Throughout the season, Los Angeles Dodgers offense has been raising concerns about extended slumps during this shortened season. On Thursday night, though, the bats exploded for 11 runs to remain undefeated in series play this year and split a four-game set with the Padres.
Mookie Betts looked like he was worth every penny of that $365 million deal, as he belted three home runs on a 4-for-4 night. That historical performance put him alongside Sammy Sosa and Johnny Mize as the only players in history with six career three-homer games. The home run has been the Dodgers offense best friend all year, and they hit six yesterday, with three coming in the first two innings off Padres’ starter Chris Paddack.
The night started with the Dodgers down after Julio Urias gave up back-to-back home runs on back-to-back pitches in the first. However, Urias did a nice job of settling down and retired 16 out of the next 17 batters. Corey Seager returned to the lineup and made his presence known as he hit a two-run home run in his first.
A.J. Pollock also went deep while continuing his hot start, and Chris Taylor, who’s been hitting extremely well, went 3-for-4 on the night. Austin Barnes also went deep for his first homer of the season and had a nice night going 2-for-4 with two RBI.
The win put the Dodgers record at 13-7 and in a first-place NL West tie with the Rockies. Even with all the past struggles, the Dodgers still find themselves with one of the best records in baseball. They won’t see the Rockies until late next week, as it could be a crucial series as far as the standings go.
With scoreboard watching not very customary 20 games into a regular season, it is strange keeping up with the standings with these records, but since a quarter of the season is gone and the halfway point is only ten games away, it might as well be.
After splitting with the Padres, the Dodgers will face a couple of American League opponents in the next few days. The first being the crosstown Angels in Anaheim for a three-game freeway series. Then, they will face the Seattle Mariners for four straight games, the first two in Los Angeles and the other two in Seattle.
With the freeway series next, there is always an extra urge for Dodger fans to beat the Angels with the teams playing so close from each other and fans sharing space whether that be work, school, or even their own household.
This will be the second series the Dodgers play with an American League team, the first being the two-game sweep of the Astros in Houston. The Dodgers did get a small sample size of the Angels back in Summer Camp when they faced them in the last exhibition game before the season started.
The Angels come in with a 7-12 record, but they still have Mike Trout, who once again is tearing it up. Last season, the Angels seemed to have the Dodgers number as they took all four games.
Kershaw will take the ball Friday night for his third start of the season. He struggled in his last start giving up four runs and taking the loss and three homers.
The probable pitching matchup in the opener for Kershaw is against lefty Patrick Sandoval.
First pitch is set 6:40 p.m. pacific time.