Smith, Dodgers Sweep Rockies in Final Leg of Homestand

Pinch-hitting for Kenley Jansen in the bottom of the ninth inning in Sunday’s finale, rookie catcher Will Smith slugged a three-run, pinch-hit walkoff homer to secure both a 6-3 victory and series sweep over division rival Colorado.

All three victories came on walkoff home runs by three different rookies, an MLB first. Smith’s walkoff blast on Sunday was the second of his young career.

Smith was recalled earlier in the day from Triple-A Oklahoma City after veteran David Freese was placed on the injured list with a hamstring strain.

Manager Bud Black and reliever Scott Oberg elected to pitch to Smith after deciding to intentionally walk Russell Martin. Earlier in the inning, Matt Beaty secured his second infield hit of the game and advanced to second on a wild pitch.

Earlier in the game, the Dodgers certainly had a huge opportunity to secure the victory.

Batting for Austin Barnes in the bottom of the seventh inning, Chris Taylor smacked the first pitch he saw into the left field stands, giving the Dodgers a 3-2 lead and putting his squad back in the game. For a moment, it looked like that’s all the Dodgers would need to snag the win.

With one out in the seventh, Beaty eked out an infield single, then Enrique Hernandez followed with a double off the wall in right-center field. In the next AB, Taylor put the Dodgers back in the game with a single swing.

Taylor is now 13-for-33 (.394) with 3 doubles, 3 long balls and 11 RBI over the 11 games since Corey Seager was placed on the injured list.

Starter Kenta Maeda delivered another strong outing for the Dodgers. The Japanese righty scattered seven hits over seven full innings of work, allowing two earned runs while striking out six and walking two.

The Rockies got on the board first when David Dahl sent his eighth home run of the season over the center field wall. Two innings later, Garrett Hampson scored on a Ryan McMahon single to center, stretching the Colorado lead to 2-0.

Righty starter Antonio Senzatela was decent for Colorado through six innings of work. Prior to Beaty’s single, Senzatela surrendered just three hits and no runs while striking out five and walking two. He was credited with the runs scored by Beaty and Hernandez in the seventh.

In the top of the eighth inning, Pedro Baez allowed the Rockies to climb back into the game when Daniel Murphy scored on a Tony Wolters double down the right field line. Hernandez took the cutoff from Bellinger in right, but Martin was unable to handle the throw at home despite having more than enough time to nail Murphy.

Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth inning to earn the victory, his third of the year.

The win extended the Dodgers’ divisional lead over Colorado to 13 full games.

Oberg suffered the loss.

On Monday, the Dodgers will begin a three-game series against division rival Arizona on the road.

 

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Matt Beaty Making Most of Big League Opportunities

It’s certainly a good thing the Dodgers found a way to recall Matt Beaty before Friday’s opener against the Rockies, whether pitcher Josh Sborz actually had lower back soreness or not.

That same evening, Beaty’s two-run, walkoff homer to center field allowed Walker Buehler to record his first-ever complete game. More importantly, Beaty’s stock continues to rise on an already talented Los Angeles squad.

“I felt confident walking to the plate,” Beaty told Bill Plunkett of the OC Register after the 4-2 walkoff victory. “I just wanted to get the barrel to the ball and that’s what happened.”

Regardless, the 26-year-old utility man’s time in the majors could be short-lived, especially when noting that both Corey Seager and A.J. Pollock will be starting rehabilitation assignments in the very near future. Still, the native of Snellville, GA isn’t letting anything stand in his way of finding success in the majors.

Beaty has already been shuttled back and forth between Triple-A Oklahoma City and the parent club several times this year. Over 62 plate appearances in 24 big league games, he’s hitting a handy .300/.323/.450 with two long balls, three doubles and 11 RBI. He even has a stolen base to add to his personal docket.

Defensively, the left-handed hitting Beaty has made appearances at first base and left field for the big league squad this year. During his career in the minors, he has also played plenty of third base, while also seeing samples of time at both second base and right field, showing his strong versatility—something that boss Andrew Friedman values to the highest degree.

Although he was born in Georgia, Beaty grew up in Dresden, Tennessee. After a prominent career at Dresden High,  he decided to attend Belmont University in nearby Nashville. Following his All-American senior year at Belmont, Beaty was selected by the Dodgers in the 12th round of the 2015 MLB Draft.

“I was pumped when I found out that I was drafted by the Dodgers. There are so many All-Star and Hall of Fame names that are associated with the organization,” Beaty told us in an exclusive interview two summers ago. “In addition, I had heard that the Dodgers’ player development staff was one of the best in the baseball. I knew that I was going to be in good hands.”

