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How the west was won: Dodgers open key set with D'backs

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Los Angeles Dodgers will continue their pursuit of a National League West crown when they begin a 10-game road trip with the first of four straight games against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

The Dodgers' magic number to clinch their first NL West title since 2009 is four and they can achieve the feat by besting the rival D'backs twice in this series.

Los Angeles has played poorly as of late, losing three in a row and eight of its last 11 games. After taking the opener of a four-game series versus the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers lost the next three games, including Sunday's 4-3 setback at Chavez Ravine.

Paco Rodriguez allowed the go-ahead run in relief and starter Edinson Volquez was reached for three runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings. Dee Gordon and Mark Ellis each had two hits and a run scored, while Adrian Gonzalez stroked a bases-clearing double in the fifth inning.

"We had a great chance at the end and we just couldn't get it done," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said.

Mattingly could get some reinforcements Monday, as outfielder Matt Kemp could return to the lineup after being out since July 21 with a sprained left ankle and a tight right hamstring. Yasiel Puig did not play the field Sunday due to tightness in his left hip, but pinch-hit in the ninth inning. Puig departed Saturday's 19-3 loss after five innings.

Andre Ethier is dealing with an ankle issue, which caused him to leave Friday's game against the Giants.

"It will be at least a couple days before we use him," Mattingly said of Ethier on the club's website. "We'll see where he goes. He's pretty sore today. We're going to be cautious with him."

Hyun-Jin Ryu draws the start for the Dodgers and the rookie is 13-6 with a 3.07 earned run average in 27 starts. He has lost three of his previous four starts and gave up three runs and 10 hits in six innings of a 4-1 loss to Arizona on Wednesday.

Ryu, a left-hander, is 1-1 in four starts against the Diamondbacks and 6-3 with a 4.05 ERA in 13 road starts.

Arizona's postseason hopes are hanging by a thread and the club is eight games off the final wild card berth in the National League.

The D'backs have won two straight and three of four games, and took two of three meetings with the Colorado Rockies this past weekend. In Sunday's 8-2 win over the Rockies, Paul Goldschmidt was 4-for-4 with a home run and five RBI and Matt Davidson went deep.

"It changes every day, you know, I got some good pitches to hit today, that's really what it came down to," Goldschmidt said. "You try to have good at-bats and hit the ball hard, sometimes it works out, like today."

Randall Delgado collected the win by holding Colorado to a pair of runs in six innings of work.

Hoping to keep L.A.'s champagne on ice will be D'backs starter Trevor Cahill, who gets the nod Monday night. Cahill is 3-0 in his last six starts and did not record a decision in Tuesday's 5-3 loss at Los Angeles, where he allowed three runs -- one earned -- in six innings.

The right-hander is 6-10 with a 4.22 ERA in 23 games (22 starts), but has owned the Dodgers to the tune of a 5-0 mark and 2.04 ERA in nine career starts.

Arizona leads the season series with Los Angeles by a slim 8-7 margin. The D'backs ended a five-game slide to the Dodgers with a 4-1 win last week.

09/16 11:21:51 ET

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