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Dodgers offense finding its power early

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

LOS ANGELES -- Let us first remember we are only two weeks into a grueling, 26-week excruciatingly long season. But for a rebuilt Dodgers lineup, with four new starters, the offense has been a great strength for the team in its red-hot start.

The latest example was Sunday, when the Dodgers hit three home runs and seven doubles en route to a 7-0 blanking of the Rockies for a second straight sweep and seventh straight victory overall.

On the season the Dodgers have 17 home runs, three more than any other National League team and tied for second in the majors.

"I never really worry about home runs, if we're hitting them or not. They are nice obviously. But we probably have more of a grind-it-out offense, guys who battle for their at-bats and make the guy fight for outs," manager Don Mattingly said. "When we're having that, good things happen."

After losing Hanley Ramirez in free agency and trading away Matt Kemp, the overriding message from new president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman and new general manager Farhan Zaidi was that the Dodgers were trying to build a more complete team, a team stronger in defense and pitching, to help offset the dreaded loss of right-handed power.

"You just make it up incrementally. You still have a guy like Scott Van Slyke on the bench, Andre Ethier," said starting pitcher Brandon McCarthy, who didn't need many runs on Sunday but got them anyway. "There's power throughout the lineup, whether or not it's guys hitting 30 or 40, you have a whole bunch of guys hitting 10-15, and you can make up that gap."

One of the other goals of the roster reshaping was to build a deeper roster, and so far several Dodgers have chipped in. Nine different players have hit home runs in two weeks, and one who hasn't yet homered, Justin Turner, had four hits Sunday, including a career-high three doubles in just his second start of the season.

"You're getting contributions from your whole roster," Mattingly said.

Turner is hitting .400/.400/.600 (6-for-15).

Van Slyke is 5-for-11 with three doubles and a home run (.455/.600/1.000),

Alex Guerrero is 5-for-14 with two home runs, a double and eight RBI (.357/.333/.857)

Andre Ethier is hitting .259/.364/.481 with a home run, a triple, a double and four walks.

That's just the bench.

"I guess we're just spreading it out," Van Slyke said.

Again, we are only two weeks into the season so let's not go jumping to any conclusions. But so far, the offense has been wildly productive.

The Dodgers lead the NL in runs scored (5.25 per game), walks (50), batting average (.288), on-base percentage (.368) and home runs. They lead the majors in doubles (36), extra-base hits (56), slugging percentage (.517) and OPS (.885).

"People forget about doubles sometimes when you talk about power," said catcher A.J. Ellis, who was 2-for-4 with a double on Sunday. "We have a lot of guys who can hit an extra-base hit."

The Dodgers hit 302 doubles in 2014, just the third time in franchise history they have hit 300 doubles in a season. That is 1.86 doubles per game.

Through two weeks in 2015, they have 36 doubles in 12 games. Three per game.

.288/.368/.517 -Dodgers team batting line through 12 games

The Dodgers have scored 44 runs during their seven-game winning streak, more than six runs per game on average and never fewer than five runs during the streak (they have scored as few as five runs just once in the seven games).

They scored seven runs on Sunday despite Adrian Gonzalez going 0-for-5, his first game without a hit so far this season. Gonzalez went from leading the world in just about everything before the game (.523/.580/1.045) to still leading the world in everything after the game (.469/.527/.939).

Gonzalez made the last out in each of the first, third, fifth, sixth and eighth innings on Sunday, and he was legitimately wondering in the clubhouse after the game whether he set some sort of record.

"On a day the best hitter in baseball right now goes 0-for-5 and we still put up seven runs and 14 hits, that's the mark of a great team," Ellis said.