The Dodgers will try for two wins in two days against the Diamondbacks on Saturday night at Dodger Stadium, with two-base hits on my mind heading into the middle game of the weekend series.
Friday night’s electrifying comeback in the seventh inning was charged by two home runs — a laser shot by Joc Pederson to right center field and a compact-swing stunner by Chase Utley to tie the game — but the Dodgers also hit four doubles in the series opener.
The first, by Pederson, gave the Dodgers an early 2-0 lead, and the second, by Andrew Toles, drove home the team’s third run.
Corey Seager hit the other two doubles on Friday, one each in the seventh and eighth innings, to score the go-ahead run and drive in an insurance tally.
Seager is second in the National League in doubles, just two behind Daniel Murphy of the Nationals. The only Los Angeles Dodger to lead the league in doubles was Wes Parker, with 47 two-baggers in 1970.
Seager is on pace to hit 46 doubles this season.
Before Parker, the last Dodger to lead the league in doubles was Pete Reiser, with 39 doubles for Brooklyn in 1941, tying the Cardinals’ Johnny Mize for the NL lead.
Seager is also just one double shy of tying Eric Karros for the LA Dodgers rookie record, set in 1992.
The shortstop has seven doubles in nine games since the All-Star break, and all seven have been hit against the Diamondbacks.
In July, Seager has nine doubles, with two games left to try to become the first Dodger with 10 doubles in a month since Yasiel Puig in July 2014. But what makes Seager’s July so unique is that, after hitting seven home runs in May and eight more in June, he has no home runs in 19 games this month.
No, the 15 Seager hit in the Home Run Derby in San Diego don’t count. Nor did the event ruin Seager, who is hitting .378/.391/.533 since the All-Star Game.
But should Seager hit at least one more double this weekend, and also not hit a home run, he would become just the fourth LA Dodger with 10 doubles and no home runs in a single month, joining Cory Snyder (July 1993), Cesar Izturis (April 2002) and Orlando Hudson (May 2009).
Seager and the Dodgers on Saturday night will face D-backs right-hander Braden Shipley, making his second major league start. Shipley allowed just one double but three home runs in his debut on Monday in Milwaukee, after putting up a 3.70 ERA and 3.80 FIP in 19 starts for Triple-A Reno.
Shipley, selected 15th overall in the first round of the 2013 draft, will face Scott Kazmir, picked 15th overall in the first round in 2002.
Kazmir is working on quite a July himself, with a 3.00 ERA and 3.09 FIP in four starts, with 26 strikeouts and only three walks in 21 innings this month. His 30.2-percent strikeout rate in July is his best in any month this season, and his highest since September 2013 (36.8 percent) with Cleveland.
Time: 6:10 p.m. PT
TV: SportsNet LA