In the midst of one of the greatest power surges in franchise history, the Dodgers relied on the home run on Thursday night, hitting three of them in a 6-3 win over the Mets to complete a sweep, their first four-game sweep of New York since 1979.
The Dodgers extended their current winning streak to seven games, their longest of the season, and widened their lead in the National League West to 1½ games over both the Diamondbacks and Rockies, their largest division lead of the season.
After watching Curtis Granderson lead off his second straight game with a solo home run to give the Mets a lead, the Dodgers struck back in the third inning. Justin Turner hit a solo home run to tie the game, then Kiké Hernandez hit a two-run shot to give the Dodgers a 3-1 lead.
New York clawed back and tied the game at 3-3, but Joc Pederson led off the seventh with a solo home run to give the Dodgers another lead.
Home runs are up all over baseball, so the Dodgers figured why not us?
The three home runs on Thursday gave the Dodgers 39 long balls in June, including a ridiculous 36 in their last 14 games. The franchise record for home runs in a month is 49, and the Dodgers have eight more games to try to reach it.
The Dodgers were also blessed by amazing fortune in the seventh inning, when they loaded the bases with two outs, holding a one-run lead.
Corey Seager, who was waiting in the on-deck circle, was instead called back to keep reliever Pedro Baez in the game. Baez, a former minor league third baseman who was 0-for-2 in his major league career, somehow drew a walk — on four pitches — from a very shaky Jerry Blevins, forcing in a run.
Padro Baez is the first reliever to draw a 4-pitch walk with the bases loaded since Courtney Duncan on 5/5/2001.— Kazuto Yamazaki (@Kazuto_Yamazaki) June 23, 2017
Blevins then walked Austin Barnes to force in another run, providing more insurance and a three-run lead for Los Angeles.
Earlier in the game, Barnes walked — one of three in the game — then stole second and third base. Barnes has stolen third base twice this season, the first Dodgers catcher to steal third base since Russell Martin in 2009.
With two runners on and the tying run at the plate in the form of Jose Reyes in the eighth inning, Kenley Jansen was summoned to put out the fire. A fielding error by Cody Bellinger loaded the bases to put the tying run on base, but Jansen got Michael Conforto to pop out to end the threat.
Jansen closed out the game in the ninth inning for his sixth four-out save of the season. He struck out nobody on the night, snapping a sting of 12 straight appearances with at least one strikeout. He remains at 50 strikeouts and no walks on the season.
The Dodgers welcome the Rockies to town for a divisional showdown series, with Alex Wood on the mound for the opener. Colorado counters with lefty Kyle Freeland on Friday night, a 7:10 p.m. PT start.
Home runs: Justin Turner (5), Kiké Hernandez (7), Joc Pederson (5); Curtis Granderson (9), Travis d’Arnaud (8)
WP - Pedro Baez (1-0): 1 IP, 1 hit, 1 strikeout
LP - Paul Sewald (0-2): ⅓ IP, 2 hits, 3 runs, 1 walk
Sv - Kenley Jansen (16): 1⅓ IP, zeroes