LOS ANGELES >> Clayton Kershaw’s ability to curb opposing offenses is well documented. But who knew he was holding his own team’s bats in check?Coincidence or not, the Dodgers have become a much more offensive club since losing the ace of their pitching staff, capable of hitting their way out of trouble — like Sunday’s 14-3 drubbing of the Arizona Diamondbacks.The Dodgers lost yet another starting pitcher just 13 pitches into the game when Bud Norris left with back muscle tightness, seeming to leave them with just three healthy starters and only hours left before the non-waiver trade deadline to fortify that group.No matter. They outhit the Diamondbacks 17-3, including home runs by Yasmani Grandal, Corey Seager and Joc Pederson. Ross Stripling replaced Norris on the fly and took the first leg of a six-man relief relay that covered 8 2/3 innings while allowing just three hits (none after the fourth inning). “It’s contagious,” Seager said. “It’s been up and down the lineup the past month or so. It’s been what you need, what you’re looking for.”The Dodgers spotted the Diamondbacks a starting pitcher and a 3-0 lead Sunday — thanks in part to a bizarre take on the hidden-ball trick.One Diamondbacks run scored in the fourth inning when a pitch from Stripling bounced in front of the plate, ricocheted off the bottom of Grandal’s face mask and slipped down under his chest protector. When Grandal couldn’t locate the ball quickly enough, the runner from third base was awarded home.“I asked the umpire at second base and he said after 21 years in the league, that’s the first time he’s seen it,” Grandal said. “That’s one of those weird plays that you hardly get to see. I think it’s even more (rare) than a triple play.”The Dodgers started making balls disappear in a more conventional fashion with three-run home runs by Grandal and Seager and a two-run shot by Pederson.For Grandal, the homer was his 15th of the season, tied for the most by a catcher in the majors this season. Seager’s home run was his 18th of the season but first since June 30. He did plenty of damage without the long ball in July. He had hits in 18 of his 21 games, batting .347 (33 for 95) during the month with 10 doubles, a triple, 15 runs scored and 10 RBI.“That’s pretty aggressive,” Roberts said when asked if the Dodgers could just slug their way to success the rest of the way. “I think you look at us on paper and when things weren’t going well in April, I think those guys kept confident. Now, like I’ve said before, the baseball cards are starting to line up with the numbers currently.“I do believe we’re an offensive club and do have a lot of balance and depth – all the things that can carry you through a season.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Dodgers have now won 18 of 28 games since Kershaw’s injury seemed to tie an anchor to their fortunes, shaving six games off the San Francisco Giants’ lead in that time (from eight games back to two).“I don’t know the record but I do know we made a concerted effort to do a little more,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “That’s all 25 guys in the clubhouse. The results have been great. But the mindset, for me, was most important.”The starting rotation has muddled along without its bell cow, continuing to put a heavy burden on the bullpen. With Sunday’s 8 2/3 innings of work, the Dodgers bullpen has pitched 135 1/3 innings in the past 33 games — an average of more than four innings per game.It has been the offense, however, that has proven to be the difference.In 77 games through Kershaw’s last start, the Dodgers were averaging just 4.14 runs per game, the main reason their record was tethered within a few games of .500 for most of the season’s first two months. Over the past 28 games, however, the average has jumped a full run and in the month of July the Dodgers led the National League by averaging 5.25 runs per game, winning 15 of 24 games.