Theme of the night: Dingers.
The offense left nothing to chance for the Dodgers Friday, making Safeco Field look small and giving the bullpen plenty of wiggle room. The visiting team launched five home runs in support of a strong effort from Walker Buehler, cruising to an 11-1 win over the Mariners.
It was the sixth time the Dodgers have hit at least five homers this season. At least since 1908 — and it’s highly doubtful it was done before then — there have been only six teams to hit five homers in a game six different times in one season.
In list form:
The Dodgers have 5 homers tonight for the 6th time this season. They’re now just the 6th team ever to do it 6 times or more in a year.— Ryan Walton (@RyanWaltonSBN) August 18, 2018
Boston 1977 (8)
Oakland 1996 (7)
Baltimore 2016 (7)
NY Giants 1947 (6)
Baltimore 1996 (6)
Dodgers 2018 (6)
As good as Buehler was, the offense didn’t need quite that many home runs to win the game. The young flamethrower allowed just three hits over six innings, striking out eight against two walks.
Over his last four starts, Buehler has allowed just four runs in 25 1⁄3 innings as he continues to make his case as one of the best the Dodgers have in the rotation.
The only Mariner run came on a Ryon Healy solo shot in the fourth. Buehler finished his night having retired the final nine batters he faced.
By the time the Mariners scored their run, the Dodgers had already hit three homers of their own and had a 4-1 lead.
Yasmani Grandal got it going in the third with his 21st long ball of the year. With three hits in his last 36 plate appearances over ten games coming into the night, getting on base two times Friday was a change of pace.
The five home runs were somewhat symbolic of the whole team breaking out of an August slump. Manny Machado hit two of them to drive in three, hitting both to the deeper parts of the field between left and center. The Dodger shortstop had just nine extra-base hits in 26 game with the Dodgers before Friday.
Lefty Wade LeBlanc didn't last through the fifth, giving up seven runs to the Dodgers in 4 1⁄3 innings.
Then there was the two Dodgers who paved the way when the team was scorching hot in May and June, only to scuffle over the last month or so.
Max Muncy launched his 27th homer in the fourth and Matt Kemp smashed his 18th to center to cap a four-run seventh to put the game out of reach.
For Kemp, it was his 200th home run in a Dodger uniform. Only seven players have hit that many in Dodger blue, Kemp is the fourth to do it in Los Angeles.
All told, the Dodgers scored three or more runs in three different innings and started off the series by getting the offense flowing once again.
The Dodgers and Mariners continue into the weekend with Rich Hill (5-4, 3.57) and Erasmo Ramirez (0-2, 6.75).
Home runs: Grandal (21), Machado 2 (28), Muncy (27), Kemp (18), Healy (23)
WP - Walker Buehler (6-4): 3 IP, 1 run, 2 walks, 8 strikeouts
LP - Wade LeBlanc (0-1): 1 1⁄3 IP, 2 hits, 1 run, 2 walks