Buehler gets 1st career shutout, Dodgers blank D-backs 4-0

Apr 25, 2022, 9:43 AM | Updated: 10:40 pm
Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler, right, celebrates his three-hit complete game ...

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler, right, celebrates his three-hit complete game with catcher Will Smith after a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Monday, April 25, 2022, in Phoenix. The Dodgers defeated the Diamondbacks 4-0. (AP Photo/Matt York)

(AP Photo/Matt York)

              Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler, right, celebrates his three-hit complete game with catcher Will Smith after a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Monday, April 25, 2022, in Phoenix. The Dodgers defeated the Diamondbacks 4-0. (AP Photo/Matt York)
            
              Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts scores on a base hit by Max Muncy during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Monday, April 25, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
            
              Arizona Diamondbacks Geraldo Perdomo, right, turns a double play on Los Angeles' Dodgers Justin Turner after tagging out Trea Turner (6) during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 25, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
            
              Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Merrill Kelly (29) throws the ball downward after giving up a run against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 25, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
            
              Los Angeles Dodgers' Freddie Freeman (5) and Mookie Betts (50) score on a double hit by Trea Turner during the first inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks, Monday, April 25, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
            
              Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner (10) throws out Arizona Diamondbacks' Geraldo Perdomo during the third inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 25, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
            
              Arizona Diamondbacks' Pavin Smith catches a fly-out hit by Los Angeles Dodgers' Trea Turner as he collides with teammate Ketel Marte (4) during the fifth inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 25, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)
            
              Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game, Monday, April 25, 2022, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Matt York)

PHOENIX (AP) — Some pitchers chase wins, saves or strikeouts.

Walker Buehler’s statistic of choice is innings pitched.

So it was a big moment for the 27-year-old Los Angeles Dodgers ace when he walked off the mound Monday night after throwing nine superb innings, wrapping up his first career shutout in a 4-0 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

“The guys I grew up watching did that,” Buehler said. “That was what it meant to be good.”

Buehler (2-1) tossed a three-hitter and Will Smith launched a solo homer for the Dodgers, who won for the 11th time in 13 games.

Buehler cruised most of the way, retiring 15 straight batters during a brilliant stretch from the fourth inning to the ninth. He walked none, hit one batter with a pitch and struck out 10, leaving the field to a standing ovation from the sizable contingent of Dodgers fans at Chase Field.

The right-hander threw 108 pitches, getting Christian Walker on a fly ball to center field for the final out. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said Buehler told him he wasn’t coming out of the game as he left the field following the eighth inning.

It was another tough pitching decision for Roberts, who took some heat earlier this year when he pulled Clayton Kershaw after seven perfect innings against Minnesota. Roberts has said he doesn’t regret the Kershaw decision and he certainly doesn’t regret leaving Buehler in to finish his shutout.

“I trusted him,” Roberts said. “I believed him. He has an extra day before his next start, so everything lined up, made sense. He deserved it, he earned it and it was fun to watch him tonight.”

The Dodgers wasted little time taking a 2-0 advantage, which was plenty for Buehler. Leadoff hitter Mookie Betts walked to start the first, Freddie Freeman doubled and Trea Turner brought them both home with another double.

Max Muncy’s two-out double in the fifth scored Betts, pushing it to 3-0. Smith’s 425-foot shot into the left-center seats in the eighth made it 4-0. Smith and Freeman both finished with two hits.

Buehler’s dominance against Arizona came after a relatively slow start to the season by his lofty standards. The two-time All-Star had a 4.02 ERA through three starts before Monday.

A lot of opposing pitchers have found their groove against the D-backs’ lineup, which was 29th out of 30 teams with a .189 batting average coming into Monday’s games. Daulton Varsho, David Peralta and Walker had the team’s three hits and all were singles.

“Buehler had really good stuff,” Diamondbacks manager Torey Lovullo said. “I thought we went out of the zone a few times, giving him a chance to look even better and more efficient. In those critical counts, we’ve got to be a little more stubborn.”

