The offense was scorching hot on Saturday night for the Dodgers, plating 18 runs in their 13-run route of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Oh, where to begin. For the second time in three games, the Dodgers scored double digit runs. For the first seven innings, they relied on their ability to hit with runners in scoring position. However in the eighth, it was all about the long ball.
Okay, okay, first things first. The main story of the night was the Dodgers’ ability to hit with runners in scoring position. For the game, LA was 9-for-14 in such situations.
It didn’t take long for the Dodgers to get on the board on Saturday. In fact, it took only one batter. For the first time this season, Joc Pederson led off the game with a home run. Last year, Pederson set the Dodgers record with eight lead-off homers. It’s been a great three games to start the year for Joc, as he already has three homers.
The offensive onslaught came in the third inning. Justin Turner stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded. He had the green light on a 3-0 pitch, and singled to center, driving in two runs. Cody Bellinger and A.J. Pollock followed with back-to-back singles of their own, each driving in a run to make it 5-1.
Bellinger continued his hot hitting in the fifth, as he crushed his second home run of the season to give LA a four-run lead.
The runs come by a bundle in the sixth, as LA added five to really put the game out of reach. With the bases loaded, Corey Seager singled to bring in a run. Turner followed with a walk to bring in a run, and Bellinger brought in two more with a single of his own.
With a nine-run lead in the seventh, the D-Backs turned to their catcher, John Ryan Murphy, and sent him to the mound. He pitched a scoreless seventh, but things fell apart once he was sent back out their in the eighth.
With a runner on first and two outs, it appeared as if Murphy would complete two scoreless innings.
The Dodgers had other intentions.
Austin Barnes homered to left, his second of the year, giving LA an eight-run lead yet again. Last year, Barnes didn’t hit his second homer until September 4. This year, it took him three games.
The next four hitters would reach base, including pitcher Brock Stewart who doubled. For the second time of the game and eighth of his career, Cody Bellinger had a multi-homer game. His second of the night and third of the year gave LA the 18-5 lead.
Lost in all the hits and runs was the fact that there was some very solid pitching tonight. Kenta Maeda got the start, and gave the Dodgers everything they could ask for and more. He threw over 100 pitches, and was just one out short of going seven innings.
His ended up going 6 2⁄3 innings, allowing three runs and striking out three.
Aside from allowing three solo homers, Maeda never really found himself in much trouble. A runner never reached second base, and he only allowed two hits aside from the home runs.
With a 13-run lead, and a near-empty bullpen thanks to Friday’s game, the Dodgers turned to catcher Russell Martin to close things out. Martin threw a 1-2-3 ninth, and ended up getting to live out a dream. He told me he’d like to eventually pitch in a game a few weeks back.
Caught up with Russell Martin yesterday and asked where he's comfortable playing this season:— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) March 12, 2019
"I can play anywhere. I just haven’t pitched yet, maybe at some point I’ll be able to do that too. Maybe get an inning here or there." #Dodgers
WP: Kenta Maeda (1-0) 6 2⁄3 IP, 6 SO, 3 ER
LP: Zack Godley (0-1) 5 1⁄3 IP, 7 ER, 8 H
Home Runs: Cody Bellinger, 2 (3), Austin Barnes (2), Joc Pederson (3), Adam Jones (2), David Peralta (1), Jerrod Dyson, Alex Avila (1)
The Dodgers will send Walker Buehler to the mound looking for the series win against Luke Weaver.