The Dodgers found some early offense in their series opener and made it hold up in an 8-2 win over the Yankees on Monday night at Yankee Stadium in New York.
After scoring six total runs in three games over the weekend in Miami, the Dodgers scored six runs in the first three innings on Monday night in The Bronx, making for a short outing for Yankees starter Bryan Mitchell.
The right-hander allowed eight hits and recorded only seven outs, but he was also let down by his defense. Aaron Judge dropped a fly ball by Chase Utley in deep right field that would have been the final out of the second inning. Instead, two runs scored on the play and Utley reached third base, then scored when Corey Seager followed with a single.
In the third inning, one of the Dodgers’ two runs came thanks to a throwing error by catcher Gary Sanchez on a steal of second by Howie Kendrick, allowing Josh Reddick to score from third base.
Kendrick had two hits, a walk, and stole a base on Monday. Seager had a pair of hits.
Given some early room to work with, Jose De Leon got through five innings for his second win in as many major league starts. He allowed a pair of titanic home runs — to the second deck in left field by Starlin Castro, and 436 feet beyond the center field bullpens by Aaron Judge — but both were with nobody on base an counted for just one run apiece.
De Leon struck out three in his five innings, and threw 83 pitches.
Not left behind
After the right-handed Mitchell’s early exit, the Yankees used three straight left-handed pitchers in relief, including Richard Bleier pitching four scoreless innings with a walk and three strikeouts.
The Dodgers, who entered Monday at the bottom of the National League hitting just .217/.297/.339 against left-handed pitchers, were 0-for-16 against Yankees southpaws before Yasiel Puig hit a pinch-hit home run to right field against James Pazos in the eighth inning.
It was the third home run for Puig in just 19 plate appearances since returning from Triple-A Oklahoma City, and his 10th of the season. That gives the Dodgers eight players with double-digit home runs in 2016, one shy of the franchise record of nine players, set in 2004.
Justin Turner added another home run to right field in the ninth, this one against right-hander Ben Heller, Turner’s team-leading 27th homer and his third in his last six games.
Adrian Gonzalez added a single in the ninth inning, extending his hitting streak to 11 games, during which he has 11 hits. It’s the longest Dodgers hitting streak with exactly one hit in each game since Willy Aybar went 13 straight in 2006.
Power and speed
In addition to Kendrick, Chase Utley also stole a base on Monday. It was the first game in 2016 that Dodgers hit two home runs and had two steals.
De Leon didn’t walk anybody in his first start, but walked two on Monday night in New York.
The first was Brian McCann in the second inning, the fifth Yankees batter of the game.
De Leon also struck out 40 in the minors since his last walk, on Aug. 12, before he was called up, so counting the majors and minors he went one month, 130 batters and 49 strikeouts in between walks.
Julio Urias gets the call on Tuesday night, in what may or may not be his last start of the season, a threat that has seemingly been looming for weeks. CC Sabathia starts for the Yankees in the middle game of the series, another 4:05 p.m. PT start.
Home runs: Yasiel Puig (10), Justin Turner (27); Starlin Castro (21), Aaron Judge (4)
WP - Jose De Leon (2-0): 5 IP, 3 hits, 2 runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts
LP - Bryan Mitchell (1-1): 2⅓ IP, 8 hits, 6 runs (2 earned), 2 strikeouts