Arizona starter Merrill Kelly (1-1) took the loss despite pitching fairly well, giving up three runs over six innings. He permitted seven hits and two walks while striking out four.

ARROYO SHOUT OUT

Buehler went to high school in Kentucky and watched a lot of Cincinnati Reds games. Bronson Arroyo was the Reds’ ace during a lot of those years, and he threw at least 200 innings in eight of nine seasons from 2005-13.

Arroyo’s durability started Buehler’s fascination with innings pitched. Buehler hit the 200-inning mark for the first time last season when he threw 207 1/3 innings.

“It’s just an important thing to me,” Buehler said.

ROSTER MOVES

Dodgers: RHP Andre Jackson was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City. INF/OF Zach McKinstry was sent to Triple-A.

Diamondbacks: OF Jordan Luplow (strained right oblique) joined the team from the 10-day injured list and LHP Tyler Gilbert was promoted from Triple-A Reno. LHP Oliver Perez was designated for assignment and OF Jake McCarty was sent to Triple-A. Luplow made his season debut in the eighth.

UP NEXT

The Diamondbacks send RHP Zach Davies (1-1, 5.02 ERA) to the mound to face Dodgers RHP Tony Gonsolin (1-0, 0.69) on Tuesday.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

San Francisco 49ers' Jauan Jennings, left, and Trey Lance embrace on the bench in the final minute ...
Associated Press

49ers head into offseason with more questions at quarterback

SANTA CLARA, Calif. (AP) — The San Francisco 49ers head into another offseason with major questions at quarterback after a season filled with injuries to the most important position ended without any of them physically able to throw the the ball downfield. Trey Lance, who began the season as starter, is getting close to being […]
15 hours ago
Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva  waits for the arrival of the German Chancellor Olaf S...
Associated Press

Brazilian volleyball player suspended over Lula poll

SAO PAULO (AP) — Brazilian volleyball club Cruzeiro suspended Olympic gold medalist Wallace de Souza on Tuesday after he conducted a social media poll asking his fans whether they would shoot Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva in the face. The 35-year-old de Souza, who played on Brazil’s winning team at the Rio de […]
15 hours ago
FILE - New Orleans Saints head coach Sean Payton watches a play during an NFL football game against...
Associated Press

AP source: Broncos get Payton as coach in deal with Saints

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos have agreed to a deal with the New Orleans Saints that will make Sean Payton their head coach, a person with knowledge of the accord said Tuesday. The person, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the teams hadn’t announced the agreement, said the […]
15 hours ago
San Francisco 49ers' defensive coordinator DeMeco Ryans walks off the field after Philadelphia Eagl...
Associated Press

AP source: Texans hire DeMeco Ryans as head coach

HOUSTON (AP) — DeMeco Ryans has been hired as coach of the Houston Texans, a person with knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press on Tuesday. The person spoke on the condition on anonymity since the hiring had not been announced. The move gives him his first head coaching job and brings him back […]
15 hours ago
Associated Press

Minnesota football players’ discrimination lawsuit dismissed

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by nine former University of Minnesota football players who were accused of sexual assault in 2016 in a case that roiled the school’s football program. The lawsuit against the school claimed that the players faced emotional distress and financial damage after being falsely accused […]
2 days ago
FILE - NASCAR Cup Series driver Ross Chastain speaks during the NASCAR Championship media day, Nov....
Associated Press

NASCAR bans Chastain’s wall-hugging move at Martinsville

NASCAR has essentially banned the “Hail Melon” video-game move driver Ross Chastain used at Martinsville Speedway to race his way into the championship finale. Chastain last year mashed the gas and deliberately smashed into the wall so that the energy would speed his car past his rivals. The move advanced him into NASCAR’s title-deciding final […]
2 days ago
Buehler gets 1st career shutout, Dodgers blank D-backs 4-0