom got marquee billing, though.
Recalled from Triple-A Reno on July 21, he had played just six games before Sunday, mostly in spot situations. With Stephen Drew out for the season and Willie Bloomquist needing a rest, Ransom got the call to start at shortstop in a pivotal game for the Diamondbacks.
The rookie responded with three stellar plays in the hole, including one for the final out, and one big homer that kept Arizona within a half-game of the NL West-leading Giants.
"He was the player of the game, making a lot of good plays on defense, a couple of big plays and makes a big home run right there," Kennedy said.
Los Angeles had been on a good run, making up 5½ games in the standings over the past few weeks, and had taken the first two games of the series against a team fighting for the division lead.
The Dodgers couldn't complete the sweep, though, unable to generate much offense or overcome a couple of mistakes by Kershaw (13-5), who had his five-game winning streak end.
"You have a chance to have a great trip and you end up having a good trip," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "At this point I don't think we are at the point where we can look at trips. We are trying to win every day."
Unlike the series' first two games, which included some shaky pitching performances, the finale figured to be tightly matched with two of the NL's best pitchers on the mound.
Kershaw, the NL strikeouts leader, had a superb first half of the season to get an invite to the All-Star game in Phoenix and had been dominant since the Midsummer Classic, allowing four earned runs in 30 innings to win all four of his starts.
Kennedy has been Arizona's best pitcher, ranking second in the NL in wins while setting a career high and has pitched at least seven innings 13 times. The right-hander beat the Giants on the road his last start, allowing two runs on six hits with seven strikeouts in eight innings.
It didn't start off like a matchup of No. 1 pitchers.
Kennedy needed a strikeout to escape a jam in the first inning and Kershaw opened the bottom half with seven straight balls before giving up the two-run homer to Johnson.
The two aces looked more the part after that, with Kershaw piling up the Ks -- seven over four innings -- and Kennedy getting the Dodgers to pound balls into the ground, setting up two nice plays in the hole by Ransom at shortstop.
Kennedy made a mistake in the fifth inning, leaving a 1-2 breaking ball up that James Loney lifted over the pool for a leadoff homer. The right-hander got into more trouble the next inning, giving up an RBI double to Andre Ethier, then had to duck on a run-scoring single by Juan Rivera that put the Dodgers up 3-2.
Kennedy allowed three runs on six hits in seven innings.
"It was just a typical Ian game," Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson said. "Lots of strikes. Lots of strikes. He just kept his composure."
Kennedy left the game with the lead thanks to a mistake by Kershaw
It came in the seventh inning, when the left-hander threw a belt-high fastball down the middle and Ransom hit it out to left for a two-run homer that put the Diamondbacks up 4-3. Kershaw knew the ball was out as soon as it left the bat, jumping in the air, then squatting on the mound and looking at the dirt before the rookie even got to first.
Kershaw was pulled following a one-out double by pinch-hitter Sean Burroughs after allowing four runs on five hits.
"Kennedy is pitching well right now, so you know it isn't going to be a high-scoring game," Kershaw said." You've got to bear down and our team battled back and gave us a lead, but I gave it up again. No one to blame but me on this one."
- Dodgers SS Dee Gordon was out of the lineup after leaving Saturday's game with a jammed right shoulder. He was injured while taking a tumble running down Johnson in the third inning.
- Gibson was back in the dugout after leaving in the second inning of Saturday's game because he was feeling sick.
- The Dodgers move on to face Philadelphia at home in a three-game series that starts Monday. Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda gets the nod for Los Angeles after beating San Diego his last start for his first win since July 1. Kuroda pitched seven scoreless innings on Tuesday, allowing four hits and striking out eight.
- Arizona continues its homestand with four games against the Astros, starting Monday. Right-hander Daniel Hudson, coming off a big road win over the Giants his last time out, gets the ball for the Diamondbacks against Wandy Rodriguez.
- Hudson is 11-3 with a 3.25 ERA over his last 19 starts.