The Dodgers drafted Beaty with the intentions of utilizing him as a catcher; however, his skills at the corner infield spots have proven to be his most valuable assets.

Despite not being a flashy, blue-chip type of prospect, Beaty rose to the top of the farm relatively quickly. At the conclusion of his 2017 campaign, he won the Texas League batting title after hitting .326/.378/.505 with 31 doubles, 15 homers and 69 RBI over 438 AB. In the process, he became the first Drillers‘ player to snag the honor and was the first Tulsa player to win a batting title since Mike Easler did in for the Triple-A Oilers in the American Assocation in 1976.

After fighting off injuries for a good portion of the 2018 season, he was still able to manage a .284/.378/.404 slash line for OKC over 34 games.

Fans of the Dodgers probably don’t want to hear it, but it’s conceivable the team could consider bartering Beaty this summer at the trade deadline. He has already shown that he can compete in the bigs, something that’s extremely important to rival clubs willing to deal. When noting the club’s desperate need to upgrade the major league bullpen, Beaty may be a player the organization might consider letting go.

At the rate he’s currently producing, though, any prospective departure would be tough to stomach.

In the meantime, Beaty will continue to make the most of his big league opportunities and continue to rack up the major league milestones he thought about as a youngster.

“Obviously, there are some personal achievements that would be great to get. For me. I just want to keep proving that I belong in the organization,” he explained. “I just try to play hard and have fun and the numbers will take care of themselves.”

So far, that’s definitely been the case.

 

Dodgers Make Roster Adjustments Following Rich Hill’s Arm Injury

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The Dodgers on Thursday afternoon recalled right-handed pitchers JT Chargois and Josh Sborz from Triple-A Oklahoma City. To make room on the 25-man roster, the team placed left-handed pitcher Rich Hill on the 10-day injured list with left forearm strain and optioned infielder Matt Beaty to Oklahoma City.

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Kershaw’s Challenge Hosting 7th Annual Ping-Pong Tourney

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LOS ANGELES, CA (June 18, 2019) – Los Angeles will heat up with the thrilling sounds of ping pong on the field of Dodger Stadium this August, when the Kershaw’s Challenge PingPong4Purpose celebrity tournament fundraiser makes it return on Thursday, August 8th.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: Josiah Gray Rising Quickly

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(Steve Saenz/RC Quakes)

It’s not that often when a blockbuster trade backfires on Los Angeles boss Andrew Friedman and his front office troops. When the Dodgers packaged up and sent Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood and Kyle Farmer to the Reds last winter, there was plenty of scrutiny, especially from those who felt the team would be lacking in the power department heading into its 2019 campaign.

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Dodgers 25-Man Roster: Ranking the Primary Players by WAR

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With the 2019 MLB trade deadline right around the six-week mark, I was recently looking at a few numbers while attempting to get an idea where the conceivable weaknesses lied on the Dodgers‘ roster. Unquestionably, the Los Angeles management crew will make every attempt possible to upgrade an extremely vulnerable bullpen, but the question lingers as to whether or not the team might try to upgrade an otherwise capable offense.

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Dodgers Officially Send Corey Seager to Injured List, Recall Matt Beaty

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(Getty Images photo)

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday morning officially activated infielder Matt Beaty from the 10-day injured list and placed infielder Corey Seager on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to June 12, with left hamstring strain.

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Dodgers Bullpen: 3 Relief Arms to Consider at 2019 Trade Deadline

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Whether the management crew of the Dodgers is prepared to admit it or not, the bullpen is continuing to prove itself as the weakest link on an otherwise very talented ballclub. Monday night’s loss to the Angels was another example of how the relief corps imploded, as it surrendered four combined runs in the seventh and eighth innings, spoiling a very fine outing by Hyun-Jin Ryu.

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Dodgers Offense: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not in the Mid-Season

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(Los Angeles Times photo)

In the middle game of the weekend series against the Giants on Saturday night, Corey Seager came up huge, going 4-for-5 with two doubles and four RBI. He helped lift the Dodgers to a 7-2 victory, as his team is back in the winning column after a two-game skid, leading the second-place Rockies in the West by a full 10 games.. Seager is amid his most productive streak of the season—when he’s hot, he certainly makes the Los Angeles lineup one of the most potent in the league.

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Dodgers Prospect Watch: Niko Hulsizer Rising Quickly

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(MiLB.com photo)

The first time we took a look at Dodgers‘ outfield prospect Niko Hulsizer last winter, he had just completed his first year in the organization at Ogden in the Pioneer League, where he hit a respectable .281/.426/.531 with nine home runs, 13 doubles and 32 RBI over 160 AB. However, when considering his high school and college pedigree, we knew that he would continue to emerge through the 2019 season, especially in the area of the power department.

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