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Dodgers offense overcomes shaky start to beat Brewers

Harry How/Getty Images

Neither starting pitcher could finish the third inning, and it was the Dodgers who got the better off the offensive barrage, using a well-balanced attack to beat the Brewers 10-6 on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium.

Each of the first seven Dodgers starters got at least one hit and either scored or drove in at least one run. Joc Pederson, batting leadoff, had three hits, a stolen base and a home run.

Corey Seager had two hits, including a double, plus a walk. Adrian Gonzalez had three hits, including a double, his second consecutive multi-hit game. Gonzalez had just three multi-hit games at Dodger Stadium this season before Friday night.

The top four hitters in the starting lineup combined on Saturday to go 10-for-18 with two home runs, two doubles, two walks, seven runs scored and five driven in.

The offensve outburst was well-timed by the Dodgers, since Mike Bolsinger was ineffective, allowing runs in all three innings that he started. Milwaukee scored one in the first, then two each in the second and third innings, unable to finish the third inning.

Whether Bolsinger just had a bad night, or was hurt, or both, we don't know. He was visited on the mound by manager Dave Roberts and trainer Nathan Lucero in the second inning, but remained in the game after only a brief consultation, with nary a warmup pitch.

Bolsinger left the game trailing 5-2 and allowed nine hits in his 2⅔ innings. It matched his most hits allowed as a Dodger, set last July 5 against the Mets, and was one hit shy of his career worst, set with Arizona on July 5, 2014 against the Braves.

Justin Turner continued his hot hitting on Saturday, and bailed Bolsinger out with one swing of the bat. With two runners on in the third inning, Turner hit a three-run home run for his third in the last two games, and ended up 2-for-4 on the night with a walk and a pair of runs scored.

Turner entered April 7 with a .326 slugging percentage on the season, and three home runs ad 17 in 55 games. Now, 11 games later, Turner has nine home runs on the season, 30 RBI and sports a .420 slugging percentage.

Like his longtime friend and former teammate Bolsinger, Chase Anderson couldn't get out of the third inning. Both starting pitchers threw 73 pitches on Saturday, 44 for strikes.

Big inning

The Dodgers were in desperate need of offense on Saturday night, especially after falling behind 5-2 in the third inning. But after Tuner's home run tied the score in the bottom of the frame, the Dodgers weren't done there. Gonzalez walked then one out later Howie Kendrick singled, which was enough to chase Anderson. Then, both scored on a double by Yasmani Grandal, who later scored himself on a single.

Pederson had two singles and a stolen base in the third inning alone as the Dodgers sent 11 batters to the plate and scored six runs, a new season high. The club's previous high in a single inning was five runs, done four times, the last on Apr. 24 at Colorado.

Hitter Hatcher

The sixth run of that third inning came courtesy of an RBI single by pitcher Chris Hatcher, who entered the game in relief in the top of the inning. Hatcher made the majors as a catcher back in 2010, before he was converted to pitcher and made it back to the big leagues one year later. But this was his first major league hit and first major league RBI, in his 12th career plate appearance.

Hatcher is the first Dodgers relief pitcher to drive in a run since Matt Guerrier had a bases-loaded walk on May 10, 2011 against the Pirates.

Hatcher also pitched 2⅓ scoreless innings to earn the victory, becoming the first Dodgers reliever to both drive in a run and win since Scott Elbert on April 19, 2009.

Hatcher, Casey Fien, and Adam Liberatore were the unsung heroes of the night, combining for 6⅓ innings while allowing only one run to finish out the game, all after the bullpen threw 10 innings in the previous two nights combined.

The trio all pitched at least two innings, the first time the Dodgers did that in a nine-inning win since Sept. 28, 2006.

Home Howie

Among the 245 major league hitters with at least 150 plate appearances entering Saturday, Kendrick had the second-highest ground ball rate in the majors at 64.9 percent, so naturally he hit  a home run in his first at-bat, in the second inning, and to right field.

It was the first extra-base hit of the year at Dodger Stadium for Kendrick, in his 96th home plate appearance. Kendrick also walked and scored two runs in Saturday's win.

Saturday particulars

Home runs: Howie Kendrick (3), Justin Turner (9), Joc Pederson (12); Ryan Braun (12)

WP - Chris Hatcher (4-3): 2⅓ IP, 2 walks, 2 strikeouts

LP - Chase Anderson (4-7): 2⅓ IP, 6 hits, 7 runs, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts