LOS ANGELES — It had been nearly four months since the Diamondbacks and Dodgers played each other.
Not much has changed. Arizona remains the dominant team.
David Peralta hit a three-run homer in the fifth inning and the NL West leaders won 3-1 on Thursday night in the opener of a pivotal series.
"This is a tight division right now and to be able to start out like this and put a little bit more of a gap between us is huge," winning pitcher Robbie Ray said.
The loss dropped the Dodgers two games behind Arizona and snapped their five-game winning streak, which they had put together against last-place San Diego and Texas. Los Angeles struck out 15 times, including four by Chris Taylor.
Arizona leads the season series 9-4.
Ray (4-2) gave up one run and four hits in 5 1/3 innings. He struck out nine and walked two to earn his first victory since June 23 at Miami. The left-hander hadn't figured into a decision in seven consecutive starts since July 20, the longest streak in franchise history by a starter.
"That is about as connected as I have been all year," Ray said. "I felt in control of the game. I felt like my pitches were crisp. There was good separation between my curveball and my fastball and I kept them off-balance the whole game."
Brad Boxberger got the final two outs in the ninth to earn his 31st save in 37 chances. He struck out Taylor and got Yasiel Puig on a called third strike.
Peralta sent his 26th homer into right field on the first pitch from Rich Hill with two outs, giving Arizona a 3-0 lead.
"I thought it was just going to hit the wall," Peralta said. "It was a low line-drive but it worked out our way this time."
Hill (6-5) allowed three runs and six hits in five innings. The left-hander struck out seven and walked none in his first loss since July 10.
"Just a bad pitch. Poor choice on my part and it cost us the game," Hill said of Peralta's homer. "These games are huge right now."
The Dodgers' lone run came on Manny Machado's 33rd homer in the sixth, his fourth in his last five games.
The Dodgers went 0 for 5 with runners in scoring position and stranded six.
"We did exactly what we wanted to at the plate," Machado said. "Sometimes you fail."
Arizona's defense turned three double plays, including in the sixth when pinch-hitter Cody Bellinger lined to first, where Matt Kemp was doubled off.
Los Angeles had the potential go-ahead run at the plate in the bottom of the eighth, but Kemp grounded into an inning-ending double play with runners on the corners.
Puig contributed to a 1-2-3 inning in the second when he was safe at first on an error by Paul Goldschmidt only to get tagged out attempting to advance on the play.
Dodgers reliever Caleb Ferguson pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth. After giving up three consecutive one-out singles, he struck out John Ryan Murphy and pinch-hitter Christian Walker lined out to right to end the inning.
D-backs: RHP Shelby Miller (right elbow tightness) will throw to 125 feet early next week. ... OF Jarrod Dyson (right groin strain) is headed to Triple-A Reno for a rehab assignment.
Dodgers: Reinstated RHP Josh Fields (right shoulder inflammation) from 60-day DL.
GOLDY GETTING ON
Goldschmidt went 2 for 5 and extended his streak of reaching base to 42 straight road games — second-longest in the majors this season. During that run, he's 64 for 164 with 14 homers and 35 RBIs.
RHP Zack Greinke (13-8, 2.93 ERA) goes for the D-backs. He is 3-1 with a 3.09 ERA in his last five starts against his former team. The Dodgers send LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-1, 2.18) to the mound. He is 3-3 with a 3.90 ERA in 12 career starts against Arizona.