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Cody Bellinger sets Dodgers rookie home run record, nearing NL mark

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Los Angeles Dodgers v San Diego Padres Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images

Home runs sometimes come in bunches, and Cody Bellinger had a productive weekend in San Diego. After tying the Dodgers franchise record for home runs by a rookie on Saturday, Bellinger broke the mark on Sunday against the Padres.

Bellinger homered against Padres closer Brad Hand in the ninth inning on Sunday, pulling the Dodgers to within 6-4, which ended up the final score in the club’s third straight defeat.

That moved Bellinger one ahead of Mike Piazza, who hit 35 home runs in 1993.

Bellinger is closing in on the National League rookie record of 38 home runs, held by both Wally Berger of the Boston Braves (1930) and Frank Robinson of the Reds (1956).

He’s also tied for seventh place on the MLB rookie home run list, tied with Jose Abreu of the White Sox (2014). Mark McGwire holds the top mark with 49 home runs for the A’s in 1987, but no other rookie has surpassed 38.

Most MLB rookie HR

Player Team Year HR G PA
Player Team Year HR G PA
Mark McGwire Oak 1987 49 151 641
Wally Berger Bos 1930 38 151 628
Frank Robinson Cin 1956 38 152 667
Al Rosen Cle 1950 37 155 668
Albert Pujols StL 2001 37 161 676
Aaron Judge NYY 2017 37 130 565
Jose Abreu CWS 2014 36 145 622
Cody Bellinger LA 2017 36 106 440
Source: The incomparable Baseball-Reference

Bellinger has hit his 36 home runs in 106 games. The Dodgers have 26 games remaining in the regular season.

Before Saturday’s home run, Bellinger went eight full games and 30 plate appearances since his last home run, a stretch that lasted 20 days, elongated by a stint on the disabled list with a sprained ankle.

Half of Bellinger’s 36 home runs have been hit in the seventh inning or later.

Bellinger is also climbing the Dodgers’ franchise list for home runs in a season by any player. Just 17 times has the club had a player hit 36 or more homers, including Bellinger, who in his age-21 season (he turned 22 in July) is the youngest of the group by three years.

Thirteen times has a Dodger hit 40 or more home runs. The franchise mark is 49, set by Shawn Green in 2001.

Mike Piazza sent along his congratulations on Sunday night: