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Revamped Rich Hill dominates Padres

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Dodgers power overflows into July with 3 more HR

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres
Rich Hill had his first career two-hit game on Saturday night.
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Rich Hill continued his redemption quest, controlling the Padres both on the mound and at the plate in the Dodgers’ 8-0 win at Petco Park on Saturday night in San Diego.

Hill unleashed his revised delivery on San Diego, and the improved command he talked about on Monday was in full effect on Saturday. Hill struck out 11 in his seven scoreless innings, allowing only four hits and a walk.

The 11 strikeouts matched a career high for Hill, a number he hadn’t reached since June 7, 2007 with the Cubs.

After failing to reach the sixth inning in any of his first nine starts, Hill has lasted seven innings in back-to-back starts.

But that wasn’t all! Hill grounded a two-out single through the infield in the fourth inning, bringing home the Dodgers’ second run. The single snapped an 0-for-30 skid for Hill — including 0-for-14 in 2017 — that dated back to June 19, 2009.

For good measure, Hill singled again in the sixth inning, giving him the first two-hit game of his career.

Hill wasn’t alone on the comeback trail in sunny San Diego.

Logan Forsythe beat out an infield single in the first inning to drive in the Dodgers’ first run, then he doubled and scored in the fourth inning. He added another double in the fifth inning, then singled in the seventh.

Forsythe, who was 4-for-4 with a walk on Friday, is the first Dodger with back-to-back four-hit games since Andre Ethier on Aug. 24-25, 2012. He struck out in the eighth inning to end an impressive streak.

Forsythe had hits in eight consecutive at-bats, two shy of the club record shared by Ethier. Forsythe also reached base in nine consecutive plate appearances, five shy of Pedro Guerrero’s franchise record set from July 23-26, 1985.

The veteran infielder came into the series on Friday night hitting .208/.333/.282 on the season. He is now hitting .247/.363/.329.

It took a little while for the Dodgers to get to Dillon Overton, put the third time through the order proved to be the charm. That’s when Corey Seager and Justin Turner hit back-to-back home runs against Overton, who allowed 14 home runs in 225 plate appearances between the majors and minors this season before Saturday.

Slam dancing

But the Dodgers weren’t done after Overton departed. Chris Taylor hit a grand slam against Craig Stammen in the seventh inning, doubling the Dodgers’ lead.

It was the third grand slam of the season for Taylor, tying a Dodgers franchise record. Taylor, who was 2-for-4 with a walk on the night, joined Kal Daniels (1990), Mike Piazza (1998), Adrian Beltre (2004), and Matt Kemp (2009) in the three-slam club.

Taylor has 11 career home runs — 10 this season — and four are grand slams.

Power surge

After setting a franchise record with 53 home runs in June, the Dodgers hit three more home runs on Saturday, the first day of July. The Dodgers have hit three or more home runs 17 times this season, 11 of which have come in their last 20 games.

The Dodgers are 16-1 when hitting three or more home runs in 2017.

Up next

The Dodgers go for a series sweep on Sunday afternoon, sending Kenta Maeda to the mound for the 1:40 p.m. PT finale. The Padres will counter with opening day starter Jhoulys Chacin.

Saturday particulars

Home runs: Corey Seager (13), Justin Turner (7), Chris Taylor (10)

WP - Rich Hill (5-4): 7 IP, 4 hits, 1 walk, 11 strikeouts

LP - Dillon Overton (0-1): 4⅔ IP, 9 hits, 4 runs, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts