The hits kept coming for the Dodgers on Saturday, both with their bats and with injuries as they snapped a three-game losing streak with a 15-6 drubbing of the Giants in the daytime portion of their split doubleheader at AT&T Park in San Francisco.
The Dodgers established season highs with 15 runs and 20 hits, surpassing their run total for their previous four games combined.
Chris Stratton was activated from the paternity list after the birth of his second child to start the first game on Saturday, but it was quite a labor for the Giants right-hander just to get four outs.
He threw 45 pitches in the first inning and walked four, spotting the Dodgers three runs to start the day.
It looked like Walker Buehler was going to match Stratton with 34 pitches of his own in the bottom of the first. Buehler walked one, threw a wild pitch and failed to cover first on a grounder. The Giants got two runs to get right back into the game, but that was all Buehler would allow.
The Dodgers offense, on the other hand, was just getting started. They banged four extra-base hits off Stratton in the second inning to chase him from the game, including a home run by Chris Taylor and back-to-back triples by Cody Bellinger and Joc Pederson.
Chase Utley had three doubles of his own to tie a Dodgers franchise record for a game. The last to do it was Corey Seager on July 17, 2016. Utley had four hits and also walked, the 12th time in his career he reached base at least five times in a game.
Utley is hitting .327/.438/.500 this season.
Pederson also had four hits and a walk, falling a home run shy of the cycle. It was the first four-hit game of Pederson’s career, and he drove in four runs, one shy of his career best.
As a team the Dodgers had nine extra-base hits for a season high, and their most since July 31, 2016. The top five batters in the lineup all drove in at least two runs and the group combined for 16 hits and four walks on their own.
Utley and Taylor each scored four runs, the first time the Dodgers had a pair of players with four runs scored since Raul Mondesi and Cory Snyder on Apr. 17, 1994.
Yasiel Puig wasn’t able to join in the offensive festivities, as he left in the second inning with left hip soreness, the second Dodgers outfielder in as many days to exit early with an injury. Puig also left for X-rays after fouling a ball off his left foot, and is unavailable for Game 2.
Kemp, who left Friday’s game with left quad tightness, didn’t start the opener Saturday but did deliver a pinch-hit single in the eighth inning.
Kyle Farmer entered the game at third base when Puig left and later was hit on the hand by a pitch, but remained in the game.
The bounty of run support was more than enough for Buehler, who settled down after the first inning. He didn’t allow a run after the first inning, finishing with five innings and six strikeouts, with only one walk. He earned his second major league win, and his first as a starter.
The Giants pitching staff was taxed, with three pitchers throwing at least 63 pitches in the first game of the doubleheader. Down nine runs in the top of the ninth San Francisco turned to Pablo Sandoval in his first career pitching performance. He dropped in a nice curve to Yasmani Grandal:
Sandoval got three ground balls for a perfect ninth inning, naturally the first 1-2-3 inning by a Giants pitcher all day.
All over the place
Puig leaving early necessitated some position shuffling, as did a later double switch. Four different Dodgers played at least two positions in Game 1, and Max Muncy played three. In a strange quirk, Muncy joined Snyder in 1994 as the only Dodgers in the last 111 seasons to play first base, third base and left field in the same game.
One night after falling off the mound while allowing the winning run to score, embattled Dodgers reliever Pedro Baez entered Saturday with a 10-run lead and did not pitch well. After striking out Kelby Tomlinson, Baez allowed a single to pitcher Derek Law and another to Gregor Blanco, followed by a three-run home run by Alen Hanson.
That was followed by another single and the easiest steal of second base you will ever see, then a walk to Brandon Belt to end Baez’s day. Six batters faced, one out recorded, and three runs in.
These two teams are at it again this evening, with Alex Wood starting the 7:05 p.m. PT nightcap, a game that will be televised by both SportsNet LA and KTLA. Johnny Cueto starts Game 2 for San Francisco.
Saturday Game 1 particulars
Home runs: Chris Taylor (4); Alen Hanson (1), Nick Hundley (2)
WP - Walker Buehler (1-0): 5 IP, 6 hits, 2 runs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts
LP - Chris Stratton (2-2): 1⅓ IP, 6 hits, 6 runs, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts